Friday, 22 January 2016


So, real life is proving a particular, haughty, arrogant and obnoxious, self-styled new media "consultant" wrong about the "future" of digital and Internet-based media, and the "future" of journalism as a viable paying career, as media readership increasing moves into cyberspace, thus dragging media publication online too and advertising too.

That much, such charlatans will proclaim widely but downplay or suppress the other side that online advertising dollar for traditional news media has been found through experience to be far below print advertising dollar by a factor of around 1 to 10, which surely cannot sustain large numbers of journalists in well paid, secure employment.

Hey! It must sure be great to brand oneself as a "new media advocate" and get invited to speak at events, functions, round tables, radio talk shows, have your articles carried by various media for a fee, to sell your "consultancy" services to media publishers, political parties, businesses, NGOs and so forth right?. I'm sure there's plenty of moolah to be made there.

I have oftentimes said that branding is the art of selling sweetened, frozen excreta as a very unique and innovative "chocolate ice cream", and that's true of much branding exercises in Malaysia. Like how some Malaysian or China made home electrical appliances are branded by a certain company with grand American or European-sounding names, but which break down shortly after the warranty period is over and customers have to put up with shitty service by their service centre.

Hell! Even the company's name sounds very similar to that of a famous and reputable Japanese brand of consumer electronics and electrical appliances. But this Malaysian company's share price has been on a bull run, as the plebian masses buy its sub-standard products in droves, just because they look pretty and are cheap, then they meekly put up with its shitty quality and shitty customer services. But that's a topic for another story.

Back to the original topic of this post. In this report by The Star Online below, The Edge, a respected financial and business newspaper in Malaysia is downsizing with plans to retrench staff. The Edge is published in print and online.

The pro-opposition The Malaysian Insider which The Edge Media Group acquired in September 2014 is now to be sold off.

The NGO-funded, pro-opposition, subscription-based online-only news portal Malaysiakini decided to make a foray into business media and launched Kinibiz in print and online in 2013 but now plans to close it down on February 1, which happens to be the anniversary of the establishment of Kuala Lumpur as city with the status of a Federal Territory, though I'm quite sure it's unrelated.

Star Online article follows below.



Friday, 22 January 2016 | MYT 2:06 PM

Edge downsizing, TMI for sale, Kinibiz to shutter

PETALING JAYA: The Edge Media Group is downsizing in efforts to focus on its core business.

An internal memo sighted by The Star revealed that the group will be retrenching some staff from various companies, with others assigned new roles within the organisation.

With the two-month suspension of their weekly and daily publications significantly impacting their financials, the downsizing could be the group's way of weathering weak business and economic conditions in 2016 and 2017.

The Home Ministry had suspended the group's publishing permit for three months from July 27 last year, and the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Sept 21 quashed the Home Ministry's decision to suspend its two publications.

With plans to have their own TV news program on a broadcaster falling through, the group's video content will be reconfigured away from spot news coverage due to a lack of competitive advantage.

According to a source, The Malaysian Insider, which is also owned by The Edge, is also up for sale, while both print and online editions of Kinibiz will shut down on Feb 1.

Headed by joint CEO and founding editor P. Gunasegaram, Kinibiz began as an online-only business news portal in Feb 2013.

It went to a subscription-based service in May the same year and rolled out a fortnightly print business magazine in April 2015, which was under review due to poor sales.

The official announcement will reportedly be made next week.