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Is Print Media Dead? Not For “Pakcik Lejen” Of Jalan Sultan Omar, And Certainly Not For Its Avid Readers

Is Print Media Dead? Not For “Pakcik Lejen” Of Jalan Sultan Omar, And Certainly Not For Its Avid Readers

Due to technological advancements, many major media outlets have moved to online platforms to deliver news and information.

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Do you still read newspapers? While some of us no longer do, we can probably still see our parents or grandparents still relying on physical newspapers, especially in the morning while having breakfast.

They might have even tried to influence their grandchildren to pick up a newspaper because at one point in time, not too long ago, it was still the main source of information.

However, times have changed, and so is the habit of consuming news. With technological advancement, news from newspapers, no matter how early in the morning, is already considered stale.

With real time information available through newsportals and social media platforms, many have made the transition, abandoning the good old broadsheet, or tabloids.

The production of newspapers have decreased drastically since many media companies have adopted online platforms.

The lack of uncles delivering newspapers door to door every morning on their Honda EX-5s is a testament to this.

While newspaper readership has declined, the industry is still very much alive.

As is evident in a TikTok video shared by @pencaribaranglurus of a newspaper vendor who remains loyal to his business.

The video showed “Pakcik Lejen” of Jalan Sultan Omar in Kuala Terengganu, smiling as he arranged the newspapers at his stall.

@pencaribaranglulus Surat khabar Pakcik Lejem Jalan Sultan Omar #suratkhabar #newspaper #paper #legend #jalansultanomar #kualaterengganu #terengganu #viral #fyp #foryou #lulus #baranglulus ♬ Jalan – Jalan – Juki Batak

History Of Newspapers in Malaysia

The first newspaper in Tanah Melayu was published in Penang in the year 1806 and was known as The Prince of Wales Island Gazette.

It primarily served the English-speaking expatriate community and was later followed by other publications in the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca, and Singapore.

Development in the 20th Century

The 20th century saw significant growth in Malaysia’s newspaper industry. Key publications like The Straits Times (which then saw the birth of the New Straits Times), established in 1845, and Utusan Melayu, founded in 1939, became pivotal in shaping public opinion and providing news coverage.

These newspapers played crucial roles during Malaysia’s fight for independence and subsequent nation-building efforts

Post-Independence Era

Following independence in 1957, Malaysia’s print media landscape diversified. Newspapers in multiple languages, including Bahasa Melayu, Chinese, and Tamil emerged to serve the country’s multicultural population.

Publications such as Berita Harian, Sin Chew Daily, and Tamil Nesan became integral parts of Malaysian society, catering to different ethnic communities.

Since then, many publications have been established to cater to the needs of society.

It is also the newspaper industry that saw the emergence of many passionate and award-winning journalists.

Newspapers also played a pivotal role in the education system. Specifically, during the time of the public exam known as Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR).

Many 90s and early 2000 students would remember going through the newspaper to get tips and spot questions for the exam.

Sadly, many newspapers have ceased their print editions, with the most prominent one being The Malay Mail.

Digital Transformation

The transition from print to online media in Malaysia has been driven by technological advancements and evolving consumer behaviours.

Major newspapers now have online versions, with some shifting entirely to digital platforms.

With The Malay Mail no longer running its stories through the printing press, the Malay Mail Online offers real-time news updates, multimedia content, and interactive features that attract younger, tech-savvy audiences.

This transition was seen prominently happening during the pandemic as many journalists could not go out to get their news.

Print Media Still Has A Role

Despite that, print media still holds relevance in certain segments.

Older generations and rural populations, who may have limited access to digital media, continue to rely on newspapers for their news consumption.

Additionally, print media retains credibility and trust among readers who prefer tangible news sources over digital formats

Mainstream publications that are still in print today are The Star, New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Harian Metro, Kosmo and Sin Chew Daily, among others.

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