Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Yesterday's Mail Mail cover page (30 April)

Many of us will remember MM in its heydays. It was the only English afternoon paper then, and arguably the best local paper to refer to for sports coverage and classifieds. Then as the years passed, its readership slowly declined as it lost its competitive edge to other English dailies.

There were several attempts to get MM back to its glory days under various editors-in-chief, but it never quite gained a foothold in the battle for readership against other English dailies, namely, the Star, the New Straits Times and the Sun.

Malay Mail's recent cover pages.

However, in recent months, the Malay Mail has undergone more than just cosmetic changes. It has revamped how news is reported. There is a noticeable attempt to be fair in its news coverage particularly on political and national issues. There is also more emphasis on news that truly matters, and less of social gossip and celebrity news.

A case in point is yesterday's MM front page reportage of Bersih's Duduk Bantah on 28 April. It beat out those of its rival papers in terms of objectivity. At least that's my personal view.

The man behind the much improved MM is Terence Fernandez, former senior investigative reporter with The Sun, and now managing editor at MM. I would always make an attempt to get a copy of the Sun on the days his column would be featured. Since he took over the reins, the MM has drastically revamped its front page. It now carries attention-grabbing headlines and cover photos.

Recently, the MM launched 'Spark the Debate' with a debate between Petaling Jaya Utara MP and DAP's Publicity Chief Tony Pua and BN’s Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan. The two men spoke on "Bayan Mutiara: Achievement or Bad Precedent? Its Impact on Affordable Urban Housing".

But it was the second debate that drew enormous public interest resulting in a standing room only audience. That was the debate between Bersih 3.0 co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin on the topic "Electoral Reform: Is enough being done?"

Let's hope the future continues to be bright for the Malay Mail. It would be a pity to see this 116-year old paper weather so many storms, only to sink into oblivion in the face of the stiff competition from online news media.

1 comment:

cin2tan said...

'BERSIH' ....suddenly disappears in my KAMUS pelajar lengkap ...!

'BERSIN' ...I 'SNEEZED' & woke up from my snap...oops... nap ....!