• In this digital age of online news, objective journalism is increasingly treated
    as unnecessary, if not obsolete. In the liberal West, news portals can offer
    different views to counter the political economic status quo proffered by
    traditional hyper-commercial corporate media. In more authoritarian Asian
    countries like Malaysia, “alternative” news portals are assumed to provide
    opposition political parties with favourable coverage to balance whatever bias
    the traditional, mainstream print and electronic media might have displayed
    towards the ruling political party. As a result, Malaysia’s ruling political party,
    including many from the critical mass, has claimed that Malaysia’s “mainstream”
    and “alternative” media, collectively, have attained the democratic principle of
    offering diverse, balanced and fair news coverage. This has strengthened the
    view that there is no need for objective journalism-as in providing fair and
    balanced news coverage. To what extent then are Malaysia’s “mainstream” print
    media biased towards the ruling political party and to what extent Malaysia’s
    “alternative” news portals biased towards the opposition party? Has the digital
    age finally rendered objective journalism obsolete, at least in Malaysia? These
    are key questions examined in a study that content analysed the coverage of
    Malaysia’s general elections in 2013 performed by three “mainstream”
    newspapers and three “alternative” news portals based in Malaysia. The results
    show that even though partisan journalism continues to dominate, especially
    the “mainstream” newspapers, objective journalism is far from being
    abandoned. It is rendered unnecessary only by being politicized by the ruling
    political regime.