One of Malaysia’s major Bahasa Malaysia daily is Berita Harian. It is a newspaper which is available throughout the week from Mondays to Saturdays with the Sunday edition called Berita Minggu.
The paper began publication on the day of independence which is the 31 August 1957. This gives Berita Harian a lot of significance since it is published in the national language. Then, Berita Harian was known as a more business paper. It was the printed in broadsheet format which went on for 50 years. In 2007, Berita Harian took a bold step and changed its format to tabloid style in an attempt to better target the younger readers.
Berita Harian is owned by NSTP (New Straits Times Press Bhd) the biggest print media company in Malaysia. This means that it is somewhat linked to the government’s ruling party, Barisan Nasional. The circulation for Berita Harian in 2009 was recorded by ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) was around 150,000.
Berita Harian also has a sister publication known as Harian Metro, which is more popular among the youth and contains more tabloid typed new. While Berita Harian is targeted at the executives and older readers, Harian Metro is aimed to provide news to the younger crowd.
Generally, Berita Harian contains daily news from the local and international fronts while sports, business and entertainment news are also reported in other pages. The change from broadsheet to tabloid style has given Berita Harian a breath of fresh air. In fact, it has changed the perception of readers towards the daily.
However, the association with NSTP and the political party means that the new and younger generation of readers might be sceptical into reading everything Berita Harian publishes. This is because any media linked with the government will always be seen to be biased.
Besides news and current issues, Berita Harian also contains segments like world news, business news, technology and such. One of the highlights of Berita Harian is that it comes with a daily supplement for education. This includes exercises and revision for students in the secondary schools to practice on in improving their language and other skills. This is a very significant effort for Berita Harian which has been distributed and subscribed by national schools all over the country as part of their extra curricular exercises.