Word was going around last night that The Star’s editor, June Wong, is being moved “upstairs” into a more corporate role, taking charge of content from the company’s many media properties, and bringing about “convergence” between the press, broadcasting and online sides.
Her replacement as group chief editor is expected to be her current deputy, Leanne Goh, who was once education editor.
It is believed the changes were approved by the board on Monday afternoon.
Among the reasons speculated by journalists for June’s removal, or promotion, were:
- New MCA president Liow Tiong Lai wants someone more politically reliable or more aligned towards his ways and thinking
- June is viewed as being someone from departing Star deputy chairman Vincent Lee’s camp
- The party and the board want someone with greater political nous and street smarts, who can keep a balance between journalism and swaying with the political winds
- There has been growing pressure both from within the MCA itself, as well as from Umno, for greater coverage, with several instances being cited where party political stories did not receive the coverage that politicians believed to be their due
- June’s new appointment will give greater impetus towards bringing together all content in a more coherent form, an aim that the company had set out earlier, but which had not seen much progress.
- There had been rumblings in the newsroom when she was appointed to the editorship in November.
The reshuffle of editors takes place with Vincent Lee’s departure and the elevation of chief editor Wong Chun Wai to the top corporate job of chief executive, also in November. (He had been acting CEO since August 1 last year.)
In recent months June’s editorship was sharply questioned by pro-Barisan bloggers — among others, Wee Choo Keong, the independent (pro-Barisan Nasional) former MP for Wangsa Maju, and an online associate of Rocky’s Bru. Wee did not stand in Wangsa Maju in last year’s election.
Writing in his blog in January and February this year, he questioned the abilities of June (and one or two other unnamed editors) for the Star’s editorial coverage, picking on “weird headlines” as examples. » LINK. June has also been attacked elsewhere on the Internet and accused of having sympathies towards the DAP.
However pro-Umno blogger Jailani Harun, a former journalist, has also defended the Star for covering matters about the DAP and other Pakatan Rakyat parties as straight news.
In September last year, he wrote:
» JUST READ