branding in singapore
Branding Singaporeans We have heard the familiar quitters and stayers descriptions of Singaporeans. Then the local talent and foreign talent, the pro govt and anti govt, the whiners, the complainers, the insurgents, the dissidents, the anti establishment, the disloyal citizens etc etc In cyberspace, there is one group, the pro govt, versus the rest, ie the anti govt, the whiners, the complainers, the insurgents, the dissidents, the anti establishment, and the disloyal citizens or whatever negative words that can be used to describe them. Why can't bloggers and forumers be concerned citizens, interested citizens, politically aware citizens, political/social observers, people who just want to have a say about our national affairs, people with an alternative view, a different perspective etc? When the govt talks about the light touch, it reflects the kind of mentality behind the statement. It is control and punishment, light or heavy as it deems fit. It is the stick that rules. Compare this with the BBC's tie up with YouTube and you can straight away see the stark difference in the approach. I quote: "As the BBC has acknowledged, I think it;'s better to embrace it and jump in," said analyst Chris Lake. "That way, you can monitor the quality and the content." Mr Ashley Highfield, the BBC's director of future media and technology, said the BBC would not hunt down all BBC-copyrighted clips already uploaded by YouTube members, but would reserve the right to swop poor quality clips with the real thing, or to have content removed that had been edited or altered in a way that would damage the BBC's brand. "We don't want to be overzealous, a lot of the material on YouTube is good promotional content for us," he said. This right to alter is similar to the govt's stand on the right of reply. The govt is free to reply in cyberspace on any misinformation put forward to clear the air. There is no need to always think of using the stick. It will also generate more healthy debates on issues and better understanding. Did I hear a renaissance? What renaissance if the mentality is to curb and control, and to use the stick? Or anyone with a different view will be branded as anti govt, anti establishment, dissidents or insurgents?