Saturday, 24 February 2018


I've oftentimes said that I would never recommend to young school leavers looking to to pursue a career, that they should pursue print or digital journalism, since with competition for advertising revenue from global Internet giants such as Google and Facebook, and with reports of print advertising revenue declining 10 times as fast as digital advertising revenue is growing, they could find themselves out of work in their 40s or even earlier, burdened with the costs of raising a family, a car loan and housing loan to pay off.

I once told mass communications students at a local private university that instead of journalism, they should seriously consider corporate communications or public relations as a career after graduation.

And, if one still wants to pursue a career in journalism, for a while it was thought that a business and financial publication would be a safer bet than a general news or lifestyle publication but that seems to be no longer so, as some local business and financial publications had gone or are going all online and digital to stay afloat, which usually is the first step on the road to oblivion.

Well, The Star of 23 February 2018 reports that local business and financial newspaper, Focus Malaysia, founded in 2012 has been acquired by digital branding and marketing agency Inno Mind Works Sdn Bhd and that two-thirds of its current staff are likely to be retrenched, as it transitions to an all digital platform.

With the departure of Focus Malaysia from the news stands for the online and digital world, that leaves The Edge standing still in print but for how long, one wonders.

Inno Mind Works is new owner of Focus Malaysia - Business News

PETALING JAYA: Business weekly

Focus Malaysia

has obtained a new owner, digital branding and marketing agency Inno Mind Works Sdn Bhd (IMW).

The staff were verbally informed of the news yesterday.

According to a source, the letters were expected to be given to the staff next week.

It was learnt that only one-third of the staff shall be retained by the new owner, while rehiring will be on a case-by-case basis.

Astro Awani reported that IMW managing director and founder Datuk Michael Yip has confirmed the purchase of Focus Malaysia, adding that it is IMW's main agenda to make a transition to the digital platform.

Focus Malaysia was founded in 2012.

According to its website, Focus Malaysia's thrust was to provide specialist coverage of companies listed on Bursa Malaysia, property news, the role of small and medium-sized businesses, and personal wealth management issues. 

It also provided a platform for the discussion of macro-economic topics such as wealth distribution, sustainability and the impact of innovation and technology.

Meanwhile, The Malaysian Reserve, a business and financial publication which departed the print scene much earlier, reported on  of 23 February 2018 that media company Media Prima reported its fifth consecutive quarter of losses, attributing this to costs incurred in downsizing its workforce, despite it expanding its reach in online and digital platforms.

Media Prima plunges deeper into the red


MEDIA Prima Bhd said costs related to impairments and downsizing of its workforce pushed it deeper into the red for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017, as traditional revenue from advertisements and newspaper sales continued to fall.

The media group posted a fifth consecutive quarterly loss with an income deficit of RM378.2 million, or a loss per share of 34.09 sen, against a net profit of RM5 million, or earnings per share of 0.45 sen, in the corresponding quarter last year.

Revenue for the October-December 2017 period decreased 4% yearon- year to RM306.2 million from RM318.6 million a year ago.

The group attributed the losses for the quarter to the declining trend of advertising income and exceptional items amounting to RM302.7 million.

Without the latter, Media Prima said it would have posted a net loss of RM82 million.

For the financial year 2017 (FY17), total net loss extended to RM650.6 million against RM59.2 million in FY16, while turnover fell 7% to RM1.2 billion compared to RM1.3 billion.

Although the media conglomerate has ventured into new digital and consumer-based business initiatives to complement its traditional media segments, these initiatives are still undergoing a gestation period, the group said.

Media Prima is expected to increase efforts to accelerate revenue-generating initiatives by maximising available assets and leveraging on extensive reach via its brands on digital and non-digital platforms.

“The structural change in the media sector is forecast to continue affecting traditional media companies in tandem with global trends.

“To remain resilient and relevant, the group is committed to its transformation journey in defending traditional revenue sources, while increasing efforts in growing new revenue streams,” it said.

These efforts include market leadership in broadcast, over-the-top content and digital publishing.

The group is also steadfast on growing commerce revenue through integrated media and plans to expand beyond Malaysia, as cost management practices will continue to be exercised.

Media Prima shares ended 1.6% lower yesterday to close at 62 sen, with 2.8 million shares traded — giving the group a market capitalisation of RM682.2 million.

Meanwhile, shares of the Star Media Group (STAR) have been down in the doldrums over the past 5 months.

According to AllianceDBS analyst report of 21 November 2017, the latest so far, Star Media Group's 3rd Quarter performance saw "Some improvements, but nothing to cheer about".

If the Star Media Group which has the lion's share of advertising revenue amongst English language dailies is struggling to remain profitable, basically the situation looks grim for other English language media organisations which have the remaining one-third share.

New media is proving to not be the "saviour" of media it was touted to be and this adversely affects the livelihoods of mass media workers, including journalists.

I am yours truly


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