Representation of the Indian Community in the Media in Malaysia

By Ponmalar N. Alagappar, Maya Khemlani David and Karamjeet Kaur.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The media, mainly the press, play an important role in forming public opinion and shaping societal attitudes. The Malaysian Indian community is a minority as they comprise only 8% of the population and Tamils, the majority of whom are Hindus, comprise 90% of the Malaysian Indian population. A fairly new movement HINDRAF (Hindu Rights Action Force) has a coalition of 30 Hindu Non-Governmental organizations committed to the preservation of Hindu community rights and heritage in the country. The movement has caused much controversy and the government has recently deemed it illegal. This paper examines how Malaysian Indians are represented in an English daily- New Straits Times from October 2007 to December 2007, the period before and after the HINDRAF rally. A content analysis of the New Straits Times was conducted to establish and document the basic features and characteristics of the type of news reported. The protest/rally by HINDRAF affected the way Indians were represented in the news. The findings will be discussed.

Keywords: Malaysian Indians, Media, New Straits Times, Minority

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 8, pp.153-172. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.305MB).

Ponmalar N. Alagappar

Lecturer, Section for Co-curricular Courses, External Faculty Electives & TITAS (SKET), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia

Ponmalar N Alagappar obtained a degree (Hons) in Psychology and minored in Anthropology and Sociology from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1992 and Master in Business Administration from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 1999. She is presently working as a lecturer in University Malaya and is pursuing her PhD in the area of organizational behaviour. Her research interest is in organisationa behaviour, sociology and media.

Prof. Maya Khemlani David

Head, Section for Co-curricular Courses, External Faculty Electives & TITAS (SKET), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia

Maya Khemlani David, PhD, is a Professor at SKET, University of Malaya. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, U.K. and a Research Fellow with UPSI, Malaysia. As a sociolinguists, she has a special interest in the role of discourse in establishing and maintaining national unity in a multicultural society.

Karamjeet Kaur

School of Communication, aylors University College Sdn Bhd.

Karamjeet Kaur is working as a lecturer in Taylor's University College Sdn Bhd. She obtained her Master in Communication from Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her reserach interest is public relations and minority.

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