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Oldest English newspaper in Malaysia, Malay Mail, goes 100 percent digital

Malay Mail – the oldest English newspaper in Malaysia – will change its business model and go 100% digital on 2nd December when it stops its print operations on 1st December 2018 which is also its 122nd birthday.

Its Editor-in-Chief Datuk Wong Sai Wan made the announcement to the 165 staff in a town hall meeting at its Petaling Jaya headquarters on Thursday.

"It is a change of business direction. We are going into the full gamut of the digital business from content to marketing.

"The old way of doing the newspaper business of advertising subsidising the circulation, editorial and printing costs is no longer viable," said Wong.

It is said that Malay Mail's news portal attracts unique visitors totalling some 4.3 million of which 80 per cent of the traffic coming from mobile. Its monthly social media reach is 5.1 million with 13 million-page engagements.

Wong said such high traffic volume has encouraged the management to abandon the traditional print and expand its digital reach.

He said the company will ramp up its digital plans through new acquisitions of portals, blog-sites and social media sites.

Malay Mail will no longer restrict itself to hard breaking news and stick to its motto of "News that you can use." Malay Mail and its new sites will be more in touch with its readers as well as its clients.

"We want to be relevant and useful to all our stakeholders – readers and clients," Wong added.

He also said a third of present staff may be outplaced, though nothing has been finalised. The media industry worldwide has been shifting rapidly in recent years and embracing digital technology as the way people communicate and consume news evolves.