In Other Words: Ideas On Journalism, Social Science and Society is based on selected articles based on the themes of journalism, communications and social science, published in the New Straits Times (NST) and the New Sunday Times (Learning Curve) between 2012 and 2015. The articles are part of the author’s occasional and regular columns in the newspapers covering the broader realm of ideas, history, intellectual life and the universities ‘Media’ since the appearance of the Internet, have hijacked ‘journalism’. Here the author develops a particular perspective on journalism, the newspaper and certain facets of social science and communication studies. Some has its genesis in earlier thought, others a reworking of ideas presented and published elsewhere. It reflects the author’s sociological orientation on journalism.
This book therefore serves as a small contribution to the pedestrian discourse about journalism in Malaysia. There is poverty in conceptualizing and theorizing on journalism amongst academics in journalism, communication and media studies, and the broader social science and the humanities in Malaysian campuses. Some decades back there was this popular thinking amongst certain journalism school academics that we can teach journalism in “two days”. One does not need a degree in journalism but the author would suggest that one needs to go through the university to become a better journalist. Anyone can be a journalist. And those who jump into the “profession” after school would always claim to be more proficient, with the ultimate sense of news, and a flair for writing, boasting on speed and accuracy, compared to fresh graduates. But do we remember truth to be in the picture?