Written by Balqis Ariffin
Primarily, the concept of international communication is significant in our contemporary culture as it revolves around the advancement of technology and globalization. The operation of the news organization is not excluded as it associates with the concept, due to the current practice which regards the progression of the journalism regardless of any borders. Therefore, concerning over such notion The Edge Malaysia is a suitable example to be studied upon as it is a leading financial publication in both Malaysia and Singapore.
According to its writer Khairani Afifi Noordin, 26, the news value of each pullouts relating to the national and international reports are varied. She further explained by giving the weekly pullout Personal Wealth as an example, in which she stated that the Personal Wealth’s audiences are high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) or affluent investors residing in Malaysia. Hence, the stories are made with them in mind.
“While our audience may make most of their investments in Malaysia, they do want to diversify by owning assets with exposure outside of the country. This is the reason why we cover investment opportunities and issues outside of the country as well. However, we do angle our stories so that it is relatable to our audience – this means asking our interviewees more questions such as “What does this mean to Malaysian/Asian investors? What is the impact towards the investors in this region?” she said during the interview.
Besides that, in terms of the global news flow, the role that the economic power of the nation has on the news value depends on how it will affect The Edge’s audience.
Khairani clarified that “If the Federal Reserve today announces a hike in the interest rate, this will definitely affect out audience’s assets outside of the country especially in US bonds. This is why we would reach out to an analyst or fund manager straight away to get their comments and assess how this would affect our Malaysian investors.”
“We do cover investment opportunities in less economically powerful countries as well, in the angle of investment opportunities. Personally, I have written feature stories on Emerging Markets and India,” she added.
A question was asked to the interviewee whether the rules, regulations or policy relating to the intercultural and international communication have hindered the process of news reporting. However, she stated that The Edge follows the local media law and journalistic ethics, in which she felt that it did not hinder the reporting process, but she said that it may also be attributed to the fact that The Edge is a private company, unlike many other local media companies.
Furthermore, The Edge Malaysia obtains wired stories from several news agencies namely Reuters, Bloomberg, and AFP. However, Khairani stated that she does not use sources from outside of the media company when she works on feature stories.
She stated that “I directly work with the person giving the news. For example, if a Singapore-based fund management company today announced that they are thinking of launching an innovative, first of its kind fund, I would call the company directly and schedule for an interview to speak about it at length.”
“Sometimes, I do refer to research reports to support the points being given out in my stories. To do this, I need to verify by myself that the research report is done by a reputable, valid company – typically by looking at whether they are regulated or not. But this also depends on what type of information I am searching for. “said Khairani who wrote for several pullouts in The Edge Malaysia.
In addition, Khairani explained that The Edge Malaysia and The Edge Singapore which were established from the same parent company, The Edge Media Group do exchange news, but it is also subjected to the relevance of the news article amongst the audience in both nations.
She said during the interview that, “Personally, some of my stories have appeared in the The Edge Singapore before. One of it is a story about an insurance technology company called Smallticket. Although the company is based in South Korea, it expresses interest to scale to Singapore, thus the reason why the editors decided to feature it in their paper.”
“I would like to believe that since we are operating within the same parent company and the same region, we have the same culture and values. Both companies champion accuracy in reporting, and will report without fear or favour.” She explained when asked about the differences of working in a company with foreign expansion.
Apart from that, she stated that there are no significant differences between the news content of the print and digital formats of the Personal Wealth pullout.
She further explained that “The reason being that our digital stories are just stories that have appeared in our print copy a week prior. Very rarely, we write online-only news pieces, but our priority is always the print copy.”
Moreover, she agreed that the digital format of The Edge has ensured the flow of information in international level a The Edge does a lot of reporting outside of Malaysia.
“Out of five people I interview, two are probably those based somewhere in America, Australia or the Middle East. We also try to be ahead of the curve – while our competitors have not yet written about blockchain, cryptocurrencies or robo-advisory, we have already dived into the topics with many feature stories explaining how these will impact the future of personal finance. This attracts those from outside the country to reach out to us to work the probability of new stories pertaining the topics discussed.” She said.
“The Edge is now more than 20 years old, and I have only been in the company for more than two. When I first started working with The Edge, my learning curve was very steep. I need to make sure that my reporting is not only limited to my understanding – I need to absorb information as quickly as I can. The Edge Malaysia is highly regarded as the leading business newspaper in Malaysia. It is recognised for its timely, insightful and in-depth reports – I need to uphold this and make sure that I can represent the company as best as I can.” She opined when asked about the elements that distinguish The Edge from other business-oriented magazines.
“I do not want to say more than what I have already said, but I am proud to be part of the company, and continue reporting without fear or favour.” She said while ending the conversation.