What should be the role of media?
Today paper is getting quite a lot of attention lately since it took on a more aggressive stance. It took a strong position on the fiascos by the Home Ministry and then an opinionated article on Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Najib Razak. And the attention came from the Malaysian High Commissioner Parameswaran and also eliciting a comment from Hsien Loong not to take sides. Then Paul Jacob added by saying that what Today was doing was nothing knew as the Malaysian media were reporting similar slanted articles about Singapore politicians. Both sides can play the game. I think the problem lies in the impression that the Singapore TOM is synonymous with the govt or official mouth piece. And to allow articles that were unpleasant about another country, especially Malaysia, is like the govt condoning it. That is one of the disadvantage of being seen as being part of the govt. But of course TOM is an independent and privately run organisation and such perception is not justified. It is run by independent minded professionals who pride themselves as being well trained and their pieces as being well researched and objectives. What Today has done is a good thing. It makes the paper more colourful and readable instead of the former staid reporting, or like other TOM, reporting of stale and single dimensional pro official slant that immediately puts off the readership. We should have more opinionated pieces on issues local and foreign to give readers a chance to examine them more thoroughly and provoke into thinking a little more. The straight reporting of facts only assumes that the readership is unthinking and dull and would not be able to sieve the truth from the tooth. This opening up of TOM to be more expressive is a step in the right direction but would be better if the views are not seen as an official view or officially sanctioned one.