Another reason the news in Singapore annoys me

There are many reasons why I don't typically read The Straits Times or watch MediaCorp News or Channel NewsAsia, but here's one more that I've not regularly articulated:
The first 10 minutes of the nightly news concentrated, as it always does, on the comings and goings of the senior leadership, which seemed to consist mostly of making speeches.
It's from yesterday's BBC News story, "Lessons from the Burmese uprising", and describes TV news bulletins in China, but I think it applies well enough to TV news in Singapore. How many times I've listened to or read news reports (including lame news ticker headlines) that dutifully reported the mundanities in a minister's speech as if they were the gospel truth or Eureka! moment. In an age when almost anyone with an internet connection can speak directly to a global audience, does the mere fact that it happened to be a politician who said something make it news anymore?

I happened to switch on the TV at 9:15 pm last night because I wanted white noise and was tired of my iTunes playlists. For a moment I was tempted to leave the TV on Channel 5 and wait for the 9:30 pm news bulletin --- but then I remembered how annoying previous experiences had been and switched over to the pabulum of a Discovery Travel & Living programme about travelling in Alaska instead. At least there were pretty glaciers to look at.


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At 10/02/2007 12:57 am , Blogger jude said...


I was just reading that BBC report too and thought about the same thing happening in SG.

At 10/02/2007 11:04 am , Blogger avalon said...

I agree, hate local news. Haven't turned on TV in forever. Only contact I have with it is when I clean it. (I should go buy a PS3 and make it useful again.) Stopped reading ST for a long time. I still subscribe to CNA feeds alongside BBC and Spiegel etc but at least I can choose when to read what, if ever.

At 10/03/2007 2:22 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Singapore, news are "managed" and are often delayed slightly. It is the government way of "need to know" basis of doing things. While internet news are available readily and instantly, it is the younger generation that have more access to it.

As for TV news, the majority of the viewers are those who do not use internet to read news. Likely, they are voters too. So, you see the connection.

ST is the worst, it offers nothing but propaganda of our esteemed party.

At 10/03/2007 10:57 am , Blogger James Chia said...

I also hate to watch our news for everything is packaged to make the ministers and MPs look nice. You never get the same treatment for opposition MPs.

At 10/04/2007 12:55 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'll watch the news when there is another channel that offers another perspective on local news.

it's fairly irritating to hear excerpts of speeches like it's gospel. i think they forget that we can read and analyse too.

no more 'take you at face value' sort of blind faith.


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