The Role of Mass Communication in #GE14

To anyone who thinks Mass Communication isn’t important, or is easy: you’re wrong.

Let’s analyze the media’s role in #GE14.

[Artwork by Nixon Siow]

Colourful billboards/websites/flyers for various parties and PSAs encouraging people to vote? Advertising.

Conducting press conferences and preparing media kits while maintaining a politician’s public image in spite of crises and rumours? Public Relations.

That historical angkat sumpah moment at Istana Negara you watched live? If it wasn’t for Broadcasting, you wouldn’t have been able to witness it.

Latest verified articles and updates on #GE14 brought to you every minute? Journalism.

The copy editing, layout design, and printing of 10th May’s newspapers you want to frame and show your grandkids? Publishing.

People weaving strong points together to convince their friends and family to vote for a certain party? Interpersonal communication.

Clear instructions on how to register as a voter / the voting process on polling day? Instructional communication.

All the official procedures / strategic planning such as writing memos, managing stakeholders and announcing manifestos? Communication management.

New media, particularly social media played a GIGANTIC role in the 2018 elections, from strangers helping each other for #PulangMengundi, to the Facebook live streaming of Tun Dr. Mahathir’s speech on 8th May.

There’s actually so much more. But I’ll stop here.

Astro Awani menggoncang negara when they openly criticized the SPR on national TV. Personally, I felt like I was watching a more free media outlet such as Bloomberg or CNN News. This could be the start of a better, cleaner, and more objective media in Malaysia, uninfluenced by the chains and shackles of higher authorities. Moga-moga!

Thank you to all media practitioners who worked endlessly and sacrificed their effort, time, and money for #GE14!



Goodbye Lendu, Goodbye Alor Gajah, Goodbye Melaka

Assalamualaikum wbt.

I have officially gone through four semesters of my diploma in Lendu (or formally, UiTM Alor Gajah). The fifth one will take place in Rembau (though I’m secretly hoping aliens take over that campus, because I do not want to go).

Here’s a not-so-brief reflection on my experience as a university student in Lendu.

Semester 1 was about independence.

Jun 2015 – Okt 2015: I was finally a university student! I’d been waiting for this moment my whole life, to be freeeee! So many things to do and places to explore. If I had nobody to go with me, I’d go myself, without a single care in the world. Best gila dah tak payah bangun pukul 6 pagi untuk pergi kelas, tak payah pakai baju sekolah, tak payah tegangkan cadar (kalau tak nanti LDP (pengawas) panggil nama waktu roll call). Boleh keluar sesuka hati kalau takde kelas (or even waktu kelas pun boleh… no one’s gonna stop you lol, but I’m a good student so I never did that).

I also learned what it’s like to have housemates in an apartment, a slightly different experience from hostel life in MRSM. I found myself getting way higher marks and grades than I ever got in school, and it was a strange experience. Guess that’s what happens when you study a field you actually like. Discovered and joined Jawatankuasa Penggerak Masjid (JPM), which would become very beloved to my heart. Thanks to them I was involved in awesome programs like usrah, bengkel kepimpinan, lawat rumah anak yatim, ceramah, etc.

One of the best days of my life was one day before my 18th birthday, when I rode the bus back to KL (I’ve been wanting to ride the bus for years, tapi parents tak bagi). Also made one of the most important decisions of my life, which was to not follow my family when they moved to Japan. As a result of that, I began to live with my grandparents and had to learn to do a lot of things on my own. The best thing about leaving Sem 1 behind was leaving Kesatria, something I hated with every fiber of my being.


Semester 2 was about exploration.

Dis 2015 – Apr 2016: Saya tinggalkan apartment cantik Tun Sabariah dan berpindah ke hostel biasa di bawah. Tapi saya lagi suka duduk hostel biasa, hahah, dapat bergaul sikit. Lagipun makanan kat Bentara lagi sedap!

Sem ni dah boleh pilih sendiri nak ko-ko apa and I chose Public Speaking. Every session was wonderful. Applied to become Sekretariat/Seki MPP and got the position. Was exhausted because of two specific events, Festival Imarah Masjid (FESIM) and Cita-CitaKu Perfect 10 (CCKP10). Was in Biro Publisiti / Multimedia for both events… so, first time design buku program, lanyard, backdrop, etc. I did many exciting things for the first time, actually. Contohnya, buat montaj gimik Malam Mesra JPM. This semester was pretty exciting because of VIRAL, the biggest Mass Comm event ever, and under VIRAL was our Part 2 event, DECADE! (I wasn’t an AJK, but was still excited).

Kalau semester lepas saya takut nak masuk pagar UiTM selepas 11 malam (waktu curfew), semester ni at least dua kali saya masuk pukul 1 pagi lebih lol. Jangan contohi saya. Life is no bed of roses, had my fair share of woes and conflicts. And at the end of the semester, during finals, something unexpected happened (academic-related) and I had to muster up the courage to fight for my rights. But my GPA took a steep drop anyway 😦


Continue reading Goodbye Lendu, Goodbye Alor Gajah, Goodbye Melaka

How to Make the Dean’s List (For Mass Comm Students!)

