Content from alternative news media often challenges the status quo and is sometimes viewed as a platform for the oppressed or minorities. Similarly, alternative news media in Malaysia are often viewed within similar roles. This research aims to analyse other roles played by alternative news media in Malaysia in light of the crisis reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous studies have studied issues of identity representations as framed in the news media. This research identifies sentiments of Islamophobia in Malaysia by looking into the framing of COVID-19 coverage from headlines produced by Free Malaysia Today for 90 days. Thematic analyses were employed whereby 139 headlines and sub-headlines were collected, analysed and categorised according to themes.
Keywords: Headlines, alternative news media, news organisations, Islamophobia, framing