atans1

A Hard Truth about SPH reporting

In Media on 02/11/2012 at 5:15 am

There were two full-page articles in the Sunday Times on Oct 28, 2012 about two cabbies earning $7,000. per month. Since then there’s been plenty in the “cowboy” town about the accuracy of these stories. This piece in TRE has prompted me to share what I’ve learnt about how SPH reports stories.

SunT regularly features the investment “geniuses” of S’pore. They all so smart, always make money. In the past, these stories regularly appeared in ST and, even BT.

Many years ago, I asked people in SPH, editors and reporters, how SPH goes about verifying these tales of investment prowess. The answers were evasive, avoided the issue, when they were answered at all. Often I was ignored.

Only one person, someone who had moved on from SPH, gave me a straight answer. She told me to read the stories carefully. It was always “XXX said he made millions” etc. It never (well almost never) said “XXX made millions’. So it seems that the stories on these investment “geniuses”, were stories based on what they said, not on verifiable facts.

Now go read those SunT pieces again. In the main, it is a straight forward piece of “he said”. No attempt at verification or analysis like like when SPH  reports ministerial statements. But this doesn’t mean the SPHreporters and editors are “not professional”: readers are daft. They “have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not”: “O foolish and senseless people”.

“Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”

“They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not”.

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  1. I don’t always agree with your analysis and view, but your posts are definitely a class above ST.

  2. “XXX said he made millions”,how about “YYY said the people are very happy””ZZZ said they fully support the PAP”.I agree with your analysis and appreciate that I learn this.

  3. […] – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: A Hard Truth about SPH reporting […]

  4. You expect too much from a monopoly which is driven by commercial self-interest. It is also another instance that showcases how effective is self-regulation.

    Btw, SPH and Journalism are two words that do not rhyme.

  5. Caveat Emptor.

  6. By the way, the ST cannot even be relied upon to provide accurate or reliable info on where good hawker fare can be had. After a couple of wild goose chases – in one I found the hawker stall no longer exist, in the other, the food was overpriced and nothing to crow about – I realised that the reporters involved were merely out to fill up their quota with sort of rubbish.

    In another case, I actually know that a report could actually be filed and duly published complete with huge pictures WITHOUT the journalist having ever actually spoke with let alone interviewed the featured people involved!

  7. Thank you. I will make it a point to read into these “word-play” by Mainstream Media or Social Media or Politial parties. 🙂

  8. ST or not, I don’t think anyone should ever take stories of investment / career successes written anywhere too seriously.

  9. It all boils down to money, isn’t it?

    The adverts in the Shit Times are sometimes disguised as new discoveries, whether it’s a new product or new makan place. Same with those TV food programmes. Understand from a friend, it costs a couple of tens of thousands to have your commercial enterprise included. And they go around looking for suckers to take the bait.

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