Research Proposal on Investigative Journalism in Malaysia

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  • Topic: Investigative journalism, Mass media, Journalism genres
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  • Published : January 4, 2013
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A Research Proposal on Investigative Journalism in Malaysia from Media Practitioners' Perspectives Investigative journalism is still in its infancy in Malaysia although it has been practiced for decades around the world. Malaysia media is under strict government control through laws and ownership. However, with the invention of the internet, it has become easier for the journalist to search and get information. This situation has triggered investigative journalism in the country. This study will explore the concept of investigative journalism in Malaysia from media practitioners' perspective as their view will determine the practice of investigative journalism in Malaysian media. Content analysis of local newspapers will be used in study one to gather background information on the current practice. Second study will employ semi-structured in depth interview to collect more data and verify information collected in the first study. INTRODUCTION

Investigative journalism plays an important role for democracy. Its watchdog function has been proven around the world as it keeps the government accountable. This kind of journalism has been practiced for decades but its practice varies from one country to another depending on various factors including media system, ownership and culture which influencing the practitioners' understanding and practice. Malaysian media environment is quite different compared with other countries. Apart from being a democratic country, Malaysian media is under a tight government control both through ownership and laws. On top of that Malaysia becomes an interesting subject for this study as it is a multi-cultural nation. These elements will definitely influence the media and journalism culture practice by media practitioners in this country. Research Background

The ideal investigative journalism as defined by Investigative Reporters and Editor, means in-depth and original research and reporting, often involving the unearthing of secrets, heavy use of public records, and computer-assisted reporting, with a focus on social justice and accountability. It is not a spoon-fed journalism which relies on official statements, press conferences and press releases. Tanner (2002) cited three basic elements outlined by which stressed that investigation must be the work of the reporter, not a report of an investigation made by someone else. The subject of the story must involve something of reasonable importance to the reader or viewer and that others are attempting to hide these matters from the public. Therefore, investigative journalists needs to be creative, sensitive, patience, diligent , analytical and incisive mind with strong motivation (Anderson and Benjamin son, 1976) in finding facts and data to prove their story. Investigative journalism has been practiced around the world for decades. Although its investigative tradition has started hundreds of years ago, scholars prefer to cite the classic United States' Watergate scandal in 1970s as the beginning of investigative journalism. it noted the same development as said this kind of watchdog journalism has grown dramatically around the world. However, the way reporters practice it varies from one country to another. According to scholars, journalism cannot be practiced outside the culture and political system in which it is practiced. Same goes to investigative journalism where investigative journalists around the world including Tanzania practicing it according to their understanding, cultures, values, political systems and media environment.

Problem Statement
Tanzanian media as a democratic country is supposed to be practicing liberal media system like the Westerners where the media is theoretically said to be free from government control as they belongs to private corporations. Media people contributed this scenario to tanzania's status as developing country where government needs to use the media to disseminate development messages and change people's...
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