Taylor's FSLM Journals
A Transgressive Voice in a Restrictive Media Environment: A Study of Sinar Harian Coverage of the 2013 Malaysian General Election

@ SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research

Online ISSN: 2672-7080

Mohd Faizal Kasmani


Malaysian newspapers have a responsibility to be catalysts for national development. For that reason, newspapers in Malaysia are expected to not challenge the state and to partner the state toward nation-building. Although mainstream media in Malaysia are restricted by the state, this does not completely exclude more transgressive modes pushed by challengers. One of the newspapers that could be regarded as breaking the norm in its coverage with other mainstream newspapers in Malaysia is Sinar Harian. This research will study the kinds of transgressive forms of contention that tend to surface through the reporting of the newspaper. The reporting by Sinar Harian during the 2013 Malaysian General Election is subject to qualitative discourse analysis. The result shows that not only did Sinar Harian give space to the opposition group to challenge the authorities, but the newspaper also, at times, challenged the status quo by placing the ruling coalition Barisan National and opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat on an equal footing.

Keywords: Malaysia; mainstream newspapers; journalism; political communication; election; discourse analysis