Editor in Chief, Malaysiakini
Steven Gan is the co-founder and editor in chief of the political news website Malaysiakini, Malaysia's "first and only" independent news source. In 2000, he was awarded the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Gan received a degree in political economy from an Australian university in 1989. He began his journalistic career in print, as a freelancer for a Hong Kong-based newspaper. In 1991, he covered the Gulf War from Baghdad. In 1994, he returned to Malaysia, where he became a reporter for the new Malaysian daily The Sun. There he struggled against both government regulation and the self-censorship of The Sun's editors.
Though Malaysian law had provided for strict government controls on print media since 1984, the Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor, an initiative to encourage technological development in Malaysia, was launched in 1995. A founding principle of the project was that government censorship of the Internet would not be permitted. Seeing a loophole, Gan and colleague Premesh Chandran decided to found an online news resource that would be free of the controls placed on print media. The pair founded Malaysiakini.com in November 1999.
Malaysiakini is now published in four languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil – reaching over 2.5 million readers every month with independent coverage of political and current affairs.