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

Since results just came out less than 12 hours ago, I’m gonna share some Dean’s List tips for Mass Comm diploma students in UiTM. But I welcome everyone on the internet to read this post. Not sure if I’m qualified to write this, actually… but here you go.

Iqra’! Read!

Mass Comm has a lot of reading subjects, so like it or not, you’re gonna have to read a lot if you want to score. You don’t have to read that much if you pay attention and jot down notes during class. And honestly? I don’t study much. I’m actually really lazy when it comes to revision. BUT I read a lot of general knowledge materials, and sometimes Mass Comm-related stuff (outside of academic texts). I notice that some of my friends take longer to understand what they’re learning because they’ve never heard of a lot of terms/concepts and they tak boleh imagine benda tu. Our textbooks are US-based and they mostly use US-related examples when describing things. So READ, my friends. Not just for the sake of exams, but to be rich in knowledge.

Communication skills 

My lecturer once said, “Kalau korang sama ada tak suka bercakap ataupun tak suka menulis, kenapa korang masuk Mass Comm?”.

Communication skills are very important. Nama pun budak Mass Comm. You have to know how to communicate to the masses (or at least show the passion to learn!). You have to make sure messages reach audiences in a clear and fun way. Budak Mass Comm, muka kena tebal. Like, seriously. Tapi muka tebal bertempat lah. You’re gonna have to promote events to other students, act/sing/dance, speak in public, and so on.

Thinking outside of the box + extra creative skills

For your assignments, you’re gonna have to interview random people (Journalism), interview public relations practitioners (Public Relations), translate texts (Translation), speak in public (Public Speaking), create short films (Comm Theory, Islam and Comm), create instructions (Instructional Comm) create ads (Advertising), take brilliant photos (Photo Comm), sell stuff (Entrepreneurship) and so on.

You really don’t want your work to bore people. You have to grab their attention. So you have to be interesting — think outside of the box! For example, for our CTU assignment, my group produced a horror short film based on the theme ‘Bahaya Mengumpat’. If you lack in generating or executing creative ideas, maybe you’re better off pursuing a different career path.

It also REALLY, REALLY, REALLYYYYY helps if you have extra creative skills such as video editing, graphic design, social media expertise, drawing, writing, and etc, even if it’s only the basics. University is the time for you to make mistakes, and to learn. Spend time sharpening your creative skills, ESPECIALLY during the semester break. For example, you might have to create a Twitter account for your class event for the sake of publicity. Someone with skills in social media will know what accounts to tag, which hashtags to use, the right time to post to get the most retweets, how to start threads, what captures the attention of Twitter users and how to convince them that attending the event is worth their time, pendek kata, dia mahir pasal selok belok Twitter. And ta-da! More people will attend your event!

Continue reading How to Make the Dean’s List (For Mass Comm Students!)

The Power of the Media

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

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On the right of this picture are five helmets provided by the landlord of this house as a safety measure in the event of any earthquakes that may occur, since my family first bought the house. Other than the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is also known as Land of the Earthquakes. The hashtag #PrayForJapan was trending on social media on Friday the 13th, alongside tragedies in Paris, Lebanon, and so on. Therefore, most of us in Japan were busy chilling, decided to check our phones, and were instantly puzzled as to why people were weeping for us.

Yes, there was a 7.0-magnitude earthquake (which isn’t an abnormal occurrence in Japan, I’m sure), but no major damage and no deaths were reported. There was only a warning of a small tsunami, which was lifted afterwards. Alhamdulillah.

See? It was a very unlucky Friday the 13th because social media users wanted it to be so. Kecoh je lebih.

And on the left of the picture is yesterday’s paper I received from the hotel I was staying at in Nikko. Obviously I could barely understand most of it, but the word ‘Islam’ caught my eye. And then I realized it was an article about the Paris attacks, and Islamic State was to blame.

There is just something terribly unsettling about recognizing the word ‘Islam’ on the front page of a foreign newspaper and finding out it is an article about terrorism. Of all the names IS could have chosen, they chose one with the word ‘Islam’ in it, as if representing our religion.

I attended a talk by Dr. Zakir Naik a week ago, and this was what he said:

They call us terrorists. Who was responsible for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the biggest terrorist acts in history? Do not trust the media’s portrayals of Islam. Whatever that is againsy the Qur’an and Sunnah is WRONG. In the Qur’an it mentions that whoever kills one person, it is as if he has killed all of mankind. And whoever saves one person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind.

And this is quoted from Adam Hills, Australian comedian and television presenter:

“Seriously, can old white dudes please stop saying s**tty things about Islam? Because every time they do I’m scared all Muslims will think we’re like that which is pretty much how all Muslims feel when a terrorist kills people in the name of Allah. And for those accusing me of defending Islam, and a lot have said that this week, I’m defending common sense. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world right now. 1.6 billion. As someone pointed out on twitter this week, if Islam really bred terror, we’d all be dead right now. The combined forces of Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda makes up 0.003% of the global Muslim population. Less than 2% of all terror attacks are carried out in the name of Islam. You’ve got more of a chance of being killed by a bee sting, a peanut or the NHS.”

