Category Archives: new media

Journalism and the news need to be more honest, not objective


More engaging journalism – as stated in a posting on the Columbia Journalism Review by Joyce Barnathan, the president of the International Centre for Journalists.

What she means is that the way news is presented these days needs to be revised and new rules need to be made up. And I totally agree with what she says. (Err… I’ve been saying for many years now!)

If many people thought that news needs to be presented fast and quick these days to suit social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, then they are not exactly correct (although fast bites like these do have a purpose).

Sites like Vice and podcasts like Serial have shown that in-depth journalism stories do work and are popular. But it has to be presented in such an engaging way that people will be attracted to it.

And the way is to weave the journey into the story.

Most of Vice’s video stories have the reporter involved and participating, much like immersed or submersion journalism. In Serial, reporter Sarah Koenig documented how she pursued the story, a murder case where an allegedly innocent person went to prison.

The younger generation is also tired of this perception that the news is always impartial and objective, because that just isn’t the point. Everyone has an opinion and everyone will be biased in some way, even journalists. The key point is that the news should always be honest.

(A point that I have always stressed too! Read: I’m not an objective journalist!)

Welcome to the new age of journalism.

Gimlet is the most recent podcasting network to be born online… and they want to be like HBO?


Since the last time I wrote about a new online podcast network (If Malaysian podcasters got together, could they form a successful collective like PRX’s Radiotopia?), a new one is here called Gimlet.

Founded by Alex Blumberg of Planet Money (and also a producer at This American Life), it already has a few original shows on offering. Start Up is a show that chronicles start ups going through their journey, Reply All is a show about things on the Internet and Mystery Show is a quirky show about solving everyday mysteries.

And Blumberg feels that going full capitalism is the way to go (just like Ira Glass), which means that he think that advertising money is being floated around more than every right now.

I will say it again… I really hope that podcasting will catch on fire here in Malaysia. I pray to Almighty Allah!

Read a full interview with Blumberg about Gimlet and podcasting at NiemanLab.Org.

And please spend some time listening to some of Fat Bidin’s original podcasts!


Can independent journalists and news sites be sustainable in Malaysia?

writing on the toilet

In the past decade, news websites have sporuted in in Malaysia like mushrooms after the rain. But most have been relatively big organisations with sufficient financing. None have really been independent or individual journalists making a go at it on their own.

I was just wondering if the time is now for something like this to happen in Malaysia.

It has been happening in more developed countries like the USA and in Europe. And recently, a website called Michelle’s List compiled a whole bunch of independent local and native news websites (mainly in the US lah) that have been making it.

The website categorises the bunch into how progressive they were according to content, engagement and revenue. And of course, the number one question was also… HOW MUCH WAS YOUR TOTAL REVENUE LAST YEAR?

Some of these websites do real hardcore investigative journalism while some are more community and neighbourhood-based. But one thing is for sure… they’re making it!

Check out the list below and if you want to read more about it, head on to

More than $1 million


$500,000 to $1 million

Brentwood Home Page
Front Porch Forum
San Angelo LIVE
The Philadelphia Public School Notebook

$250,000 to $500,000

City Limits
Georgia CEO
New Haven Independent
Stu News Laguna
Twin Cities Daily Planet

$100,000 to $250,000

Bedford + Bowery
Carson Now
Cary Citizen
CTNewsJunkie (RIP)
Iowa Watch
MLT News
My Edmonds News
OCNJ Daily
San Francisco Public Press
The B-Town (Burien) Blog
The Batavian
Watershed Post

$50,000 to $100,000

Billy Penn
Eastsider LA
Florida Bulldog
Lynnwood Today
Magnolia Reporter
New Canaanite
TAP into New Providence
TAP into South Plainfield
The Franklin Reporter & Advocate
Universal Hub

$0 to $50,000

Alhambra Source
Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting
Cambridge Day
Camel City Dispatch
Corona del Mar Today
Dearborn Free Press
Delaware Business Daily
Detailed Block
Eugene Daily News
Evanston Now
Farmington Voice
Jamaica Plain News
Lake Texoma
Latina Lista
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Mission Local
Monroe Local News
My Cedarburg Online
My Everett News
Newport Dispatch
Now Habersham
Open Media Boston
Passyunk Post
Racine County Eye
Stillwater Current
TAP into East Orange/Orange
TAP into Edison
TAP into Madison
TAP into Roxbury
TAP into Scotch Plains/Fanwood
TAP into Westfield
The Austin Bulldog
The Berkshire Edge
The Groton Line
The Limerick Post
The Manomet Current
The Pottstown Post
The Rapidian
The Sanatoga Post
The Wrentham Times
Watertown News
West of the I
Your Arlington

It’s even a mistake to do TV-style news online… as the Wall Street Journal has learned

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 12.12.24 PM

Ha!! More to prove my point that the ways of traditional television is dying! DYING! The Wall Street Journal’s online live TV-style broadcasting has been killed! And now they just want to go on-demand. They have changed their ‘WSJ Live’ to ‘WSJ Video’.

Andy Regal, the executive editor of video at WSJ has this to say:

““People come to the Wall Street Journal when they have time, or need a break or when there’s a big event,” he said. “If we continue to try to drive people to appointment television, it’s just not a workable business model. That’s been proven by most who have tried it.”

It looks like the old ways of appointment and habit viewing can no longer be applied in this day and age. It was obvious from the get go but no huge organisation wanted to listen. They were too set in their ways and thinking that they are the best and almighty.

But it’s good that they’re all realising it now. Better late than never. So it goes that The Washington Post has also scrapped their live PostTV, and so has The Times. Now when will Malaysian TV news start realising the shift in ways?

Go read more about this at

Casey Neistat launches BEME with full hype (the bastard!)


The wonder man YouTube vlogger Casey Neistat has launched his hyped up app called BEME. And I tried to download it but the arrogant bastard puts you on a waiting list! And I’m due to get my app in 97 days! But I guess he has a right to be arrogant. He’s a YouTube celebrity!

Most people who are into YouTube would know Casey Neistat. He blew up in the scene when he posted a video about how dangerous it is to ride a bicycle in New York City. Now, he posts a vlog everyday, and has been doing it for the past 100+ days.

His vlogs contain nothing interesting but somehow is absolutely interesting! And I can’t stop watching it. That bastard!

He’s been talking about his ‘new company’ in almost every episode of his hid daily vlog but keeps on saying that it isn’t ready enough to be announced publicly… until the first day of Hari Raya!

The bastard knows how to hype things up!

Beme is a video sharing app which, according to Nesitat, won’t let you miss an experience just because you want to share it on social media. It utilises the sensor on top of the iPhone so you can record and share videos automatically just by putting the phone on your chest. Pretty cool lah.

Hey you know what? This could be a good tool for some kind of instant or live journalism! Huh!

You can read more about Beme here and here.