KUALA LUMPUR: The Chinese papers are more balanced if compared to mainstream dailies of other languages, according to a local university study.
The preliminary findings of the research conducted by Chang Peng Kee from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia(UKM) showed that Chinese dailies gave more space to both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.
“Basically, the Chinese papers slant was more balanced and included sources from both the government, Barisan Nasional and other parties,”said Chang.
Malay papers, on the other hand, appeared to be more “Pro BN” and also indulged in attacks on the Opposition.
“However, English and Tamil papers are pro BN but does not attack Opposition,” said Chang, who said that he will disclose more detailed information once the study was finalized.
The research studied the contents of eight different newspapers for 17 days between April 20 to May 6. According to the current data of the incomplete study, Malay dailies were 28.3% “BN positive” and 23.8% “PR negative” while Chinese dailies were 11.6% “BN positive” while 13.3% “PR positive”.
English dailies, on the other hand were 22.8% “BN positive” and 12.4% “PR negative” and Tamil papers 38.7% “BN positive”.
When asked about Najib’s reference to Chinese papers, Chang declined to comment, saying that he did not want to make any inferences other than the data he has collected.
“I can just say that Chinese papers reflect the scenario of the Chinese community. There is pro and con and whatever in their articles, unlike some media of other languages, I think you can see inclination.
A member of the floor then asked if the research studied evening papers, which the participant claimed “is said to be harsh against the government, Malays and Islam”.
SinChew deputy editor-in-chief Tay Tian Yan, who will be the speaker on Monday, commented on this: “As a editor of a Chinese daily, I can vouch that there is no anti-malay or anti islam elements in the Chinese papers. But we are very much about national unity.”
This research results is likely to revive debate about a comment by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak which diverted attacks against Utusan Malaysia to the Chinese papers.
“You blamed Utusan but you don’t ask about the Chinese papers,” Najib was quoted as saying two days after the May 5 GE13 results. Reporters had then asked him about the apparent disconnect between Utusan's frontpage "Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?" and the call for national reconciliation.