Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Toward the end of Issues in Publication and Design course, I have learned many utensils that would affect my judgment in my working field right now. For example, I never knew that a darker background is much more preferable for online viewing whereas light or white background fits print materials better prior to this.

Along the rest of the things I have learned, from genre changes, compositions, etc. Reep (2206) mentioned in the reading that document designing main purpose is the attract audience and I concur to that. I have come to appreciate the movement of blogosphere and new media. As mentioned by Putnis and Petelin (1996), we live in a world where knowledge is valued and communication is important. Therefore, the unconventional aesthetic of new media, whereby news travels fast and can be accessed real-time wherever we are mark a stepping point in the communication deve. Despite all the ups and downs in the assignments, particularly that of presentations which never fail to stress me, I have enjoyed this course and the guidance by Ms Jenny Heng. Thank you for reading my blog thus far.



Putnis, P. & Petelin, R. 1996, 'Writing to communicate', Professional communication: principles and applications, Prentice Hall, Sydney

Reep, D.C. 2006, 'Document Design', Technical Writing, Pearson/Longman, New York

Ethical publishing and sensationalism

When this year wrap up, Michael Jackson's death could be the biggest news of the year, or rather, the most exploited news of the year. Snead (2009) and New York Post (2009) report that OK! magazine spent a huge lump of money, $500,000 to get hold of a photo of a dead Michael Jackson in a stretcher and publish it as their cover.

If that is how magazines are going to operate these days, we may very well be heading back to yellow journalism age again. The lack of sensitivity of publishing companies and reporter these days in valuing sensationalism factor to a story to gain higher profit could very well mark an age of dieing ethical values in publications. To take another example, there is the case of reporter barging into the hospital room of veteran Hong Kong celebrity, Lydia Sum when she was in an ailing health just to capture photos of the now deceased lady. Even if these are gossip magazines, it is no excuse to the distasteful way they are handling the publication.



New York Post, 2009, 'Michael Jackson Death Shot Not OK', 1 July, viewed 19 November 2009,

Snead, E. 2009, 'OK! cover of Michael Jackson's death photo stirs controversy', The Dish Rag, 2 July, viewed 19 November 2009,

New media and political campaign

Malaysian blogger, Bernice Low (2008) highlights the influence of new media on the change of political landscape in the country. It is proven that the mainstream media may be becoming ineffective in its role to determine voter's preference anymore with the emergence of new media. During the months that lead to 2008's General Election, mainstream media has been exhausting viewers with one-sided coverage siding the government. Before the emergence of new media, mainstream media filled with government propaganda is the only news portal that the citizen can rely on. However, with the Web 2.0 movement, people are getting more access to faster, in-depth news from news website portals such as Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today.

With more coverage on the opposition side and active lobbying through the Internet with the help of younger, technology competent members of the opposition party, this lead to the formation of public sphere on the Internet. Viewer gets to see 2 sides of political ideology and movement with the mixture of mainstream media and new media.

Sometimes, conflicting coverage between the new media and mainstream enables people to pick up the disparity on the mainstream media side. For example, the mainstream media made a full front page coverage on the success of the government campaign in the Penang state and state that there were 50,000 audiences at there. However, they never did a coverage on the opposition party, Democratic Action Party's campaign at the same place which actually garners an even bigger audience. According to Malaysiakini (2008), there were more than 60,ooo people at the venue and they even show videos and photos to backed up their fact whereas mainstream newspaper, The Star only show one photo with limited field of vision for the government's campaign.

It can be said that the limited coverage by mainstream media is also the downfall to for the government as they do not know the progress of the opposition party. Therefore, they were disillusioned into thinking that it would be another landslide win for them. Tarrant (2008) mention that people are uploading videos to popular file sharing site, YouTube of political figures in action including one whereby a politician of a ruling party declare that Malaysia is an Ismlamic nation and threaten critics to leave the country. With the citizens as the watchdog for the political scene now and the emergence of new media, politician that are not performing up to par should be worried for the next General Election.



