State Intervention in Malaysia and the Uk

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Submitted By itsmeaggie
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How much does state intervention in the media system vary between Malaysia and the United Kingdom?
In 2012, Freedom House ranked Malaysia 144th out of 197 countries in their press freedom survey, labelling it “not free” because it continues to stifle the voices of critical journalists. How is it possible that a former colony of Britain, a nation with a free press tradition, ended up in this scandalous situation? Let us compare the media systems of the United Kingdom (UK) and Malaysia today.
Autonomy vs. state intervention
It is common to hear that the Malaysian journalistic field is restricted in reporting political and public issues (Kenyon, 2010). As one of many developing countries that support the guided press notion, the Malaysian government argues that by curbing certain freedoms within the mass media, the aims of national development can be met (Raj & Sreekumar, 2012). As a result, Malaysian journalists are swallowed in boundless lengths of red tape – all of which are adversely used in the government’s favour to constrain the media’s freedom of speech.
Some of Malaysia’s legislations can be traced back to their inception during the British colonial period (Omar, 1996). In the face of a Communist insurgency in 1948, a state of emergency was declared. The Malayan Emergency, as it was dubbed, marked the beginning of a series of media campaigns implemented by Government Information Services to impede subversion and infiltration while promoting loyalty to the government (Lent, 1975, p. 663-664). Many of these acts were retained even after the end of the Emergency in 1960 and are (in some form or another) still enforced today. It then comes as no surprise that a country formed under oppression cannot be anything other than authoritarian. But it is ironic that while the Malaysian media at the time was increasingly being hard-pressed to report only…...

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