Also, the media, as usual, is biased towards certain countries. Everyone knows when the West gets bombed but no one knows when the West does the bombing. Let this illustration by leemarej speak.

I, as a student of communication and media, am devastated. But remember, the media is only a tool, and it is up to its users whether to use it for good or bad. So, all Mass Comm students (and everyone else, for that matter), we should have a burning desire in our hearts to put Islam in the best light possible in the mainstream media, and to spread truth, and to invite others to do good, not to make a big deal about every celebrity’s fifth divorce.

People always ask Mass Comm students, “Nak jadi wartawan ke?”. Bruh, wartawanlah yang mempunyai kuasa untuk mempengaruhi orang ramai! Waktu tingkatan lima, aku belajar tentang peranan besar akhbar, majalah dan novel dalam menggerakkan kesedaran kebangsaan orang Melayu. Melalui media inilah isu-isu sosial dan ekonomi dibangkitkan seperti isu pendidikan tinggi, penambahbaikan taraf hidup, saranan untuk berniaga, kemajuan bahasa dan sastera, sifat malas orang Melayu, dan pendidikan untuk wanita.

Jim Morrison once said, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”. One day, when we are in the industry (or even now, maybe), we will control the media. We will control whether what is spread to the world is true or false. We will decide what topics will be discussed over rambutans and debated over coffee. We will influence the opinions and actions of society.

If that doesn’t feel like an enormous and terrifying responsibility to you, I don’t know what will.

BOOK REVIEW: Anugerah Cinta Paling Glamor (Raihan Abu Bakar)

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

Recently, I was featured on my friend’s YouTube channel. She’s a BookTuber and she’s doing a vlog series for Malay books. I borrowed her novel, Anugerah Cinta Paling Glamor (by Raihan Abu Bakar), I finished it and she didn’t, so yeah, the video below is our product. I watched it once and I am never watching it again… ever.

Aku bukanlah peminat novel Melayu (selain karya Hlovate dan sesetengah novel Fixi). the odds of me picking a a novel that has the word ‘cinta’ in the title is 0.0001 percent.

But this is a book every Mass Comm student (and even non-Mass Comm students) should read.

Sebuah kisah tentang,

Seorang gadis yang merupakan YDP Kelab Massa (KOMED lah tu) dan merupakan scorer, tetapi tidak pernah kisah pasal agama.

Seorang bekas pelajar sekolah agama yang dipaksa masuk Mass Comm dan terlalu taksub dengan pendiriannya iaitu membenci semua hal duniawi kononnya.

Seorang pensyarah Mass Comm yang hanya mahu yang terbaik untuk pelajarnya, mahu mereka sumbangkan tenaga ke arah yang bermanfaat.

Seorang ahli SPM (Siswa Penggerak Masjid) yang mengambil bidang Mass Comm kerana Allah dan teringin untuk membawa perubahan drastik dalam dunia Mass Comm tetapi tidak tahu caranya.

Novel ini berkisah tentang apa yang berlaku apabila dua dunia yang kononnya seperti langit dan bumi, bertembung dan bergabung menjadi satu. And the result is greater than the sum of its parts. Bak kata Ammar, Rasulullah is the best communicator.

UiTM Mass Comm Interview 2015

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

So, this week I failed my first JPJ test, and I failed horribly. Do make prayers that I will make it during my retake.

Yesterday, I checked my UPU application results and Alhamdulillah I have been accepted to pursue a Diploma in Communication and Media / Mass Comm at UiTM. Guess they liked me after all even though I didn’t know the name of our Yang di-Pertuan Agong, heh (now I do, okay!!!). I didn’t even watch the newest episode of The Flash until today because I was too busy thinking about university.

It’s a rather unconventional choice, especially for an ex-MRSM student. If you randomly pick five students, I can assure you that at least three of them want to pursue medicine, engineering or accountancy. Sadly, not all of them want to do so because they truly love studying cells and building machines. Quite a few feel the need to meet the expectations of their parents and relatives and that they don’t have a choice. Well, I believe that you should follow your passions and choose not to conform to the cookie-cutter mold of society if you don’t want to. Negotiate. Fight. Prove. And make sure you have the right intentions.

So, what on earth is Mass Communication? Basically, it’s communicating to society at large, through broadcasting, journalism, social media, radio, advertising, publishing, public relations and etc. The career scope is extremely vast, you can Google ‘careers in mass communication’ if you’re feeling rajin. At UiTM you actually have eight choices to further your degree after completing your diploma (I may be inclining towards Advertising).

I am 95% sure that I will go to UiTM, and I seriously hope to excel in my studies since Insya Allah I’ll be doing something that actually interests me instead of dealing with terms like molten sodium nitrite-potassium nitrite eutectic. I am also thrilled that I will have graphic design classes. Yay!

Underneath the cut is my interview experience. Beware though, it’s very long.

Continue reading UiTM Mass Comm Interview 2015