Friday, July 07, 2006

Straits Times, why do ye speakth in parables? If income disparity has worsened, tell us plainly!

Another reason not to read / work in the local newspaper industry?

Perhaps so, my hapless SCI friends. And the MICA had the cheek to go around accusing mrbrown of 'distorting the truth'...

Truth twisted around and contorted is still arguably truth sometimes, but the June 29th headline treated all Singaporeans like complete idiots.

In the past it was a matter of reading the headline, and then the main text body of the article would tell you something else. But this time their window dressing was plain for all to see. Need I press any further?

After NKF we thought maybe the press after all did operate as something else other than a business (as some people would claim). But thinking about that, it does make perfect business sense that the ST would defend its reputation? So no ideals being upheld here. As Don Corleone would say - its not personal, its strictly business.

But I would suspect that, the effect of that whole NKF episode was that somehow public expectations of the press were changed or increased somewhat, at least maybe to certain sectors of the population. This was probably in tandem with an increasingly sophisticated readership.

Anyway, GE2006 and Gomezgate with its political implications came along and ST descended back into its former self. With increasing access to alternative media as well as large attendance at disappointingly covered opposition rallies I believe a growing number began to be disillusioned and skeptical about the mainstream press.

Now, the dust has settled. And yet ST pulls off yet another excellent stunt. Why such a headline? It would be very VERY hard for ST to argue that it was being responsible to the public and not being partisan in politics (the same accusation MICA threw at mrbrown) when they come up with such headlines that are twisted and contorted for some reason close to the point of self-contradiction.

Or do they have a duty to preserve at all costs public order, for fear that Singaporeans would riot and bang tables when they have learnt that the bottom 30% of people here got poorer?

I'm not advocating civil disobedience and quite honestly a bad report card as such would turn heads but won't start a riot.

The point here is - report the plain truth as it is. Don't go around twisting and turning on words like income and wages. What type of conclusion would people draw?

The public readership is becoming more sophisticated and politically-aware. ST needs to start coming clean and deliver what is being expected of it, lest business suffer.

Also, wouldn't it be a political nightmare for the government if people start getting fed up with the mainstream press and turn to alternative media for news and public debate - the latter being much more out of their control and influence than traditional media?

Wise-up ST. As far as I can see, you're not winning any hearts in the SCI fraternity or amongst the growing intelligentsia.

As an aside - now that we know - that the bottom 30% of household have actually been experiencing falling incomes - wouldn't it shake the foundations of a government that places almost all its legitimacy on being able to 'deliver the goods' and feed the people economically? The release of this information was nicely timed too - after GE.

Comeon, I'm sure things will look better with the casinos when they're finally done...

*blink blink*


Benjamin Ho said...

hi, are you a SCI student? same here too...just graduated.

acuransx said...

Hi! Jason has made some mention of you... how are you doing ex-senior? Working? Were you a journ major as well? Glad you're dropping by and enjoy :)

Benjamin Ho said...

just graduated... yup, i'm a journ major as well. So what will you be doing for your FYP?