Kean Wong

Article Bio Works Projects
crossroads:
censorship, communication, democracy, globalisation, human rights, identity, media, multi-culturalism, transformation, youth
genre(subgenre):
Written and spoken word (anthology, debate, journalism)
region:
Asia, Southeast
country/territory:
Malaysia
created on:
August 22, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since November 17, 2003. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
information provided by:
Kean Wong
© Wahidur Rahman Khandkar Czhoton

Article

Malaysian media octopus

Kean Wong has broad media experience from reporting, organising filmfestivals and promoting independent media in Malaysia. He contributes to public debate as an intellectual ressource person on issues of popular culture, music, ethnic conflicts and identities, youth cultures and Islam (Asian values, clashes of civilisation).
Kean Wong has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for the past 16 years with news and media organisations in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Britain.

For the past five years, he has been a
correspondent for the BBC World Service in Kuala Lumpur, reporting and producing programs on Malaysia and Singapore for radio and television. He has also written and reported for The Economist and The Sunday Times of London during this period.

Previously he was a founding editor of the Malaysian daily newspaper The Sun, establishing its investigative reporting unit in 1994. He has also been an editorial consultant for Singapore´s Panpac Publications and getasia.com, before becoming the Editor of the best-selling Malaysian lifestyle magazine Men´s Review in 1996.

He promoted and defended independent media in Malaysia, and co-founded the Centre of Independent Journalism (CIJ) and its radio news project, Radiqradio.com, a joint venture between the CIJ and Indonesia´s biggest radio news network Radio 68H.

This radio represents a new independent news service, challenging Malaysia´s tight grip on the media by publishing on the Internet and broadcasting via radio stations in Indonesia.

RadiqRadio.com bypasses broadcasting rules because it is transmitted to Malaysia from stations in neighboring Indonesia, which take the stories from the service´s Internet site, two founders said on Friday.

The strategy means the station does not need to apply for a broadcasting license from the Malaysian government, which closely controls the electronic and print media. Internet sites do not require the publication license that newspapers must renew annually.

"It´s really an opportunity for Malaysians to be heard, to have a voice. When we report on rural issues you will hear rural people´s voices not a journalist pontificating on rural people", Wong told a local Malaysian paper.

Related projects Wong has initiated include a series of short film festivals in Kuala Lumpur, and collaborative journalism projects. He has also presented and discussed issues of popular culture, music and Islam at various conferences in Malaysia, Australia and Europe, and is presently writing a book on these themes.

He has written chapters about Malaysia and the region in various books. Besides he has written for magazines, including The Wire (London), Rolling Stone, The Independent monthly, Big O (Singapore), Asia Magazine (Hong Kong), and Asia Inc.
Author: Karin Bergquist

Bio

1996: Editor of the best-selling Malaysian lifestyle magazine Men´s Review.

1994: Established the investigative reporting unit of the Malaysian daily newspaper The Sun, of which he is a founding editor.

Co-founder of the Centre of Independent Journalism (CIJ) and its radio news project

Works

Losing Control: Freedom of the Press in Asia

Published Written,
2000
Kean Wong has written chapters about Malaysia and the region in various books, including Losing Control: Freedom of the Press in Asia (L. Williams, R. Rich, eds; Asia Pacific Press, Canberra, 2000).

The Faber Book of Pop

Published Written,
1995
Kean Wong has written chapters about Malaysia and the region in various books, including (Hanif Kureishi, Jon Savage, eds; Faber&Faber, London).

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)