Media representation of environmental issues in Malaysia
Newspapers and environmental non-government organisation newsletters
This research aims to discover the types of environment issues represented in Malaysian newspapers and environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) newsletters, and to examine the factors in the selection of environmental issues by both social actors. Two methods were employed for the purpose of this study. First, a quantitative content analysis were conducted on 2,050 environmental articles on The Star and Utusan Malaysia’s newspapers together with World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) and Malaysia Nature Society’s (MNS) newsletters from the period of 2012 to 2014. Second, a total of 24 interviewees encompassing of 13 interviewees from The Star and Utusan Malaysia, and 11 interviewees from WWF and MNS were chosen for the in-depth interview sessions. The results of this study discovered that the ways of media and ENGOs representing environmental information in newspapers and newsletters are slightly different. The ENGOs have given more attention to environmental effort topics like sustainable living while the media are focused more environmental problems like floods. However, this study also found that the Malaysian media and the ENGOs shared certain similar criteria for selecting environmental issues for their newsletters especially the news values of proximity, timeliness and impact.
Audit Bureau of Circulation Malaysia (ABCM). (2012). Circulation figures newspapers- Peninsular Malaysia, July 2012 To December 2012. Retrieved from http://abcm.org.my/wp-content/reports/2012/ABC-Circulation-Figures-Pen-Mal-Geog-Dist-Jul2012toDec2012.pdf.
Bednarek, M., & Caple, H. (2014). Why do news values matter? Towards a new methodological framework for analysing news discourse in critical discourse analysis and beyond. Discourse and Society, 25(2), 135–158.
Bendix, J., & Liebler, C. (1999). Place, distance, and environmental news: Geographic variation in newspaper coverage of the spotted owl conflict. Annals of the Association of American Geography, 89, 658–676.
Boykoff, M. T. (2009). We speak for the trees: Media reporting on the environment. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 34, 431–457.
Caple, H., & Bednarek, M. (2015). Rethinking news values: What a discursive approach can tell us about the construction of news discourse and news photography. Journalism, 17(4), 1–22.
Chang, T. K., Southwell, B., Lee, H. M., & Hong, Y. (2012). A changing world, unchanging perspectives: American newspaper editors and enduring values in foreign news reporting. The International Communication Gazette, 74(4), 367–384.
Cho, A. J. (2010). Silence of the bees: A study of scientific representation in media. Berkeley. Retrieved from nature.berkeley.edu/classes/es196/projects/2010final/ChoA_2010.pdf.
Djerf-Pierre, M. (2012). When attention drives attention: Issue dynamics in environmental news reporting over five decades. European Journal of Communication, 27(3), 291–304.
Elmasry, M. H. (2012). Journalism with restraint: A comparative content analysis of independent, government, and opposition newspapers in pre-revolution Egypt. Journal of Middle East Media, 8(1), 1–34.
Faridah, I., Latiffah, P., Chang, P. K., Fuziah Kartini, H. B., Badrul Redzuan, A. H., & Wan Amizah, W. H. (2011). Journalists and news sources: Implications of professionalism in war reporting. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 16(3), 1–12.
Fürsich, E. (2010). Media and the representation of others. International Social Science Journal, 61, 113–130.
Gavin, N. T., Leonard-Milsom, L., & Montgomery, J. (2011). Climate change, flooding and the media in Britain. Public Understanding of Science, 20(3), 422–438.
Hall, S. (1997). The work of representation. In Hall, S. Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
Hannabuss, S. (1995). The study of news. Library Management, 16(1), 29–35.
Hannigan, J. (2006). Environmental sociology (second edition). London, New York: Routledge.
Hansen, A. (2011). Communication, media and environment: Towards reconnecting research on the production, content and social implications of environmental communication. The International Communication Gazette, 73(1-2), 7–25.
Hilton, M., Crowson, N., Mouhot, J. F., & McKay, J. (2012). A historical guide to NGOs in Britain: charities, civil society and the voluntary sector since 1945. Basingstoke and New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jauhariatul, A., & Jamilah, A. (2011). Penggunaan Facebook oleh badan bukan kerajaan alam sekitar (ENGO) dalam menyampaikan mesej alam sekitar. Jurnal Komunikasi, 27(2), 161–182.
Johnson, E. W. (2008). Social movement size, organizational diversity and the making of federal law. Social Forces, 86(3), 1–28.
Johnstone, B., & Mando, J. (2015). Proximity and journalistic practice in environmental discourse: Experiencing ‘job blackmail’ in the news. Discourse and Communication, 9(1), 81–101.
