Steven Gan

Co-founder & Editor-in-chief, Malaysiakini

Steven Gan is a co-founder and editor-in-chief of independent online news website, Malaysiakini. He began his career as a Hong Kong-based freelancer and covered the Gulf War from Baghdad in 1991. He returned to Malaysia in 1994, becoming special issues editor and columnist for the then newly launched Sun newspaper, where he helped reveal the deaths of 59 inmates in the Semenyih immigration detention camp. When his editors refused to run the story, Gan released his findings to a human rights activist, who was subsequently charged with spreading “false news,” a crime in Malaysia. When Gan reported on protests during the 1996 Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor, he was arrested and jailed for five days. Amnesty International named Gan a prisoner of conscience. When his newspaper refused to publish his last reports from the conference, Gan resigned and became an editorial writer for The Nation newspaper in Bangkok. Since going live in November 1999, Malaysiakini has become one of the top news websites in the country. Malaysiakini received the Free Media Pioneer 2001 award from the International Press Institute, and Gan was a recipient of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award 2000.

Steven is speaking at

October 5, 2018
9:15 am - 10:30 am
Grand Ballroom (Lower Lobby)


  • Zaffar Abbas (Speaker) Editor, Dawn Newspaper, Pakistan
  • Maria Ressa (Speaker) CEO & Executive Editor, Rappler
  • Steven Gan (Speaker) Co-founder & Editor-in-chief, Malaysiakini
  • Sreenivasan Jain (Speaker) Managing Editor, NDTV
  • Eni Mulia (Speaker) Executive Director, Indonesia Network for Investigative Journalism (JARING)
  • Sheila Coronel (Moderator) Dean of Academic Affairs, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism


At a time when independent media is under siege in Asia -- and around the world -- we begin IJAsia18 with a discussion among prominent journalists working on the frontlines of censorship and political pressure. We've asked our distinguished panel to give us their best strategies to cope with the new era of legal and regulatory threats, online harassment and disinformation. Come hear how your colleagues are fighting back in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Philippines. 

October 7, 2018
9:00 am - 10:15 am
Amber (3rd Floor)


  • Emily Goligoski (Speaker) Membership Puzzle Project
  • Ross Settles (Speaker) Adjunct Professor, Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong
  • Reg Chua (Moderator) Chief Operating Officer, Reuters News
  • Bridget Gallagher (Speaker) Principal, Gallagher Group LLC
  • Malou Mangahas (Speaker) Executive Director, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Steven Gan (Speaker) Co-founder & Editor-in-chief, Malaysiakini
  • Govindraj Ethiraj (Speaker) Founder, IndiaSpend & BOOM (


This morning’s workshop is for start-ups, nonprofits, and new media on the business practices and revenue models underlying successful investigative journalism enterprises. What are the keys to a successful investigative journalism organisation or start up? How can such organisations diversify revenue, especially in more difficult areas of the world? What innovative practices will provide a strong base and financial structure to do important investigative journalism? Three global experts and five investigative journalism organisations from across Asia will join forces to share best practices and ideas.

Part One will focus on three essential sources of revenue: fundraising, audience engagement & revenue, and commercial income. 

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