Low, B. 2008, Malaysia's digital revolution--the death knell for The Star, and the rise of e-news portal?, CNET Asia, viewed 17 November 2009,

Malaysiakini, 2008, Malaysiakini, Malaysia, viewed 17 November 2009,

Tarrant, B. 2008, 'Malaysia opposition win shows power of cyberspace', Reuters, 9 March

Item 2-5(e): New forms of media publishing

Publishing has taken up a new form and it is not just mere simple form of blogging. In fact the dissemination has taken up many forms by now (Naughton, 2006). According to Walsh (2006), multimodal texts's meaning can be interpreted through a synchronization of modes. It can incorporate still or moving picture, speech or text and may be seen on paper or screen that can incorporate sounds and music. Moblogs and vlogs are such examples of multimodal texts that are another form of blogging as well. Many vlogs can be seen on video sharing site, Youtube.

These days, information dissemination are getting faster, more compact and cheaper. For instance, President Barack Obama shares his political updates on Youtube. Youtube is free and viewer can choose to watch whichever videos there anytime they wants to, unlike old media like television whereby the programme and time slots are already scheduled. In Malaysia, political bloggers like Anilnetto chose the alternative of Tweeter to update on the spot information while at the scene of political incidents. Therefore, new media publishing is breaking the grounds where old media could not; fast and sometimes real-time news updates that reaches mass audiences and involve them as well.


Naughton, J. 2006, Blogging and the emerging media ecosystem,

Walsh, M. 2006, The 'textual shift': examining the reading process with print, visual and multimodal texts, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, vol.29, no.1, pp. 24-37

Item 2-5(d): Designing for online vs. prints

One of the biggest problem with designing blog is the issue of credibility. Print is an old media; therefore, the composition of designing had long been establish. For a more trustworthy output, a blog should include the blogger's information and picture to show reader who's output they are reading from (Nielsen, 2005). Furthermore, Internet acronyms such as 'irl', 'lol', etc. should be avoided. Most importantly, citations and sources used must be listed out as to credit and provide factual evidence to blog posting. Bloggers mostly take this for granted; therefore, it is hard to sometimes trust news dissemination through blogs.

Whether it is in print or online, salience is a very important point to bear in mind. According to Kress and van Leeuwen (2006), the role of salience is to grab viewer's attention. Therefore, it is important to make a strategic hierarchy of viewing focal point such at an effective title that lead to article's content. If pictures used or title to a post do not relate to the content of the blog or printed article, it would confuse the viewer.



Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006, 'The Meaning of composition', Reading Images

Nielsen, J. 2005, Weblog Usabiliy: The Top Ten Design Mistakes,, viewed 19 November 2009,

Item 2-5(c): Blogging communities

Through blogging, a community can be formed through comments interactions between the bloggers-to-readers and readers-to-readers. There are 3 ways that blogging communities that can be formed; single blog/blogger centric community, central connecting topic community, and boundaried community (White,N. 2006).

Through the way of central connecting community, a network is formed via discussion of the same topic of interest. An example of such blogging would be that of Malaysian politician, Jeff Ooi. Jeff Ooi was first a popular political blogger before becoming a politician. A community in his blog is formed through the hyperlinking and blogrolls in other blogging political sites such as Internet news site, Malaysiakini and a host of other prominent local political blogger's sites. There is also the case of consistency in updating as readers in the blog would become more regular and active in commenting once they are used to and can identify to the blogger's viewpoints.



White, N. 2006, 'Blogs and community - launching a new paradigm for online community?', The Knowledge Tree, edition 11, viewed 18 November 2009,

Item 2-5(b):Blog classification

Like every other medium, blog needs to have a classification system to work out the overview content of blogs and to specifically refer to the types of blog; rather than just vaguely generalize everything is 'blog'. Simons (2008) did a simple taxonomy system to classify the contents. However, she did not specify whether the video form of blogging, vlog and micro-blogging is included in the taxonomy.

With the rapid, increasing change of blogging system, it is hard to pinpoint specific and the best way to classify the blog world. Simons form of taxonomy is far from perfect as she did not address issues such as blogs that are empty nor those the blogs that are mixtures of themes. For example, people that blogs about their lives that may also be teaching readers ways of DIYs such as cooking as well. In that case, it will be a mixture of diary blogging and popular mechanics blogging. For now, tagging system may be the next best thing before a classifying system is made.



Simons, M. 2008, 'Towards a taxonomy of blogs', Australian Policy Online, viewed 18 November 2009,