Jorge, T. M. (2008). News values in news websites: An empirical study of the criteria of newsworthiness in Argentina and Brazil. Brazilian Journalism Research, 4(1), 53–71.
Kamaliah, S., Adnan, H., Ramli, M., Rohani, H., Mohamad, M. Y., Wong, C. J., & Mariani, A. A. (2012). Handling of environmental issues by non-governmental organisations: An analysis of strategies and activities. In A. H. Hamidah, A. A. Azman, A. Jamilah, A., & N. H. Nik Norma., Communication and environment sustainability and risks. Penang: Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Kostarella, I., Theodosiadou, S., & Tsantopoulos, G. (2013). The coverage of environmental issues by the Greek media from the editors’ perspective. Paper presented at GV-Global Virtual Conference.
Kuha, M. (2009). Uncertainty about causes and effects of global warming in U.S. news coverage before and after Bali. Language and Ecology, 2(4), 1–14.
Leckner, S. (2012). Presentation factors affecting reading behaviour in readers of newspaper media: An eye-tracking perspective. Visual Communication, 11(2), 163–184.
Lyons, A. C. (2000). Examining media representations: Benefits for health psychology. Journal of Health Psychology, 5(3), 349–358.
Marlina, J., & Shakila, A. M. (2016). An ideological construction of the indigenous community: The Orang Asli as portrayed in The Star newspaper. Kemanusiaan, 23(2), 39–62.
Mariah, M., Raihanah, K., & Md. Salleh, H. (2004). Isu alam sekitar di dalam akhbar arus perdana di Malaysia. Jurnal Komunikasi, 20, 17–37.
Massey, B., & Ramanathan, S. (2001). Sustainable news: A profile of journalists who tell the story of Asia’s environment. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 10, 112–126.
Nik Norma, N. H. (2007). The representation of environmental news: a comparative study of the Malaysian and New Zealand press. Doctoral dissertation, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
O’Neill, D., & Harcup, T. (2009). News values and selectivity. In Wahl-Jorgensen, K., and Hanitzsch, T. The handbook of journalism studies. New York: Routledge.
Peters, H. P., & Heinrichs, H. (2008). Legitimizing climate policy: The ‘risk construct’ of global climate change in the German mass media. IJSC, 3, 14–36.
Robinson, J. P., & Levy, Mark R. (1986). Interpersonal communication and news comprehension. Public Opinion Quarterly, 50, 160–175.
Rohani, H., Mariani, A. M., Mohamad, M. Y., Kamaliah, S., Ramli, M., Adnan, H., & Wong, C. J. (2010). The environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) in Malaysia Northern Region: Their roles in protecting water resources. International NGO Journal, 5(7), 167–170.
Rusli, M., & Sheikh, A. B. A. (2005). Why Join an Environmental NGO? A case study of the Malaysian Nature Society. Pertanika J. Soc. Sci. and Hum, 13(1), 39–46.
Schäfer, M. S., Ivanova, A., & Schmidt, A. (2014). What drives media attention for climate change? Explaining issue attention in Australian, German and Indian print media from 1996 to 2010. The International Communication Gazette, 76(2), 152–176.
Shaiko, R. G. (1993). Greenpeace U.S.A.: Something old, new, borrowed. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 528, 88–100.
Silveira, S. (2001). The American environmental movement: Surviving through diversity, 28 B.C. Environmental Affairs Law Review. 497. Retrieved from http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/ealr/vol28/iss2/7.
Siti Suriani, O., Liana, M. N., & Lee, K. T. (2013). Pemilihan berita dari perspektif wartawan media cetak di Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Communication, 29(2), 51–68.
Sjøvaag, H., & Stavelin, E. (2012). Web media and the quantitative content analysis: Methodological challenges in measuring online news content. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 18(2), 215–229.
Smeltzer, S. (2008). Biotechnology, the environment and alternative media in Malaysia. Canadian Journal of Communication, 33(8), 5–20.
Taiwo, R., & Igwebuike, E. (2015). Representation of Bakassi Peninsula conflict in Nigeria and Cameroon print media: A critical discourse approach. Linguistik Online, 72(3), 127–143.
Teravainen, T. (2014). Representations of energy policy and technology in British and Finnish newspaper media: A comparative perspective. Public Understanding of Science, 23(3), 299–315.
Young, N., & Dugas, E. (2011). Representations of climate change in Canadian national print media: The canalization of global warming. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie, 48(1), 1–22.
Copyright (c) 2020 Mohamad Saifudin Mohamad Saleh
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.