Asia Pacific Media Educator


This paper attempts to study how language is used by a pro-establishment paper in Malaysia - the New Straits Times (NST) - to portray the former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim and the Reformasi Movement. It aims to investigate how the NST represents dissenting voices and the extent to which it helps to promote consensus and the dominant view. This paper argues that language in news coverage plays a crucial role in the construction of social reality. News is a practice, a discourse which does not reflect reality in a neutral manner but helps to “interpret”, “organize” and “classify” this reality. The language that is used to depict events and people represent selections that are made out of all the available options in the linguistic system and these choices favour certain ways of seeing and reading. In consequence, certain meanings are center-staged at the expense of other meanings.