Old newspapers

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:42 PM PDT

Read the story and try to weigh it. Some may attribute it to the more popular social media while others would easily find simple logic in it.

The dwindling newspaper circulation has little to do with blogs, news portal, Twitter, etc. Its the editorial policy that matters most, the aptitude of the players, politics above business (vice versa) and readers' preference.

The market for newspaper in Malaysia is still big. With a population of about 30 million and 5 million foreigners, a newspaper should be able to survive. But if they don't, something was not right with their policy.
The Umno-controlled New Straits Times Press newspaper group was hit with a massive drop in circulation in the second half of 2013 while other major dailies stagnated, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation Malaysia (ABC).
The figures fell after the May 5 general election, which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) lose seven more federal seats despite controlling the mass media, which require a licence and are mostly owned or controlled by political parties in the ruling government.
"Most dailies could not sustain the numbers after the first half of 2013 (January to June 2013), which was during the GE13," the ABC said in a statement following a meeting in Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
"Sin Chew Jit Poh (day) is the number one daily with 366,390 copies followed by Harian Metro at 342,689 copies and The Star with 289,611 copies.
"Under the free and controlled category, The Sun recorded 305,000 copies, Red Tomato 209,599 copies and Malaysia SME 50,000 copies," the ABC said.
The ABC figures released today showed that the total copies of newspapers sold in West Malaysia dropped by more than 260,000 from July to December 2013.
The NSTP's English daily, New Straits Times, had the biggest drop in circulation in the group when it plunged by 32.78% or 37,885 copies from July to December 2013.
Circulation for its Sunday edition, the New Sunday Times, also fell by about 25% to 98,776 copies in December 2013.
NSTP's Malay dailies Berita Harian and Harian Metro also lost circulation by 25% and 11% respectively, although the afternoon tabloid Harian Metro used to be the most widely-circulated newspaper in Malaysia.
ABC said that in December 2013, Harian Metro's circulation was 342,689 copies, while its Sunday edition's circulation dropped by 10%.
The circulation for Berita Harian's Sunday edition also fell more than 26,000 copies or 14%.
But the Umno-owned Malay broadsheet Utusan Malaysia survived better than the NSTP papers, although its circulation slid 6.3% or 12,204 copies in the second half of 2013.
Utusan's Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, was the highest circulated Malay newspaper in December 2013, slipping by 1.74% in circulation compared to in June.
The ABC report said that Utusan group's tabloid Kosmo and its Sunday edition Kosmo Ahad, also saw an increase in circulation for the July-December period.
Malaysia's most popular English newspaper, The Star and Sunday Star kept its circulation at close to 300,000 copies, rising less than 1000 copies between July to December 2013.
But the paper said subscription for its digital edition E-paper had risen.
Respected business newspaper The Edge's circulation rose from 20,720 in June to 24,284 by year's end, up 17%.
There was also a circulation drop among the Chinese newspapers, except for the China Press which held its circulation at 176,000 copies between July to December 2013.
ABC said that circulation dropped by 5.4% for Guan Ming Daily, 3.6% for Guan Ming Evening Edition, China Press Evening Edition (5.9 %), Sin Chew Daily (4.9%) and Sin Chew Evening Edition (11%).
Readers nowadays are in 'hunger' for balance-reporting. If a newspaper policy only caters for one political party, they may lose out to the 'fairer' ones. People would easily get blase and fed up with 'play balls' policy when they couldn't get any news from both sides of politics, and not all can afford more than a copy.

My opinion, business should come first. We must ensure good sales and profit to sustain operation, look after the welfare of employees and rewarding the shareholders.

While the new players are being more fair to news from both the ruling party and the opposition, the mainstream newspapers are still clinging on to their old mindset, no worries about any possibility of losing out to others because they have a political master to 'bail them out'.

Victimising Cadbury and the government...

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 04:03 AM PDT


The Health Ministry has launched an investigation to determine who within its organisation leaked a report about porcine DNA being detected in two batches of Cadbury chocolates, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

His attempt to pacify angry Muslims comes after the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) announced that tests conducted by an accredited lab had found no traces of pig DNA in the chocolates.

Hilmi said the ministry personnel had jumped the gun and leaked the report before further tests could be done to confirm the matter.

The ministry is in shambles. In my earlier blog post, I also blasted Cadbury. Yes, I jumped onto the bandwagon of disgusted consumers, especially the Muslims who treat pork as most sensitive compared to other 'dosa besar' (major sins).

However, after studying the case and talking to the respective authorities, I found out that the contaminated samples was 'too remote a case'. It could have been kept in a non-Muslim's refrigerator where pork meat was also preserved.

After all, the samples claimed to contain pig DNA did not come directly from Cadbury; it came from a non-Muslim store.

And then this one or two ministry's officers who were told about it had unnecessarily jumped over their 'extra-excitement'. It was related to friends who posted about it on Facebook, twitter and blogs. It went viral, and that's how it got started.

I wonder if there were efforts to sabotage the government through Cadbury. The choc manufacturer has been here for ages - almost 5 decades - and the single largest shareholder is Felda, the other is Boustead.

Both belongs to the government and Umno.

I believe Dr Hilmi was summoned by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak earlier today for some clarifications. It wasn't easy for the deputy minister amid mounting calls by some Muslim groups and NGOs for the government to close down Cadbury.

Some even asked the MACC to investigate Jakim which was accused of awarding the 'halal' certificate to Cadbury.

I think Cadbury will not do anything to cheat or insult the Muslims. What happened was beyond its control and comprehension. Jakim has engaged qualified team to conduct a test on Cadbury products and found it free of porcine.

The issue was well-fabricated, well-orchestrated and well-exaggerated. The social media was the campaign catalyst to help shoot down Cadbury, the government, the Health Ministry, Jakim and others, which was not fair at all.

Let's close the case and have faith in Cadbury and the authorities. It was not meant to provoke the Muslims... it was only a stupid mistake by few!


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