Media representation of environmental issues in Malaysia

Newspapers and environmental non-government organisation newsletters

  • Mohamad Saifudin Mohamad Saleh Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Harald Heinrichs Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany
Keywords: ENGOs, environment, environmental journalism, journalism, Malaysia, media, newsletters, newspapers, news values, representation


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 Malaysias 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.


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How to Cite
Mohamad Saleh, M. S., & Heinrichs, H. (2020). Media representation of environmental issues in Malaysia : Newspapers and environmental non-government organisation newsletters. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(2), 118-131.