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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Biotechnology issues in four Malaysian mainstream newspapers

MC Samani, NI Rezali, L Amin, Z Hassan

Abstract


Biotechnology has been identified as the new engine of growth for the transformation of Malaysia into a developed nation by 2020. The objective of this paper is to analyze the impact of National Policy on biotechnology on media reporting in four Malaysian newspapers. Towards this end, a content analysis of four Malaysian mainstream newspapers (that is, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, New Straits Times and The Star) over ten years period was conducted. The findings showed that the coverage pattern among the four different mainstream newspapers were different. These findings indicated that the mass media can be a tool for educating the public but it can only be done through the publishing of in-depth articles discussing issues relating to biotechnology. In conclusion, we found that the media has been unsuccessful in its role to teach the public on biotechnology. In this regard, the government will have to take some other measures to educate the public on that issue. Such immediate steps are necessary because it has been more than five years since the announcement of the National Policy on Biotechnology but the interest among Malaysians on biotechnology is still lacking.

Key words: Biotechnology, Malaysian mainstream newspapers, National  Policy on Biotechnology, genetically modified food (GMF).




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