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Comparative Media Discourse

Full Title : Hard news reports in the Malay and English print media in Malaysia and Brunei

Project Number :

Start Date : January 2014

End Date : December 2016

Project leader : Sharifah Nurul Huda Alkaff

Team members : James McLellan; Hjh Dyg Fatimah Hj Awg Chuchu

Brief Outline

This collaborative team research project aims to investigate news media texts in the Malay- and English-language print media in Negara Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, in particular to uncover what is included and what is excluded from reports in either language. Initial observations show, for example, that Malay texts tend to include full titles of prominent persons, which are abbreviated or left out in English texts. Malay crime reports may on the other hand include details which do not appear in the equivalent English.


The initial Brunei phase of the project compared reports from the Media Permata and the Borneo Bulletin published in the same week. Subsequently the scope of the research was broadened to include a comparison between the Malay and the English media in Malaysia (Berita Harian vs The New Straits Times). This allows for a 2x2 comparative matrix: English vs Malay media texts, Brunei vs Malaysian media texts.


The textual data was assembled into four corpora in order to enable comparison using corpus analysis software as well as manual analysis of parallel texts. Interviews with journalists and editors were also be conducted in order to discover underlying policies and practices in the processes of Malay and English media text production.