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Making it 'on air', and alive out of the pandemic

Malaysia's media landscape has not escaped the collapse of the business model that has long underpinned the nation's journalism over the past seven decades.

Despite the brief respite of more media freedoms after the historic 2018 elections that saw Malaysia dramatically improve its media freedom rankings in annual global surveys such as those by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), significant reforms to draconian laws such as the Sedition Act have not happened as promised.

And over the past year's political turmoil, which has seen Malaysia change prime ministers and governments three times, prospects of good governance and policy-making certainty have evaporated, even if the turmoil has encouraged appetite for timely news services.

The business model of Malaysia's media, like most market economies around the world, has depended on advertising revenue.

But in the era of technology giants Facebook and Google dominating the attention of news audiences, most of the media's advertising revenues...

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