Monday, September 19, 2016

The Mole's story, so far

TTDI, 19/9/16: The Mole turned five years old last Friday. We had deliberately launched our little news portal on Malaysia Day in 2011 because it was an auspicious date. We did not know that Prime Minister Najib Razak was planning to abolish the Internal Security Act on that same day; that was, editorially, a big bonus for us. So last week we celebrated the Mole's 5th birthday, the Malaysia Day and the death of the country's most draconian law. There is life after the ISA, after all! 
There is more coming from the Mole, too. We remain modest in terms of traffic, readership, staffing etc., especially if you compare us with Malaysiakini or Free Malaysia Today, but that is partly out of choice. I've always believed that if you don't have the size, get a niche. We try hard not to end up like the Malaysian Insider, The Rakyat Post, The Nut Graph and other gems that fizzled out after just a while (in one case, at least, leaving scores of journalists jobless overnight!). 
In the last five years, people have come and gone. This month, our chief executive officer Endie Shazalie Akbar, who has just turned 40, will be leaving the Mole in order to pursue other keen interests (he was with me at the Mole since the start and before that was the COO of the Malay Mail in 2009-2011). 
Endie will be replaced by Zakhir Mohamad, a former CEO of a public-listed company and a blogger whose heart is close to the world of journalism and communication.
Datuk Nuraina Samad (ex-NST managing editor), Aziz Hassan (ex-Malay Mail boss) and Shahrom Sayuthi (ex-NST political editor) do make our editorial line-up appear quite formidable, if I may say so myself. We don't have 20-30 reporters but the ones we have have certainly made their own marks in the online journalism scene. 
For the next 5 years, we hope to remain faithful to what we set out to do 5 years ago, i.e. (to borrow a phrase from a critical fellow journalist) "to give an appearance of journalistic credence to the sometimes wild and inflated claims that float in the blogosphere..." (The Mail gets Malaysiakini - and Rocky, too by Uppercaise, 8/12/11).  
No promises, of course, but one thing for sure, they are as wild and inflated as ever! 
So here's to the next 5 years.

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