Covenant cog or functional fourth estate: a survey of Malaysian journalists’ attitudes towards their profession
journalists, Malaysia, freedom, professionalism, news media
In Malaysia, the idealistic notion of the news media as 'watchdog' is largely redundant due to the external and institutional realities associated with its functioning in a heavily regulated, monitored and controlled media system. There has been little analysis of Malaysian journalists' perceptions of their profession. Operating within an authoritarian mediascape, Malaysian journalists have to surrender their journalistic values and principles of practice thereby pervading a culture of self-censorship. This study draws from a survey of Malaysian journalists between January 2010 and January 2011 and reveals about a fourth estate struggling to assert itself within the complex and flawed processes of Malaysian democracy. The study addresses the professional aspirations, restrictions, attitudes, and motivations of Malaysian journalists and utilizes Bourdieu's theories of field and habitus to highlight the relative levels of independence, professionalism experienced by journalists within the structured social spaces of Malaysian newsrooms.
Jalarajan Raj, S. & Sreekumar, R. (2012). Covenant cog or functional fourth estate: a survey of Malaysian journalists’ attitudes towards their profession. The Romanian Review of Journalism & Communication 7(1), 16-33.
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