Independent news wins Malaysia’s social election (but loses in old media)

It was, as Rob O’Brien pointed out last week, Malaysia’s social media election. But how did the social media chatter break down?

Social media analysis firm Meltwater has produced some numbers for Mumbrella that show how elections-related chatter picked up in the week before Malaysia headed for the polls – and what Malaysians were talking about the most.

Source: Meltwater

Worryingly for the country’s government-backed press, the most popular item was Malaysiakini, the country’s most popular independent news source.

Malaysiakini came out ahead of the online version government-backed newspaper The Star. Other popular words were Malaysian PM Najib Razak, the most popular election issue – corruption – and the method of voting with indelible ink.

Malaysia social media election - theme cloud

But social media is one thing.

A report by the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia campus and Malaysia’s Centre for Independent Journalism found that the Prime Minister was given far more coverage in traditional media than the opposition – which generally took a hammering on TV, radio and in newspapers.

The opposition received more than four times more negative coverage in the Malay media, while Chinese language media was equable in its reporting, an article in Asian Correspondent pointed out.

Robin Hicks


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