Through a case study of Malaysia, this article examines the news media as a set of sites for political participation. Mainstream media, comprising national newspapers and broadcasters, are closely regulated. While the contentiousness of Malaysia's competitive elite politics is sometimes mirrored in the mainstream media, such conflict tends to be contained within existing political arrangements, reproducing the regime. Potentially transgressive forms of contention tend to be excluded by the mainstream media, surfacing instead through alternative media, especially independent websites and blogs. While there are marked differences between mainstream and alternative media, however, this article emphasizes that they both remain highly contested sites. The mainstream media may be characterized by their conservative orientation, but they are not immune to challenge from within by more contentious forces. Conversely, while alternative media are hospitable to insurgent activity, they are being partly colonized by more established political forces.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations
- Alternative media
- Social movements