Malaysiakini is an online-based news portal in Malaysia. It actually means ‘Malaysia Now’ in Bahasa Malaysia. Malaysiakini began operations in 1999 and has since grown to become one of the most popular news media in the country where it provides the latest news and reports on current affairs to its readers.
Among all the news agencies and owners in Malaysia, Malaysiakini is perhaps one of the most read and followed ones due to its mantra of being an unbiased and neutral reporting style. Its philosophy has always been to offer news that is independent and apolitical.
Not being pro-government makes a huge difference in the popularity of Malaysiakini. This is because many mainstream media like Utusan Malaysia, The Star, New Straits Times, and Berita Harian are owned by a political component of the ruling party, Barisan Nasional.As such, this makes Malaysiakini the engine for check and balance when it comes to news reporting. Through the reports, it gives the general public that the government has to be accountable for the issues affecting the common Malaysian. In fact, it has often been viewed to be pro-opposition to a large extent as it has been seen to criticize the government’s decisions in many reports, something that Malaysiakini has often denied.
As an online portal, Malaysiakini is one of the top websites in Malaysia surpassing many other popular sites due to its nature of reporting which is sometimes deemed to be controversial. The online site is published in English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. It is basically a subscription-based news agency where readers are paying for the content that they read.Readers would need to pay a monthly or periodical subscription in order to read the full news report here. On the main site, Malaysiakini publishes excerpts or previews of the news. Due to its nature of being an online company, it is not tightly scrutinized by the regulations of media reporting where it rides on the no censorship of the internet in the Bill of Guarantees of the MSC Malaysia.The daily updated news covers most issues in the country with a focus on political issues and such. There are columns, blogs, and exclusive interviews with prominent individuals which touch on the daily issues that are affecting the lives of Malaysians. Malaysiakini is strong advocacy where it rallying for freedom of speech and justice for the people who have been wrongly accused or alleged to have been so. The main focus of Malaysiakini has always been on its political news segment where they usually offer the unspoken word from the streets. This has, however, caused a lot of problems for Malaysiakini which has already been investigated by the authorities, has their office raided, and even sued by political leaders.In the first few years after the launch of Malaysiakini, it garnered a lot of support from its readers mainly because it was critical of what was going on in the political arena. This affected issues like voting processes, protests, citizen participation, and many others. As a result, there was a critical need for an alternative vigilant media.
In a survey carried out in 2019, it was found that Malaysiakini was the top choice for news online. This was reported by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism where Malaysiakini topped the list for news read online within a week ahead of The Star Online and Astro Awani. Malaysiakini was also among the top 5 most trusted brands in this segment. With more than 2.5 million readers every month, Malaysiakini continues to offer some of the most cutting-edge news and reports on the current issues happening across the country.