Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why did the owners pull the plug on The Malaysian Insider?

15 March 2016 
What I find odd about the demise of The Malaysian Insider is that only last week the people who owned it were excitedly looking at bids by parties keen to take over the news portal. One bidder I know told me that Tong Kooi Ong and Co had found his bid "too low".  Ah, money is still king no matter which side of the political divide you are, isn't it? Just like the owners of The Rakyat Post, who are said to be asking for more money if relevant parties want the portal to be kept alive. But that's another story ... [read my earllier posting, What's the story, TRP?].
So from today, the Insider, never friendly towards Najib Razak ever since it was started by a group of people desperate to keep Pak Lah in power in 2008, is no more. The Najib-friendly (supposedly) Rakyat Post will follow suit, unless someone comes up with numbers that are not "too low". 
But I'm guessing that we haven't seen the last of TMI. Expect it to be revived in the not-too-distant future, perhaps still with Jahabar Sadiq as head or maybe another will emerge. If there's anything to learn, it is the fact that the kind of journalism that TMI offers may not be credible enough to be commercially sustainable, not even by an established publishing house that created the lucrative The Edge, but what it does is bring in crazy amounts of on-line traffic. Like someone keeps telling me, "If you really want online traffic, just go out there and whack the government or Najib at will and you'll get hordes of people reading you, following you, liking you". 
She's been there and done that, this person, and as the next general election draws nearer, she'll be proven right: there will be great (and instant) demand again for a portal that has the guts to go out there and "whack the government or Najib" ... which is what the Insider is - or was - and (if it comes back) will be again.
This blogger and Jahabar, 2014


  1. Yukenduit1:30 pm

    Because the coward Najib suspended The Edge for 3 months and they lost advertising and circulation revenue. Oppressing people non stop. Blocked TMI too. Owners had to make the hard choice when money is dwindling. Save the Edge or save TMI. This government is cruel for the pettiest thing.

  2. xnakdedak1:52 pm

    "Like someone keeps telling me, "If you really want online traffic, just go out there and whack the government or Najib at will and you'll get hordes of people reading you, following you, liking you".

    Ehhhhh, not true lah Bru.

    You never whack the gomen (since AAB days abyway) and we still love you!

  3. In truth it is the best decision by the Malaysian Insider. Its demise was predicted a long time ago. You can't survive by deleting posts you have a political difference with.

    You can't have a rider in your letters and readers posting coloumn as TMI had warning of the consequences of inappropriate language whilst allowing opposition supporters to slag off at you for expressing a contrarian view. That too publishing their invectives and inappropriate language at times whilst on the other hand censoring those whose letters at a political variance to your own.

    That was TMI. It is undemocratic and bullying. For a rag that claimed to be supporting democratic forces for change TMI was shamefully Maoist. No love lost with its demise. A warning to the others who play by the TMI rules.

  4. Dandy7:12 pm

    The standard of their "good journalism," as I quote Jahabar Sadiq, deteriorated when most of the editorial staff and columnists went to The Malay Mail Online during the great hijrah.

    Thanks, TMI. You will not be missed.

  5. Heil Najib. I LUV PM.

  6. IT.Scheiss12:15 am

    The thought crossed my mind too that TMI could make a comeback as a new entity with a owner or sponsor and a new name but with the old TMI human capital.

    However, given that even with its government bashing, TMI was bleeding RM500k every month in the 20 months since The Edge Media Group bought it and perhaps earlier, which clown will buy it, unless they want to bleed lots of moolah or unless they have so much moolah that they either have nothing better to do with it, or they want to use it as a political mouthpiece to serve their own agenda.

    Or the former TMI crew turns to crowdfunding. I mean if 500,000 fans pay RM1 per month, that would be RM500,000 to keep the new entity afloat and if the the fans paid RM2 per month, that would be RM1 million a month, which should more than cover their costs.