Thursday, June 28, 2007

Malaysian newspapers: Spun as differently as the sun and the stars

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'd find that - of the mainstream newspapers, I like The Sun the best. And that I reckon NST and The Star are not worth the recycled toilet paper they are printed on.

The Sun tends to tell things as it is, not spun like goddamn candy floss. And unlike malaysiakini, which is another good source of alternative news, The Sun is free.

So, where is this little tirade coming from? Have a read of two versions of the same story - of a young couple who wanted to get their marriage registered at the NRD but were delayed due to some procedural discrepancies. One version is from The Star, the other from The Sun. I couldn't find the story in NST.

Read how The Star paints the NRD as soooo.. customer service oriented, with a can-do attitude.

The Sun's version however, reveals the NRD to be like cattle. A cow that only takes a single step each time you prod it with a stick. In this case, the stick was the increasing number of reporters showing up at the NRD.


Wedding glitch ‘addressed’ quickly

While the anxious couple and fretful family members waited outside the office, the matter was conveyed to NRD Director-General Datuk Mohd Abdul Halim Muhammad.

To their relief, he directed Suhaili to register the marriage.

Mohd Abdul Halim said: “As government officials, our job is to serve the public. I told my officers to be sympathetic and offer all the help they can and to be pragmatic.”

NRD almost spoils the day for would-be couple

Upset that they were not told earlier of this procedural matter, family members and friends called the press to "witness" their marriage.

When a reporter showed up at the NRD, the officer promised to solve the problem within a week.

When more newsmen turned up, the waiting period was reduced to five days.

In the end, the NRD decided give the couple their day to remember by going ahead with the registration.


Anonymous said...

It's worth saving the RM1.50 for roti canai. I have boycotted buying the Star for years.

Anonymous said...

i read the star for its wealth of advertisments, to check out latest outlet sale.

reader's digest is also crap. i remember the good old days of RD. full of powerful articles. nowadays it is just about weight loss and BRAND surveys.

luckily we have internet now to read the real stuff.

Anonymous said...

We should all support the Sun. Advertisers please do so by advertising in the Sun.At least the Sun is not controlled by some stupid politicians who dont even have confidence in themselves!

seantang said...

The Sun is not controlled directly by politicians, but it is controlled by certain businessmen who depend very much on the favour / mood of certain politicians. Oh well, at least it is not directly controlled by BN component parties like virtually every other broadsheet.


21-06-2007: Nexnews to do 'whatever it takes'to be a major media player
By Surin Murugiah
The Edge

Nexnews Bhd will do "whatever it takes" to become a major media player, and minority shareholders who believe that the strategy the company is deploying will succeed are welcome to stay on by not accepting the voluntary general offer (VGO) for their shares.

Executive deputy chairman Tong Kooi Ong told reporters after Nexnews' annual general meeting yesterday: "We are very passionate about what we are doing with our publications and we will invest whatever it takes to make all of them successful."

Nexnews owns 100% of Sun Media Corp Sdn Bhd which publishes theSun newspaper and 50% of The Edge Communications which publishes The Edge weekly, Personal Money, Off The Edge and the just launched The Edge Financial Daily.

While The Edge Communications is making money, Sun Media is still investing to grow the circulation of theSun, the free national newspaper, and therefore will not be making any profit yet.

"Nexnews and theSun will do well in the long term but we need to invest substantially in the short term, so some shareholders might not like this and the VGO is a chance for them to exit," said Tong. "But those who believe in and like this model (of long-term investment) are welcome to stay."

The two major shareholders of Nexnews — Tong's Net Edge Online Sdn Bhd and Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun — have offered to buy Nexnews shares at RM1.27 each, warrants at 27 sen each and the Irredeemable Convertible Preference Shares (ICPS) at RM1 each. The two offerors currently have a collective 53% shareholding in Nexnews.

Tong reiterated that the VGO was not being done with the intention to privatise or de-list Nexnews from the stock exchange. "This (VGO) is for shareholders to cash out if they want to exit. We suspect a majority would want to stay on (as minority shareholders) but we would not know for sure until the closing date (July 6)," he said.

On the immediate outlook, Tong said advertising revenue in theSun has been increasing and that it could turn around at its current circulation level of 265,000 copies per day but the plan is to raise circulation further.

"It is certainly the intention of Nexnews and theSun to increase its circulation. Strategically it would be better for circulation to grow (to gain more advertising revenue), but this will also increase cost," he said.

Asked what was the targeted circulation for theSun, Tong hinted it will be more than 320,000 copies a day. The Star is currently the highest circulating English daily with 310,000 copies a day.

On the latest addition to its publishing portfolio, The Edge Financial Daily, Nexnews managing director and group editor-in-chief Ho Kay Tat said the reception from readers and advertisers has been very positive.

"We are quite happy with the response but it has only been three weeks and there is still a long way to go and a lot of work still to do," he said