I suppose there are times when there is a piece of news that the mainstream media rather not report, but it has to because it is still a news organization and the readers do want to know. If the news organization wants to keep its readers loyal, the readers have to be served lest they migrate to another comprehensive sources all else being the same. This is especially so when the news organization is the old-style media complete with deadwood newspaper section to manage in this digital age, and the reader profile is English-speaking and mostly better educated than the rest of Malaysians.
The big news yesterday was the success of Shahrizat Abdul Jalil in holding back insurrection in Wanita UMNO, complete with the backing of UMNO and BN President Najib Razak. Shahrizat is already controversy-ridden with her family members through and through involved in the NFC corruption scandal. For a coalition that is trying hard to shed its corrupted image even since the last general election, this controversy is a major setback. That the man who supposedly carries the transformation banner to be fully behind Shahrizat, this is beginning to develop into a story of a leopard and its spots, instead of The Ugly Duckling.
The Star realizes this and The Star is obviously owned by MCA, an ally of UMNO within the BN coalition. They need to keep their owners happy. They need to prop their owner up or at the very least, not make them look bad given the constraint of the digital age. Not to highlight the unfortunate news and not trying to blatantly pretend that nothing happened yesterday, on its front page, “Be phone smart”, trumpeting a clarion call for consumers to know their cell phone and their bills.
There is a small subsection about Shahrizat and Najib, telling readers that the news is somewhere inside. Somewhere, inside.
And of course, a picture of a top-South Korean girl band singing in Kuala Lumpur.
And a big KFC finger licking good commercial at the bottom.