Taylor's FSLM Journals
The Internet and Online News: A Case Study of Urban Youths in the Klang Valley

@ SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research

Online ISSN: 2672-7080

*Carmen S.M. Nge, Sharon Wilson, Pauline P.Y. Leong & Ngerng M. H.


When the Internet was introduced, there were comparatively few websites, especially news websites. Furthermore, only those who were privileged could have access to the Internet. These mostly comprised political parties who developed and maintained discussion groups and websites to disseminate news. Today, new media technology’s drastic developments in the communications field has had a big impact on society at large. The development and pervasive availability of information and activities seem to offer people the opportunity of quick access, and systematically allowing for, in seconds, what would have previously taken months, pursuing newspaper stacks of microfilm rolls. These features supersede the more traditional print medium in terms of delivering news with immediacy and impact, and act as a powerful lure that continually draws readers. This paper questions online consumer behaviour with regard to the use of the Internet and explores the reasons for this use. From a survey of 1,000 students of institutions of higher education in the Klang Valley, findings reveal that youths still rely on traditional media to obtain news. Hence, it is not 100% migration to new media, unlike in the United States and Europe. However, almost all respondents own a computer and go online daily. Only a few areas of consumer behaviour show some significant differences between gender and ethnic groups in terms of their online activities. Findings also reveal that the top online news site is MalaysiaKini with all others coming in a pale second. It can, therefore, be said that there is no complete migration to the Internet for news. Students’ access of online news is still very much in the one-way communication mode (i.e. to get facts and not necessarily to interact or dialogue).

Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Internet, online, youth