From All-Blogs to Blog House Malaysia: SoPo blogging, journalism, and politics in Malaysia
by Julian Hopkins
As the use of the internet has expanded in Malaysia, it has become an important means for political actors to bypass government controls on the mainstream media. Blogs, in particular, were argued by some commentators to have been central in bringing out the setbacks experienced by the ruling coalition in the General Elections of 2008. In view of the importance of blogging to Malaysia’s contemporary social and political landscape, this paper traces the development of an association of bloggers – All-Blogs – from 2007 through to its replacement by Blog House Malaysia in 2010. Using material drawn from media reports and from a long term ethnographic study of blogging in Malaysia, this paper will trace the development of these two bloggers’ associations, and show how they are related both to oppositional politics as well as to factional politics within BN. For the latter, the role of journalists and political interference in the management of newspapers is highlighted.