Title

Biotechnology, the Environment, and Alternative Media in Malaysia

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Journal

Canadian Journal of Communication

Volume

33

Issue

1

First Page

5

Last Page

20

Abstract

The Malaysian government has embarked on an ambitious path to make biotechnology a key driver of the country’s economic future. This burgeoning sector is being developed by a state with a problematic environmental track record, which does not bode well for the future. As mainstream Malaysian media are heavily controlled through a range of restrictive laws and hegemonic pressures to self-censor, critical coverage of biotechnology and its implicit ties to the environment is, not surprisingly, sparse. The focus of this article, however, is the relative scarcity of critical discussions about these issues in the country’s vital alternative media. This article offers a number of suggestions for this shortfall, including government restrictions on available information, the complexity of relevant issues, a lack of recognition of the industry’s importance, and the tenuous relationship between environmental NGOs and alternative media practitioners and organizations.