The Edge Financial Daily stops its print edition

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ graphic by MZUKRI

THE Edge Financial Daily (FD) published its final print edition yesterday, becoming the latest casualty of the turmoil faced by the newspaper industry.

The Edge Media Group said in a notice in its final print edition that FD has been hit by a double whammy — the shift towards digital news and the economic impact of the movement restriction measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The country has been on the stay-home order since March 18.

“Sadly, FD is unable to survive the double onslaught of the shift to digital news and the current lockdown of the economy because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will, therefore, be the last issue of FD.

“But it will not be the last stories our journalists will write for you,” the notice said yesterday, signed by publisher/CEO Ho Kay Tat and editor-in-chief Azam Aris.

The company will move its content to online. The move to end the print edition ends FD’s 13 years in the market after it was launched in May 2007.

From today, the business daily is fully online. Its sister newspaper The Edge Weekly will continue its print edition.

The Malaysian Press Institute CEO Datuk Dr Chamil Wariya said to Bernama that the decision to stop the print edition of FD is another sad episode in the history of Malaysian journalism.

“I think the future of news media would be mainly online, which is a good move in a way,” he was reported as saying by the national news agency Bernama.

The demise of FD came about six months after Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd pulled the shutter on the country’s oldest Malay language newspaper Utusan Malaysia after the company faced crippling financial losses. The company also stopped publishing its sister newspaper Kosmo!.

Malaysia’s oldest newspaper Malay Mail ceased its print operations in early December 2018 and shifted fully to online.

The newspaper business has been going through the most difficult period in history, and the coronavirus pandemic and Movement Control Order have punched a huge hole into the businesses’ cashflow.

Newspaper circulation has plummeted during the period, while advertisers have postponed or cancelled their campaigns as most businesses have come to a grinding stop.

Despite the hunger for content and the higher readership of online versions, the revenue generated from the digital platforms is still insufficient to sustain the business.

With the end of the FD print edition, The Malaysian Reserve is the only English business newspaper in the country that prints five days a week.