Political Communication in Malaysia: A study on the Use of New Media in Politics
Keywords:political communication, Malaysia, Web 2.0, social media, democracy, campaign
AbstractTo gain and retain political power, politicians use the media to persuade the masses to vote and support them, especially during elections. Barisan Nasional (BN) has successfully used the media to maintain its power for the past 57 years, making it the longest-serving elected government in the world still currently in office. However, the emergence of the Internet has challenged the status quo. The purpose of the research was to investigate how new media has influenced the political process and communication strategies in Malaysia and its impact on the political landscape. The researcher interviewed 19 respondents: politicians, bloggers and media consultants from both sides of the political divide. The findings showed that new media, especially Web 2.0, has expanded the public sphere and enabled more Malaysians to participate in the democratic process, through information dissemination, mobilisation or crowd-sourcing. However, the cyber-war between BN and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has caused confusion and disinformation, affecting the quality of democratic decision-making. Nevertheless, new media has enabled more voices to emerge and challenge the political hegemony.
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JeDEM is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal (ISSN: 2075-9517). All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Austria (CC BY 3.0) License.