Monday, October 06, 2008

Singapore Journalism: Whither the details?

Yet another mainstream news article with what I consider useless content. This time from Channel News Asia:

MP Teo says systems are in place to cope with economic downturn

Government measures include a slew of programmes, fine-tuned over the years through the experience of past downturns. Many Community Development Councils (CDCs) said they already have schemes to help and are ready to respond.

Mayor, Northwest District, Dr Teo Ho Pin, said: "Since Chinese New Year, we've experienced an increase in the number of job seekers looking for job assistance. We don't know what will be the scale downstream, but we are prepared with our staff and resources."


The above quote is all I'd say is relevant given the title of the news article. Come on! Surely, one can give some details what these "systems" are, or at least point or link to some government publication, website or gazette that does?! I read the article to find out WHAT kind of specific schemes the government had in place to help people and HOW these schemes can help so I can reason about it!

The way the article is written, they might as well have said "Ummm ... the government has some systems and plans in place to help you. Please trust them, I have no clue what they are."

2 comments:

Kaffein said...

LOL... exactly. That's what I find out in many of the reports.

Take for example the Seragoon workers' dormitory issue. From the reports, I am quite certain those in charge of planning have absolutely no clue what's happening downstream until 'ship hits the sand' or yeah... or whatever it sounds like.

The way they have responded allow me to know they are are clueless to the ground-level unhappiness and total lack of planning and negotiation with the people who stay there.

All in all, it's based on "Trust me, I know what's best".

When all fails like Mas Selamat's escape, it's "You are too complacent."

Sheesh. Pay me million bucks, I can also cook up such spin stories.

Kaffein

Chee Wai Lee said...

Actually, on the Serangoon dorm issue, I'm actually uncertain given the lack of information.

It would be helpful if crime (even home resale) statistics could help shed light on whether the residents' fears are unfounded. I'm sure there's a good dose of xenophobia involved, but there's also anecdotal evidence that residents' concerns are valid and should be addressed. Simply building a barrier isn't going to help in the long term.

Anyway, the quality of the Singapore mainstream media reporting where details are concerned is abysmal. They are less concerned with shedding light on issues than with simply saying something for the sake of saying something.