‘Reliability is not the mainstay of social media of course, as it is essentially an online variant of coffee shop talk, amplified by the echo chambers of cyberspace. Hearsay, half truths, opinion masquerading as information, and ideological propaganda are feral features of this domain. Yet, if those behind sociopolitical websites made little effort to uphold even basic tenets – for example, opinions are free but facts are sacred – a collective slide to the bottom will be inevitable. Ultimately, it is the reading public that can help determine the directions of social media in Singapore.’
This is the Straits Times talking, the epitome of correctness and accurate reporting of news free from factual errors and propaganda, only the truth and nothing but the truth. This quality of the Straits Times and main media is unchallengeable given the resources and the number of professionals and editors editing and editing their articles before printing. The puzzling part is that The main media here is ranked something like 154th in the same category as 3rd world and dictator regimes and dysfunctional society. Given its sparkling credential for reporting only accurate news free from propaganda, it should rightly deserve a place among the top few most credible main media in the world. Coincidentally Donald Trump has just bumped the Washington Post for being dishonest and put it under his blacklist. This may be an exception, a leading newspaper being accused of dishonesty. It speaks only of one main media newspaper. The rest of the main media are just honest reporting news agencies. Their credibility is unquestionable. And Washington Post has replied that ‘The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along – honourably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly.’ Between the two, one of them one must be lying throught its teeth and dishonest.
Readers who want to get the truth, honest news, no propaganda, must go to the main media. I am puzzled why there are readers who gave up their subscriptions of main media and went to the net and social media claiming that only in the net and social media that the real news and truths can be found, in the midst of half truths and untruths. Readers of social media know that there are many untruths and half truths in the social media and are wary and skeptical and very discerning. They are always on their guards against misleading news and half truths.
Can’t say that of the main media readers. They read the main media expecting to read the truths, not half truths or misleading news and thus would whole heartedly believe what they read, believing them to be the truths. If they are cheated, like reading the Washington Post, they only have themselves to be blamed for not raising their guards against dishonest news and propaganda. They expect the main media to tell the truth and thus are vulnerable should a main media prints dishonest and misleading news, even propaganda.
Would it be necessary to warn readers of main media to be on their guard against half truths, misleading news and propaganda in the main media? One thing for sure, if they are reading the ST, they can be sure of honest and uncoloured reporting, free from propaganda, only the truth and nothing but the truth.
What do you think?