New form of media publishing

One trend in blogosphere that has fueled the popularity of blogging is a citizen-based form of journalism.

This is a rather prevalent trend in Malaysia. Due to media ownership problems and various restrictions from publication laws (such as Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Defamation Act 1957, Sedition Act 1948, Official Secret Act 1972, etc), some of the self-obliged citizens have resorted to using new media (including blogs) to publish the uncovered news stories.

These bloggers are seen actively involved in exposing misdeeds and corruption in the government. Now this might sound like a joke, but in actuality it is not. As Trippi (2004, cited in Allan 2006, p. 172) confides, “the little-known secret in newsrooms is that right now reporters are beginning every day by reading the blogs. They’re looking for the pulse of the people, for political fallout, for stories they might have missed.”

Yet, sometimes, in so doing, bloggers carry it insofar as resorting to name-calling, spreading unsubstantiated rumors, conspiracy theory (Cooper 2007). This has led to some serious debates on whether bloggers should be subjected to the traditional journalistic codes of ethics (Webb 2003). Others have even attempted in creating exclusive ethical codes for bloggers only (Kuhn 2007; A blogger’s code of ethics 2008).

Raja Petra inside poblic lock-up (The Star 2008)

Raja Petra inside poblic lock-up (The Star 2008)

Of course, not all bloggers are in the same line, and most who blog for such purposes are often working on an assumption that publishing online can afford them the impunity from the aforementioned publication laws and journalism ethics (‘Danger of misusing blogs’ 2008). But one has only to look at the recent detention of Raja Petra and Jeff Ooi’s trial to know that these laws and ethics still actually apply in the cyberspace (Puah 2008; ‘Malaysia blogger held for dissent’ 2008).


‘A blogger’s code of ethics’ 2008, Retrieved 12 November, 2008, from

Allan, S 2006, Online news, Open University Press, London.

Cooper, SD 2007, ‘A concise history of the fauxtography blogstorm in the 2006 Lebanon War’, American Communication Journal, vol. 9, no.2.

‘Danger of misusing blogs’ 2008, Sun2Surf, 12 November. Retrieved 12 November, 2008, from

Kuhn, M 2007, ‘Interactivity and prioritizing the human: a code of blogging ethics’, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, vol. 22, no.1, pp. 18-36.

‘Malaysia blogger held for dissent’ 2008’, BBC. Retrieved 12 November, 2008, from

Puah, P 2008, ‘NST sues Jeff Ooi, Rocky for defamation’, Sun2Surf, 12 November. Retrieved 12 November 2008, from

Webb, CL 2003, ‘The great blogging ethics debate’, Washington Post, 9 April. Retrieved 12 November, 2008, from