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In this study, the authors examined the perception of Malaysian journalists with regard to the role of the media in Malaysian civil society. A total of 182 journalists participated in the study via self-administered survey questionnaires. Results revealed that Malaysian journalists have mixed views on the role of the media in the Malaysian media environment, which is highly regulated by the government. They are highly supportive of the role of the media as “interpreter”, “disseminator”, “analytical-objective”, “mobilizer” compared to the role of media as “watchdog”, in support of the argument that the country’s socio-political environment shapes media environment, which in turn influences how journalists conceive their roles. Education and training background and years in journalism have no significant influence on their views concerning the importance of the role of the media. Implications of these findings are discussed in this study.

President Benigno Aquino signed the law in September last year, amid huge online protests, to stamp out cybercrimes such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography. But opponents swiftly sued over provisions that authorise heavy prison terms for online libel and give the state powers to shut down websites and monitor online activities. The court in October issued a four-month injunction that was to have lapsed this week, as it scrutinised the law for possible violations of constitutional provisions on freedom of expression. De Lima did not say how long the new injunction would be in force and Supreme Court officials declined to comment. Aquino spokesman Ramon Carandang said the government acknowledged the public’s concerns. He noted that even its chief lawyer, Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza, had publicly acknowledged that shutting down websites may be illegal.