New Straits Times
A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (September 2019)
The New Straits Times is an English-language newspaper published in Malaysia. It is Malaysia's oldest newspaper still in print (though not the first) having been founded as The Straits Times in 1845, and was reestablished as the New Straits Times in 1974. The paper served as Malaysia's only broadsheet format English-language newspaper.
|Publisher||The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd|
|Founded||15 July 1845 (as The Straits Times),|
13 August 1974 (as New Straits Times)
|Headquarters||Balai Berita 31, Jalan Riong, 59100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
85,469 (daily E-paper)
However, following the example of British newspapers The Times and The Independent, a tabloid version first rolled off the presses on 1 September 2004 and since 18 April 2005, the newspaper has been published only in tabloid size, ending a 160-year-old tradition of broadsheet publication. The New Straits Times currently retails at RM1.50 (~37 US cents) in Peninsular Malaysia.
The New Straits Times is printed by the New Straits Times Press, which also produced the English language afternoon newspaper, The Malay Mail, until 1 January 2008, as well as assorted Malay language newspapers, including the Berita Harian and Harian Metro. New Straits Times Press is part of Media Prima group of companies.
The Straits Times was started in Singapore by an Armenian, Catchick Moses. Robert Carr Woods was appointed as editor and single-handedly edited and published the first issue of The Straits Times on 15 July 1845. The paper was launched as an eight-page weekly, published at 7 Commercial Square using a hand-operated press. The paper was turned into an afternoon daily in 1858, merging with Singapore Journal of Commerce and changing its name to the Daily Times. The name change was subsequently reverted in 1883.
Singapore’s separation from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965 made it untenable for The Straits Times to be headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. The impetus for relocation of the newspaper’s headquarters to Singapore came from the Malaysian government, who found it unacceptable that The Straits Times and its subsidiaries, which had widespread circulation and influence in Malaysia, had nearly 70 percent of its equity capital owned in Singapore.
In 1973, Simmons, then chairman of the Straits Times Group, announced a restructure of the group. This resulted in the formation of two companies: the New Straits Times, which would be a Malaysian publicly owned company; and the Straits Times Press (Singapore), which would be responsible for the group’s subsidiary companies in Singapore and abroad
The Malay Mail Press Company Ltd. later became a public company and was renamed the New Straits Times Press (Malaya) Ltd. the same year. The New Straits Times Press (Malaya) Sdn Bhd. ceased to be the parent company of the New Straits Times (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd in October that year, when Fleet Group Sdn Bhd. took over operations. The newspaper name, which at the time remained The Straits Times, officially changed its name to The New Straits Times in August 1974.
On 11 November 2011, 3D publication was introduced to the paper's print and online editions. The newspaper also made history on 21 February 2012 when it became the first talking newspaper, promoting Dutch Lady's Friso product, followed by AXIATA's page number domination in 2013 and in January 2014 it promoted Wonda Coffee "through five senses" on five consecutive days.
2011 redesign and new logoEdit
In 2011, the New Straits Times underwent a redesign of its masthead, typography, contents and logo. The first edition in the format was published on 11 November 2011. This lasted until 31 December 2016.
2017 redesign and new logoEdit
In 2017, the New Straits Times underwent another redesign of its masthead, typography, contents and logo. The redesign also brings new sections and improved news content. The first edition in the current format was published on 1 January 2017, in conjunction with the New Year. In addition, the website was also refreshed in March 2017, with an initiative for a stronger digital presence.
In 2019, the New Straits Times underwent a redesign of its masthead and cover design, which now assumes the ambition and scope of a daily newsmagazine. The new design also features more stories on various issues of national interest, with an increased emphasis on the print edition of the newspaper.
Previously known as Tech&U, the pullout was first published on 1 January 1986 as Computimes, an information and communication technology (ICT) section of the New Straits Times. It was earlier published every Thursday, and in the 1990s, the section was published on Mondays and Thursdays. On 1 August 2005, a decision was made to focus the Monday edition on the enterprise market while the Thursday edition focuses on the consumer market. On 1 January 2008, Tech&U became a weekly publication, available with the New Straits Times every Monday with an increasing consumer slant while keeping the pulse on the enterprise scene. Business Computing is also related to this section. It was a weekly section on Wednesdays, published from 1999 to 2004. As of 1 March 2010, it has been incorporated and merged into the Life and Times section. The tech section in the New Straits Times, now known as Bots, appears every Monday in the Life & Times section.
