Editors’ Choice Versus Readers’ Choice: Press Role in Creating Public Awareness and Understanding of The Government Transformation Programmes (GTP)

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Azahar Kasim
Awan Ismail
Mohd Sobhi Ishak
Norsiah Abdul Hamid


The research makes a contribution to understanding the different ways of how media is conceptualised through an investigation of how and why GTP is practised in Malaysia. Therefore, the main aims of this article are to analyse the role of Berita Harian (BH) newspaper in reporting on the Malaysian Government Transformation Plan (GTP), and to examine how editors understand and talk about GTP strengths and limitations to the society. The study was conducted in two phases; first, by exploring the frequencies of news articles from May 2010 and June 2013 and second, by examining the contributing factors influencing reporting of the GTP, based on the understanding of readers. In this regard, this research offers a omprehensive analysis of GTP strengths and limitations as reported in BH. The case study focuses on BH news article. An analysis of 18 BH news articles between 2010 to 2013 is included, to investigate how BH frames GTP. Agenda setting by the government and the gatekeeper role by the editorials are also analyzed since it has an impact on reportage, specifically on GTP issues. In addition, a survey among BH readers involving 50 respondents was conducted to understand their awareness of the GTP based on their reading of the editorial’s section of the BH. The findings also demonstrate evidence of the importance to understand the editors’ and readers’ expectations. The editors as gatekeepers of the media organisation should ensure that the readers are aware of the information they wrote about the government’s policy. However, the analysis of the survey responses clearly indicates that that the readers, or in the context of the gatekeeping theory, are known as ‘the gated’, were not really aware and have not really understood the message that the editorials retrying to put across.



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