Contoh Ulasan Buku

Berikut adalah contoh sebuah ulasan buku yang saya buat dalam tahun 1995.

 Broadcasting in the Malay World: Radio, Television and Video in Brunei,

Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. McDaniel, Drew O. 1994.

Norwood, N.J. Ablex Publishing Corp.  xii+339pp.

This book review  appeared in the Journal of International Communication Book Reviews in Vol 2 No. 2 (1995)


Before World War II, development in broadcasting in the then Malaya

 appeared to be crawling like a snail. Indeed, it took about half a century

 from the starting of the first radio broadcast to the introduction of

 black-and-white television, which made its debut in Malaysia in 1963. The

 Confrontation — the undeclared war Indonesia foisted on Malaysia

 following the formation of Malaysia — did not deter the introduction of

 television, which appeared to be taking its own natural course of

 development. In 1978, Malaysia introduced colour television. Two decades

 after the introduction of black-and-white television, the first private

 commercial TV station made its debut in 1984, a sterling move signalling

 Malaysia’s new policy shift to privatisation. The new station is known as

 TV3, meaning it is the third TV channel after the two government channels,

 TV1 and TV2. And slightly more than a decade later, on 1 July 1995, a

 second private commercial station came into being. From here on, things

 are moving at a very dizzying speed.


 If four is not enough, plans are afoot to add five more channels from

 September through November 1995, all as subscription or pay television.

 But viewing for the first three months would be free. Mega TV, a

 consortium led by TV3, would provide these new channels. And to cap all

 that, by April 1996, Malaysia is expected to have an additional 20

 channels when the country launches its own domestic satellite MEASAT. With

 or without MEASAT, the people of Malaysia will have access to more

 channels after that when parabola dishes will become available in

 abundance, legally or otherwise.


 McDaniel’s book _Broadcasting in the Malay World_ provides a very useful

 and important backdrop to the above development. Without knowing the early

 development of broadcasting since the 1920s, one will not be able to

 really appreciate the current progressive development in Malaysia and the

 surrounding countries, especially in Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.

 McDaniel had already recorded the possible birth of the fourth channel in

 his book (pp 146-147). The nameless entity then, now known as the

 MetroVision, is majority owned by the Melewar Corp. (a company connected

 to the Negeri Sembilan Royalty), the company that submitted the proposal

 for the channel as early as 1984. The new channel is also known as TV

 Channel 8. But its catchword is MetroVision, with two crescents joining

 together to form a reclining figure 8.


 The appearance of _Broadcasting in the Malay World_ is most welcome, as

 there is really a dearth of books on communication and the media about the

 countries in the region. Information on historical development of

 broadcasting in the region is not readily available, even though Malaysian

 scholars are making efforts to carry out research. (For instance, Asiah

 Sarji’s doctoral dissertation _The Influence of Political and

 Socio-Cultural Environment on the Development of Radio Broadcasting in

 Malaya from 1920-1959_.) McDaniel’s book not only touches about

 development in radio, television and video in Malaysia, but also in

 Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. While the title gives the name of

 countries covered in the book in alphabetical order, Malaysia actually

 receives the lion’s share. The book has 12 chapters. The first deals

 briefly with the Malay-Indonesia Archipelago, its history, ethnic

 component and the economies of the countries. This vital information helps

 readers, especially those not familiar with the region, to follow the

 later chapters with greater awareness.


 The actual discussion on broadcasting development begins with Chapter 2,

 which deals with radio in the Malay Archipelago between 1920-1941; and

 this narrows down to a history of broadcasting in Malaysia and Singapore

 between 1942-1969 (Chapter 3). Chapters 4 through 6 deal with broadcasting

 in Malaysia, Chapter 7 with broadcasting in Singapore, Chapter 8 with

 broadcasting in Brunei, and Chapters 9 and 10 with broadcasting in

 Indonesia. Chapter 11 deals with home video.


 This book is not merely a historical narration of broadcasting

 development. Rather, it tries to see how broadcasting reflects cultural

 pluralism, and the role assumed by media in cultural integration polities.

 Indeed, as the author points out very early in his book (Chapter 1), the

 countries in the region have to cope with a multi-racial population. Radio

 and television in these countries have a special function to transmit

 economic and special policies for national development. The author also

 explores the formulation and implementation of national media policies,

 and shows how mass communication is made to conform with national

 political principles. McDaniel uses Sydney Head’s viewpoint as a central

 point of his book that “each country will have uniquely adapted

 broadcasting to suit its own need.”


 While McDaniel has accomplished a lot in this volume, he has still omitted

 a good deal of needed information. McDaniel has an open field if he has

 the time to come again to this region. The most important development is,

 of course, the use of parabola dishes to receive TV signals from

 satellites in Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand while these countries are

 coping with the problem of cultural invasion through television

 programmes. The use of parabola dishes is illegal in Malaysia, but several

 thousands are installed in Sarawak, a state on the eastern wing of the

 country. These dishes are available just across the borders of Indonesia

 and Brunei. One can construe Malaysia’s efforts to flood the market with

 television channels as a strategy to curb the need for people to have

 direct access to satellite TV channels.


 It is interesting to note that McDaniel’s interest in the region

 started in the early 1950s when he was a young shortwave radio listener.

 The information and documents he collected then, plus working

 stints in Kuala Lumpur and a research grant, enabled him to put together

 this very informative book. It should be recommended reading in

 communication schools, especially in the countries discussed.


Mohd. Safar Hasim, associate professor

Department of Communication

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


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