The advance development of the communication media has digitized the print media, for instance newspaper to be accessible through online. The younger generation can easily and fast to read through online newspaper to keep track of the recent happenings in their surroundings. (Thiel, Shayla, 1998).The news article can be either positive, neutral or negative and how does it affect the attitude of TAR University College students using the Uses and Gratification theory. The emergence of the internet has contributed to the emerging of online newspaper but also brought challenges to the print newspaper, causing the readership of the print newspaper to shrink.(Yang,M.J., Chyl,H.I. 2011, p.59) Meanwhile, print newspaper was shrinking in the recent years due to the emerging of the electronic media, and the print circulation has dropped (Grabowicz, 2012). The first newspaper- Prince of Wales Island Gazette started in Penang, Malaysia in 1805 , previously known as Government Gazette (NECHcMalaysia, 2012). New Straits Times, which formerly known as Straits Times was the oldest newspaper in Malaysia founded in 1845 (NSTP, 2012).
In order to keep up with the pace of Internet, most of the Malaysia’s newspaper has introduced their online version of newspaper, such as The Star, New Straits Times, Berita Harian, The Sun, Utusan Malaysia etc.. According to the New Straits Time Press (NSTP) in 2012, the monthly readership for their website reaches 4,350,000 readers. In fact, The circulation of online newspaper of the New Straits Times increase to 47,092 copies for the first six months of year 2017. (NST,2017) Meanwhile, print newspaper was shrinking in the recent years due to the emerging of the electronic media, and the print circulation has dropped (Grabowicz, 2012).
Attitude is defined as the response shown towards certain issues. It can be positive, neutral or negative. The components of attitude is categorized into ABC’s of attitude which is Affective component, Behavioural component and Cognitive component. (Chaiklin H. 2011.) The 3 components will be a guide to interpret the respondents’ attitude.
Affective component: It involves a person’s emotion about the object. For example: “I feel disgust about LGBT.”
Behavioral component: The attitude influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid LGBT community and ignore their existence”.
Cognitive component: It involves a person’s belief or knowledge about a subject.. For example: “I believe being a LGBT is morally wrong”.
(McLeod, S. A. ,2014.)
This study examined attitudes of online newspaper student readers towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) among TAR University College students from age 17 to 24. It is hypothesized that the youths who read online newspapers are more aware of the happenings of the LGBT cases. Therefore they own different attitude towards the LGBT. It is known that Malaysia is an Islamic country with majority in Malays which relationships of same gender is against the law because Islam as the religion of the federation. Sodomy is still a crime in Malaysia, where the official religion is Islam. According to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia could not accept the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture although they were considered as basic human rights in the Western countries (NST, 2018). Other than that, after all the demonstration done by LGBT’s community and group, some countries have recognized the status of the LGBT by accepting their sexual orientation and approving LGBT marriage. On the other hand, there are also communities who still cannot accept LGBT. The purpose of this research is to know that how non-Muslims readers in TAR University College students in Penang react to the LGBT community issues under the impact of online newspaper which reports on the consequences of being LGBT, basically news about punishment and discrimination, for example the discrimination and challenges faced by trans women and two Malay lesbian women who attempted to have sex was caned under law enforcement.
Furthermore, the findings will further explain the sustainable ways of online newspaper to influence the targeted audience. In addition, the research will also focus on the direct and indirect effects of online newspaper to Malaysian society.
Quantitative, Questionnaire through Google forms
Quantitative method is used in this research because Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements which enables one to express numerically or computerised.(Babbie, Earl R,2010) The course of action taken is measured by the data collected through polls, surveys, or questionnaires. Quantitative method is a good tool to extract information from a large targeted group. (Showkat, Nayeem & Parveen, Huma,2017). The understanding and conclusion are made based on the data collected. The main aim of conducting this survey is to obtain accurate and valid results to analyse and report. Firstly, preparing a questionnaire is one of the integral part of conducting a survey. (Showkat, Nayeem & Parveen, Huma,2017).
According to Stewart & Shamdasani, focus groups have been recommended as a starting point for the prepare of survey questionnaires (Stewart & Shamdasani, 1990). The questions shall be close ended questions which contain scaled questions and multiple choice questions.
1.Respondents basic info: name, contact, year, email
2. Does content published in online newspaper influence your attitude towards LGBT community?
Rate from Scale 1-7
3.How frequent do you read online newspapers?
Daily weekly less than 5 times a month no
4. Does online newspaper shape your perception towards LGBT?
5.Do you read about LGBT news through online newspapers?
6. Do you accept gays? Lesbians? Transgender? Bisexual?
7. In the past 30 days, do you read online newspaper regarding LGBT?
Uses and Gratification theory
The uses and gratifications theory is developed by Elihu Katz and Jay Blumler.
Uses and Gratification theory method stated that individuals rely on mass media to gain information but they still hold control in interpreting contents.(Guosong Shao, 2009) For example,
Based on the book, Mass Communication Research, Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch explain the five basic assumptions for Uses and Gratification Theory. The first assumption is that “the audience is portrayed as active.”(Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch 15) It reflects the audience is goal orientated to obtain what they need through the help of media.
According to the book, the second basic assumption is that “in the mass communication process, the audience has the initiative whether to use the media or not.”(Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch 16) This idea suggested that people utilize media to achieve their goal more often than the media uses them. The book stated that the individual opinion is stronger and receiver shall determine what is going to be absorbed without allowing the media to influence their decision.
The third basic assumption that Mass Communication Research directs us to is that “the media competes with other sources of satisfaction.”(Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch 16) Mass media has to prepare itself to meet the needs of audiences.
The forth basic assumption from the book is that “many of the goals media use can be extract from data collected from the individual audience.”(Katz, Blumler, &Gurevitch 17) This idea suggested that people are very conscious of their motives. On top of that, it was found that audience members use these media forms to build their own identities.
The final basic assumption taken from the book Mass Communication Research is that “the value of the media content can only judge by the audience”(Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch 17). Therefore, they each place their own view depending on their view.
Based on the assumptions above,
The method is used to explain how individuals use mass media to their advantage.
The method can help to identify the consequences of individual’s media use.
1. The new government has been advised by campaigners to curb the spread of hatred toward LGBT people. (NST,,24th August 2018)
2. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department , Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa stated that the LGBT community must not be discriminated regardless of one acceptance towards the LGBT. (NST, 23th July 2018)
3. Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir claimed that Malaysia cannot accept LGBT marriage regardless of the acceptance in Western countries. (NST, 21,Sep 2018)
This approach is aim to prove that the influence of media is limited to what people allow it to be. Individuals have their own independent opinions about the presence of LGBT community.