Siti Zanariah Ahmad Ishak, Siti Haslina Hussin, Malia Taibi, Awang Ideris Awang Daud, Khadijah Mohamad Tuah


Research has focused on newspaper content and news pattern using the development media framework but few studies have investigated the impact of ethnicity on newspaper content. This study examined the media portrayal of Sarawak Malays in the year 2000 and the role of newspaper owners in the selection and publication of news. An English newspaper, The Sarawak Tribune, owned by a Melanau with political links to the Sarawak government was chosen. Using content analysis, data collected were classified into 18 news categories. This study incorporates the analysis of news patterns and interviews with the editors. Findings indicate that the Sarawak Malays are mostly reported in news concerning community activities, followed by court and crime news; physical development and human development; education; and sports. The news patterns also suggest a patriarchal relationship between leaders and community which is the basis for social activities among the Sarawak Malay community. In conclusion, news concerning the Sarawak Malays was given fair coverage by the newspapers despite being owned by the Melanaus.  Thus, it is recommended that future studies continue to investigate similar issues in different newspapers by adopting a more comprehensive conceptualisation of development which is presented in the news reporting. Consistent with the media development theory, the proposed framework enables researchers to reflect the state development aspirations in a holistic manner.   

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