The purpose of this research is to know that how readers in TAR University College students in Penang age 17 to 24 react to the LGBT community issues under the impact of online newspaper which reports on the consequences of being LGBT

The purpose of this research is to know that how readers in TAR University College students in Penang age 17 to 24 react to the LGBT community issues under the impact of online newspaper which reports on the consequences of being LGBT, basically news about punishment and discrimination. For example, the discrimination and challenges faced by transgender women and two Malay lesbian women who attempted to have sex was caned under law enforcement.
It is hypothesized that the youths who read online newspapers are more aware of the happenings of the LGBT cases (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2018). Therefore, they own different attitudes towards the LGBT.

Attitude is defined as the response shown towards certain issues. It can be positive, neutral or negative. The components of attitude is categorized into ABC’s of attitude which represents Affective component, Behavioural component and Cognitive component (Chaiklin H. 2011). The 3 components are used as a guide to interpret the respondents’ attitude.

Affective component: It involves a person’s emotion about the object. For example: “I feel disgust about LGBT.”
Behavioral component: The attitude influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid LGBT community and ignore their existence”.
Cognitive component: It involves a person’s belief or knowledge about a subject.. For example: “I believe being a LGBT is morally wrong”.
(McLeod, S. A. ,2014.)

The advance evolution of the communication media has made newspaper to be accessible through online. The younger generation can easily read through online newspaper to keep track of the recent happenings in their surroundings (Thiel, 1998). The news article can be either positive, neutral or negative and how does it affect the attitude of TAR University College students who use the Uses and Gratification Theory. Malaysia was previously known as Government Gazette in 1805 (NECHc Malaysia, 2012). New Straits Times, which formerly known as Straits Times was the oldest newspaper in Malaysia founded in 1845 (NSTP, 2012). The emergence of the internet has contributed to the emerging of online newspaper but also brings challenges to the print newspaper, causing the readership of the print newspaper to shrink (Yang,M.J., Chyl,H.I. 2011,p.59).

In order to keep up with the pace of the Internet, most of the Malaysia’s newspapers have introduced their publications on the Internet , such as The Star, New Straits Times, Berita Harian, The Sun, Utusan Malaysia etc. According to the New Straits Time Press (NSTP) in 2012, the monthly readership for their website reached 4,350,000 readers. In fact, The circulation of online newspaper of the New Straits Times increased to 47,092 copies for the first six months of year 2017 (NST,2017). Meanwhile, print newspaper shrunk in the recent years due to the emerging of the electronic media, and the print circulation has also dropped (Grabowicz, 2012). Meanwhile, print newspaper is shrinking in the recent years due to the emerging of the electronic media, and the print circulation has dropped (Grabowicz, 2012).

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups are not allowed to practice the lifestyle in the country, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa. According to the 2011 report on laws about homosexuality worldwide from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Malaysian law on homosexual activity is codified in Section 377 of its Penal Code. Based on Penal Code (Consolidated version 1998) 187, Malaysian law currently provides for whipping and up to a 20-year prison sentence for homosexual acts involving either men or women It is known that Malaysia is an Islamic country with majority in Malays which relationships of same gender is against the law because Islam as the religion of the federation. Sodomy is still a crime in Malaysia, where the official religion is Islam. According to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia could not accept the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture although they were considered as basic human rights in the Western countries (NST, 2018).

This report seeks to answer :
The sustainable ways that online newspapers influences its existing and potential audiences in Malaysia.
The direct and indirect ways of online newspapers on the Malaysian society.

Method
Quantitative: Closed-ended questions through Google forms

Quantitative method is used in this research because Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements which enables one to express numerically or computerised (Earl R, 2010). The course of action taken is measured by the data collected through surveys, or questionnaires. Quantitative method is a good tool to extract information from a large targeted group (Nayeem Showkat & Huma Parveen, 2017). The understanding and conclusion are made based on the data collected. The aim of conducting this survey is to obtain accurate and valid results to analyse and report. Firstly, preparing a questionnaire is one of the integral part of conducting a survey (Nayeem Showkat & Huma Parveen, 2017).

Quantitative method survey questions is stating the research problem in very specific and set terms (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 1992). In addition, it achieves high levels of credibility of gathered data due to mass surveys (Balsley, 1970). Moreover, qualitative method enables the questionnaire to eliminate or minimize the subjectivity of judgment (Kealey & Protheroe, 1996). By using this method, the research begins with hypotheses and theories. Besides, the survey includes the elements of manipulation and control. The results is in numerical indices which reduces data (Glesne & Peshkin 1992; Lincoln & Guba 1985).

