Citing a difficult year for the media industry in Malaysia in which newspapers have folded, journalists have been laid off, the media probed and even facing legal action, media advocacy groups have called for solidarity action.
The action is jointly organised by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Gerakan Media Malaysia (Geramm), Article 19 Malaysia, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia (FCCM) and the Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IOJ) to show solidarity for the Malaysian media industry.
“Join us in our #SiapaJagaMedia and #MediaWeWant online campaign today.
“Use the two hashtags and share the posters in this thread on your social media networks from 12pm to 5pm today,” said the groups.
Among the challenges the groups highlighted included Malaysiakini’s court case over readers’ comments, the banning of the book “Rebirth: Reform, Resistance and Hope in New Malaysia”, raids on Gerakbudaya and the probe into the Al-Jazeera documentary “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown”.
Financial challenges included the closing of publisher BluInc Media which had published over a dozen well-loved titles since the 1970s, the cessation of the Sin Chew Daily’s night edition and China Press’ evening edition.
Utusan Malaysia’s closure after 80 years of publishing (although it has since been reopened) and the halting of publication of The Edge Financial Daily as well as layoffs and retrenchment at Media Prima and The Star Media Group have also impacted on the industry in the last 12 months.
The groups had a special message for Malaysiakini:
“We know that times have been tough for Malaysiakini as well. Know that we stand in solidarity with you!”