Noted bloggers have panned the results of Edelman’s Trust Barometer for suggesting that there is a ‘trust deficit’ between the public and the mainstream media.
Edelman’s Global CEO Matthew Harrington told StarBiz that the level of trust the public has for the local media can be improved and that, “Having better engagement with readers, having constant dialogue and being more transparent about its agenda is needed to create more trust for the Malaysian media sector.”
MP P Kamalanathan however questioned how the survey was conducted.
“It may be a subjective issue, but if you speak to a pro-opposition supporter, he or she will express their distrust in the print media...however, if you speak to pro-government people, they will say that they trust the media,” he said.
Criticism aside, the Edelman survey is among the few on the influence of the Malaysian mainstream media.
If global trends hold sway in Malaysia, the mainstream outlets should be panicking over the loss of revenues as a result of the internet, but that discussion, while not absent in this country, has not reached the franctic levels as seen in the UK or the US.
Paywalls, a major discussion point in those markets, is a subject rarely expored here.
There are exceptions of course: Malaysiakini has been subscription-based since 2002, while publications under the Utusan banner only post partial articles to nudge readers into buying the physical copies.
The push to bring screens to new screens, on the other hand, has gained prominence. Almost every major newspaper in the country has some kind of tablet app that packages their daily editions into digital formats.
Arguably right now those iPad editions appear to be straight ports of the print editions but it’s early days yet, and digital exclusive content is slowly emerging.