The results of closed-ended questionnaires help the researchers to identify general pattern of respondents’ attitude towards LGBT. Quantitative methods and procedures allow the researchers to obtain a broad and general findings of the major respondents (Yilmaz, 2013). As our respondents are targeting TAR UC students which consist of at least 50 respondents, therefore quantitative method has the suitability to present broad and clear findings. The advantage of this method is that it allows one to measure the responses of respondents to a set of questions, thereby displaying comparison and analysing statistical data (Yilmaz, 2013). Quantitative method let the researchers play a neutral role in the process of collecting data as they do not let the respondents describe their feelings, thoughts, frames of reference, and experiences with their own words (Yilmaz, 2013).

According to Stewart ; Shamdasani, focus groups have been recommended as a starting point to prepare for the survey questionnaires (Stewart ; Shamdasani, 1990). The questions designed will be close-ended questions which contain multiple choice questions and scaled questions.

Sample of closed-ended Questionnaire
Name:
Gender:
Contact No:
Age:
E-mail:

Do you read online newspapers?
Yes neutral no
How frequent do you read online newspaper?
Daily Weekly Monthly
Do you read about LGBT news through online newspaper?
Yes neutral no
Do you accept gays? Lesbians? Transgender? Bisexual?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
Does online newspaper shape your perception towards LGBT?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
Can you accept your friends or relatives is a LGBT person?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
Do you feel ashamed if your friends or relatives is a LGBT?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
In the past 30 days, do you read online newspaper regarding LGBT?
Yes neutral no
What would you categorise the representation of LGBT in the online newspaper?
Stereotypical Realistic
Do you feel that online newspaper is being fair when reporting to LGBT news?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
Based on the online newspaper you have read about LGBT, do you feel disgust about LGBT?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
Based on the online newspaper about LGBT, will you avoid LGBT community and ignore their presence?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
Based on the online newspaper you have read about LGBT, do you believe being a LGBT is morally wrong?
Strongly disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly agree
Where do you get to access online newspaper about LGBT?
Facebook Instagram Twitter Google news news sites
After you read online newspaper about LGBT, do you think LGBT community should be accepted in the future in Malaysia?
Yes neutral no

Theory
Uses and Gratification Theory
The Uses and Gratification Theory (U;G) is developed by Elihu Katz and Jay Blumler. U;G Theory stated that individuals rely on mass media to gain information but they still hold control in interpreting contents (Guosong Shao, 2009).

Based on the book, Mass Communication Research, Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch explain the five basic assumptions for Uses and Gratification Theory. The first assumption is that “the audience is portrayed as active” (Katz, Blumler, ; Gurevitch 1974). It reflects the audience is goal orientated to obtain what they need through the help of media.

According to the book, the second basic assumption is “in the mass communication process, the audience decide whether to use the media or not.”(Katz, Blumler, ; Gurevitch, 1974). This idea claims that people utilize media to achieve their goal more often than the media uses them. The book stated that the individual opinion is stronger and shall determine what is going to be absorbed without allowing the media to influence their decision.

The third basic assumption that Mass Communication Research directs us to is that “the media competes with other sources of satisfaction”(Katz, Blumler, ; Gurevitch, 1974). Mass media has to prepare itself to meet the needs of audiences.

The forth basic assumption from the book is that “many of the goals media use can be extract from data collected from the individual audience”(Katz, Blumler ; Gurevitch 1974). This idea suggested that people are very conscious of their motives. On top of that, it was found that audience members use these media forms to build their own identities.

The final basic assumption taken from the book Mass Communication Research is that “the value of the media content can only be judged by the audience”(Katz, Blumler ; Gurevitch 1974). Therefore, each of them places their own view.

The method is used to explain how individuals read online newspapers to their advantage to respond towards LGBT news. This paper seeks to answer using the U;G Theory to examine, explain, and provide answers to what benefits or impacts to their attitude towards LGBT. This theory claims that the influence of media is limited to what people allow it to be. The usage of online newspaper as a result of the widespread of the Internet is believed to have changes in roles, personal and social habits of online newspaper readers (Gallion, 2010). This approach is aim to prove that the influence of media is limited to what people allow it to be. Individuals have their own independent opinions about the presence of LGBT community.

In addition, article by Rice and Williams, articles by Williams, Strover and Grant (1994), Newhagen and Rafaeli (1996), Morris and Ogan (1996), and December (1996) have also included references which claimed that the suitability of U;G Theory for new media research which is compatible for the research regarding online newspaper.

Below are the examples of extracts from online newspapers.

1. The new government has been advised by campaigners to curb the spread of hatred toward LGBT people (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2018).

2. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa stated that the LGBT community must not be discriminated regardless of one acceptance towards the LGBT (Reduan, 2018).

3. Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir claimed that Malaysia cannot accept LGBT marriage regardless of the acceptance in Western countries (Abas, Ramasamy Mohd, 2018).