Aliran webinar: Is there media freedom and independence in the digital era?

In the past, the mainstream media were analysed along linguistic and regional lines eg Sabah and Sarawak media. It was fairly easy to identify the political and business interests behind those media. And the alternative media were smaller publications and even websites.

But with the onset of the digital era, the lines have become blurred and transparency has fallen. This raises fundamental questions about how much media freedom and independence we really have. Readers are often at a loss over who actually owns and funds the media, given the lack of transparency over ownership and financing.

The media also have to deal with legal constraints and questions over long-term financial sustainability, making them more reliant on external funding.

Apart from news portals, social media also serve as megaphones for the famous and those with enough resources to target their messages.

So what is mainstream now and what is alternative? The internet has made things so fluid that alternative media can morph into mainstream to some degrees.

So how do we know which media to trust and which we can rely on?

Panel members:

  • Dr Mustafa K Anuar – A long-time Aliran exco member and former honorary secretary. Former USM associate professor who has taught many who are now journalists
  • Himanshu Bhatt – a veteran journalist and news editor in the print and online media and now executive editor of an online news portal
  • Dr Ngo Sheau Shi – a senior lecturer in communications with USM
  • Prof Zaharom Nain – Professor of media and communication studies at University Nottingham Malaysia, with a background primarily in Political Economy and Media Sociology
  • Moderator: Anil Netto, Aliran president
READ MORE:  Stop suppressing the media: The police need to be held accountable!

This webinar was held on 18 March 2021.

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Hakimi Abdul Jabar
25 May 2021 12.21pm

Malaysian NGOs & CSOs such as Suaram & Aliran and their members are empowered under the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy pursuant to UNGA (A/RES/60/288) to engage, as appropriate, on how to enhance efforts to implement the Strategy. This means if there are human rights abuses or framed victims by state organs/apparatus etc., they have such right to bring up the HR abuses to the UN itself in the determination of Human Rights for All and the Rule of Law.

25 Mar 2021 9.32am

May I know where can I watch the repay?

Aliran admin
25 Mar 2021 10.53am
Reply to  lim

We will be putting it up on our website in the coming week.

Unni K Menon
11 Mar 2021 11.26pm

A timely seminar and one that will no doubt attract many viewers and provoke much discussion. But reading the blurb you’ve written I wonder if the question you raise in the title touches the issues that you apoear to be concerned with. The ‘digital world’ spins in a larger space threatening a xider range if freedoms than thosr claimed by media.

Aliran is a great movement, consistent and always on the right side. I’ll make a small donation and register

Aliran admin
12 Mar 2021 11.25am
Reply to  Unni K Menon

Thanks for the encouraging words, Unni. Will pass your message on to the organising team.