“The mass media of tomorrow that we had waited for so long yesterday has at last arrived today” (Teoh, 2008)
The days of waking up to news on the radio and newspaper headline are now eventually being replaced by super rapid, one liner news alerts via Twitter; the era of micro blogging has arrived in Malaysia.
During the day of the Perak government collapse in May 2009, news of arrests surfaced, however online news portals and blogs were not able to deliver the news at its usual speed due to heavy online traffic. Administrators and users were frustrated as they were not receiving updates on the significant event occurring in Perak. This was when Twitter surfaced as the hero of quick media publishing. News updates were published in less than 140 words on Twitter, and its users became the most quickest updated individuals on the May 7 fiasco (The Malaysian Insider.com)
Twittering or micro blogging has swept across the nation changing the way we consume information; so much so, politicians and reporters are also riding the Twitter wave. This minute media publisher has brought tremendous effects on the media publishing industry. Gibson (2009) reports that many Malaysians between ages 15 to 40 are currently digitally-astute ‘netizens” and are not only message carriers but creators as well through social media; this asserts the fact that professionalism of media publishing may fall under threat as tech-savvy Malaysians now crave for short and precise information at rapid speed and are fully capable of publishing their own content, without much censorship.
Caption: Follow Me On Twitter (twitter.com)
Such changes that occur in news production practices are linked to the alterations in journalists’ professional identity and poses difficulty on proficient media production. (Mitchelstein & Boczkowski 2009, p.563); this affirms the fact that roles of journalists are in danger, as such online platforms that enable everyone to share information depletes the reliance on updates by news reporters.
Gibson, D 2009, ‘Communication for the connected generation’, The Star Online, 19 September, retrieved from http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/9/19/business/4739049&sec=business
Teoh, B 2008, ‘Trends & future on the Malaysian Mass Media’, Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya, viewed 18 November 2009, <http://www.ssig.gov.my/ssig/kcent/material/Bob%20Teoh.pdf>
Twitter finally arrives in Malaysia 2009, themalaysianinsider, viewed 18 November 2009, <http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/hafiznoorshams/25922-twitter-finally-arrives-in-malaysia>
Mitchelstein, E & Boczkowski, P 2009, ‘Between tradition and change: A review of recent research on online news production’, Journalism, vol.10, no.5, pp.562-586