Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Search Thy Soul
Search Thy Soul
This will be one of the series of postings with regards to the 2006 Elections.
Throughout the elections period, as a candidate, I have to deal with many reporters from local press and media. From the introduction of candidates to post elections period, I will have to engage reporters from the newspaper, radio and TV.
Although many felt that the reporting in local media has improved, but I think there are still lots of room to improve on. For those who have a conscience in them, felt very depressed over the whole period of elections. A couple of reporters I have spoken to are so depressed that they told me that they would consider resigning from local journalism altogether. I have to console them. I told them that they have been through the whole process, understand how it works against their own conscience but it is not for them to give up. They should stay on to make it better, more balanced. This is after all a country that we own and the future is for us to make.
Some of the reporters say that they have to push the envelops very hard to get their points through. And most of us think that the TV channels are the worse performing media so far, though they have improved a bit from the past.
I would say that the internet, especially the blogsphere has contributed to the improvement of the local media reporting. This is expected as these alternative sources of credible information have forced the local media to react, else whatever credibility of local media has will erode quickly. For example, in the beginning of the elections campaign, the local media avoided reports on the crowd we attracted to our rallies. Later on, they just report one thousand (yeah, that's from a local press media) or just a few thousands, not putting up the photographs of the massive turnout. Later on, after the words and pictures of internet spread like fire, local mass media has no choice but to put photographs and video footages of the real turnout.
On the other hand, the content of the rally speeches are not fully reported. For example, my rebuttal to PM Lee's challenge was not put up. My suggestion of GIC and Temasek Holdings to help Singaporeans invest their CPF monies so to get higher returns were omitted. PAP has claimed that they want to debate on policy issues but in the end, they are too engrossed in Gomez Saga. This is very disappointing and yet, the local press “help” PAP to go over and over again about this Gomez Saga. This reminds us about the last 2001 GE whereby the video footage of Dr. Chee Soon Chuan shouting at Mr. Goh Chok Tong was played endlessly over the 9 days campaign period. However, Gomze Saga is totally different from Dr. Chee's shouting incident!
To me, from a news angle, there is no news value in repeating Gomez Saga as compared to the various issues raised by the candidates.
Improvement there might be, but I think the local media has to search their own souls. For those who feel very depressed basically they still have their conscience intact, I would urge them to stay on and try to make it better for Singapore. It is a heritage that we need to pass on to our future generations and I think all of us do not want to feel shameful of the things that we leave for our children.
Goh Meng Seng