Previously known as Travel Times, this weekly pullout on travel in Malaysia was first published in 1999 published in support of the government's Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign. It became the Malaysian weekly newspaper pullout dedicated to publishing travel and travel-related news and features and has remained till this day Malaysia's only weekly travel newspaper pullout dedicated to tourism. The first issue was released on 6 October 1999 and the first weekly issue was released on 2 October 2000. It was published every Wednesday when it started, and it was published on Tuesdays until 23 February 2010 as "Travel". Starting in March 2010, it has been incorporated and merged into the Life & Times section. The travel section now appears on Thursdays and is known as JOM! meaning Let's Go! in the Malay language. This new title is chosen to basically urge travellers to go out into the world and experience all its wonders.
The paper has incorporated the Business Times starting 1 June 2002, expanding its business section and increasing its appeal among businessmen. Prior to 1976, this is also the business section's name of New Straits Times. Not to be confused with the Singaporean newspaper of the same name.
Life & TimesEdit
The segment was previously known as Leisure Times, Times Two and Lifestyle prior to 1994. From 1998 to 2004, the Friday edition of this segment was called Youth Quake after it was merged with the newspaper. The Saturday edition is called Weekend Life & Times, which was later known as 6, from 2005 to 2009.
As of 5 August 2019, the weekly sections in Life & Times are:
- Monday: Bots
- Tuesday: Heal
- Wednesday: Flair
- Thursday: JOM!
- Friday: Groove
- Saturday: Pulse (As of July 13, 2019, the pullout has been discontinued)
- Sunday: Vibes
Previously known as Niexter, School Times is a supplement targeted at school students. It is published every Tuesday.
An earlier iteration of the supplement was published every Thursday starting in January 2009 and ceased in January 2014. Previously, NST has also used Berita Harian's education supplement and their own, such as Primary Plus (Tuesday) and The Next Step (Wednesday) for primary and secondary schools, respectively, between 2001 and 2004.
Cars, Bikes & TrucksEdit
Cars, Bikes & Trucks is the motoring pullout from the New Sunday Times. It aims to provide comprehensive details and reviews on almost every car on offer in Malaysia and written by some of the country's leading automotive journalists.
Lat is a long-time cartoonist for the New Straits Times, producing current, topical comics for Scenes of Malaysian Life.
Following Lat's retirement, cartoonist Irwan A. Rahman has taken up the mantle of producing the paper's editorial cartoon, Wantoon Weekly, which is published every Monday.
Political control and controversyEdit
Owing to political sensitivities, newspapers from Malaysia cannot be sold in Singapore, hence the New Straits Times is not sold in Singapore, and The Straits Times is not sold in Malaysia. The ban was imposed before 1 May 1969 general election in Malaysia.
In 2012, Senator Nick Xenophon, an independent member of the Australian Parliament, was on a fact-finding mission to Malaysia when he was caught up in anti-government protests in Kuala Lumpur. Subsequently, on 2 May 2012, the New Straits Times published an article written by Roy See Wei Zhi and headed "Observer under scrutiny". The report quoted from a 2009 speech made by Xenophon and turned it into an attack on Islam, ostensibly to pit Malay-Muslim opinion against the senator, who was a known associate of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. In reality, the speech had been an attack on Scientology and is recorded as such in the Hansard of the Australian Senate. Xenophon threatened to sue the New Straits Times for defamation and the newspaper quickly removed the offending article from its website.
The gaffe sparked media outrage in both Malaysia and Australia, and has greatly reinforced public perception that the New Straits Times and most mainstream media merely serve as propaganda mouthpieces for the ruling Barisan Nasional. As of 4 May 2012, Senator Xenophon has confirmed that he would sue the newspaper in spite of their apology.
Following Pakatan Harapan's victory in the 14th General Election in May 2018, the newspaper has adopted a more neutral approach in its editorial direction. It aims to promote the mainstream print media by giving fair space to unreported and underreported stories, not just political stories "taking us nowhere".
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