Approaches Toward Theorizing Malay Journalism: History, Criticism and Context

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Ahmad Murad Merican


The location of journalism education, and hence understanding the profession and the craft has taken a turn toward contextualizing it within communication and media studies and hence viewing it exclusively in the interest of the national polity. This paper discusses the identity of journalism and history of Malay journalism at the analytical level, as well as at the empirical and the popular levels. Thus far, debates with regard to conceptualizing journalism in Malaysia have been silent on the problems of epistemology and journalism as a form of knowledge, history and criticism in relation to colonial society and the nation-state. Thus, there is di connectedness on journalism as an idea and an area of research in relations to its practice. Ironically the study of journalism as positioned in communication schools in Malaysia has not found their subject matter. Journalism has been invariably taught and researched as a practice and a profession with much folk wisdom and ‘hearsay,’ without much historical understanding, criticism or self-consciousness. The history of journalism and its inherent values is left to the historical and other social sciences. Thus knowledge of journalism in its historical and cultural contexts are not legitimized and referred to for the very reason that it is not seen as originating from the communication studies domain. Studying journalism within communication has led to its domestication, thus denying it as a genre in historical and political consciousness. This paper suggests that for journalism to unearth its subject matter in theory and in practice, it has to find affinity in the historical, and the human and social sciences.


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MERICAN, Ahmad Murad. Approaches Toward Theorizing Malay Journalism: History, Criticism and Context. Malaysian Journal of Media Studies, [S.l.], v. 17, n. 1, p. 1-11, june 2015. ISSN 2231-8143. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 july 2020.