Free Malaysia Today
|Owner(s)||FMT Media Sdn Bhd|
Free Malaysia Today (FMT) is an independent, bilingual news portal with content in both English and Bahasa Malaysia with a focus on Malaysian current affairs, published since 2009 . It is one of Malaysia's most accessed news sites with monthly visits of 11.83million.
While Malaysian politics takes up a big part of its content, the portal has in recent times been focusing on other topics of interest including the state of the economy, property, education as well as legal and social issues. It has a line-up of columnists made up of academics, diplomats, professionals and veteran journalists.
For nine years since its launch in 2009, the website followed a simple top-down format, with the "FMT News" app available on Google Play and App Store. On Aug 31, 2018, it launched a new design with larger font, in a break from its previous style, with larger pictures and more stories placed in prominent positions.
2018 General Election Coverage
Like many other current affairs sites, FMT also witnessed a huge jump in readership in the run-up to the 14th general election as well as in the aftermath, jumping 18 positions to be ranked the 26th most accessed website across all categories in Malaysia.
Throughout the election campaign in April and May, its dedicated microsite was a popular medium for breaking news stories, with correspondents placed nationwide reporting on activities by all political parties.
The FMT editorial policy emphasises balanced reporting and neutrality, although it takes some strong stands on issues of public interest.
Its editorials have often criticised politicians from both sides of the divide while taking a stand on controversies including the "fake degree" saga involving a deputy minister in the Pakatan Harapan government and the death of a tahfiz (Islamic school) student in April 2017.
In May 2017, a year before the general election, it openly urged Pakatan Harapan to announce Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its prime ministerial candidate, setting off a string of criticism on social media with many questioning the website's objectivity.
Two weeks after the general election, it assured readers that it was not subservient to any political interests, while questioning a number of media organisations, especially the former mainstream print media which appeared to have "turned around" despite being known for their less than complimentary coverage of the current government leaders during their time in the opposition.
Defamatory content and legal suit
In early 2015, the newspaper has been sued by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for its defamatory content titled "Guan Eng has failed, says NGO". Lim later won the suit and the newspaper was ordered to pay damages for MYR300,000 to him.
In May 2016, the Court of Appeal quashed the RM300,000 in damages awarded to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
- "FMT About Us".
- "SimilarWeb.com - Competitive Intelligence Tool". SimilarWeb.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
- Reporters, F. M. T. (2018-06-12). "FMT makes quantum leap to Malaysia's top 3". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- "Free Malaysia Today - GE14 Election Day". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- Koya, Abdar Rahman (2019-02-10). "Marzuki's scroll, small minds and big mouths". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- Koya, Abdar Rahman (2017-04-26). "What Thaqif tried to tell us". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- Koya, Abdar Rahman (2017-05-05). "Pakatan, here's your PM-designate". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- Koya, Abdar Rahman (2018-05-26). "An assurance to FMT readers post-GE14". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- Athi Shankar (6 December 2013). "Guan Eng has failed, says NGO". Free Malaysia Today. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- Imran Hilmy (20 January 2015). "Penang CM testifies in defamation suit". The Sun. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Zalinah Noordin (4 August 2015). "Guan Eng wins RM300,000 in damages over defamatory article". The Rakyat Post. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Hidir Reduan (23 May 2016). "Court quashes RM300k award for Guan Eng over defamation suit". New Straits Times. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
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