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7/05/2008

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.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will heads roll again at Today? If so, it will indeed be a confirmation that it is a Government mouth piece, nothing less.

redbean said...

don't worry. it is in good hands. no head will be rolled.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it is in good hands. I can see that all the great escape stories have been edited out of TOM. So, what's new? Tan Lead Shake generated so much attention over several days. The grassroot molestation case just a mere passing mention. This two case alone tells you what the role of the media should be.

gravedigger said...

"What should be the role of the media?"

The role of the media was decided by the ruling party more than 40 years ago.

That is to educate, inform and facilitate bonding between the people and the government.
Don't question the gov't too much but it is 'perfectly' alright to trust them completely.

The old media in this sense has fulfilled its role with the 66.6%

However there is a role that the old media needs to take very seriously.
And that is to regain as much credibility so that it will not be ranked 154th.

Staying in this position or falling further down is not an option for the future.

The predicament of the old media can be illustrated by this joke.
I don't smoke
I don't drink
I don't gamble
I don't womanise
I only tell lies.

redbean said...

hi gravedigger, welcome to the blog.

the media, old or new, will always present the views of the owner or whoever is in control of it. in mature societies, they overcome this by allowing different parties to print their own papers and tell their own tooth.

the tooth is always the tooth of the one who is saying it. now that is the truth.

Anonymous said...

What's the name of the paper mrBrown used to write a column for? ^^;;

Anonymous said...

All I know is when my daughter told us she wanted to be a journalist. Both me and wifey decided it was time for us to break open our life savings and enrol her in a foreign university. She has always wanted to go abroad, the rest she is prepared to make up providing she has a chance to study overseas.

Today she is a building surveyor in Oz. When my wife and I sit in verandah thinking it through, the response is usually the same, "Phew, that was a close call.."

Draw your own conclusions what I think abt the whole industry, job, vision and how it relates to people.

I have no comment

Anonymous said...

I think they ought to change the name of the course of study to 'propagandaism'. That is more in line with the perception of the 'journalism' profession nowadays.

redbean said...

the media is a neutral instrument, just like communism or democracy. but all these can be turned into vehicles of satan or of angels.

Anonymous said...

"Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love-it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they're conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict." -Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

redbean said...

He is a genious.