atans1

Traingate: Useless local new media?/ How real joutnalists operate

In Media on 12/07/2016 at 7:10 am

No not because they missed two open goals (here and here)

But because as my friend’s Facebook avatar grumbled:What this [TrainGate] shows is that our alternate media are rubbish. Only use MSM reports to criticise govt. If no ST report, no grumble. ((((( 

He was referring to the fact that a Hongkie website broke the story about the cracked S’pore trains, not one of the usual suspects here. The video was shot here, not in HK.

A tua kee writer from TMG (where an ex-Imperial Keyboard Stormtrooper general, and wannabe Sith Lord, once upon a time, presides) responded

Eh, hello. First of all, the tip-off went to someone in HK. How you want us to know? You think journalist = CID officer is it? If the tip-off had landed with us of course we would have covered it. Second, you think alternate sites got very big budget is it? Starting already kena pay $50,000 deposit.

My friend’s avatar responded with

TOC’s Terry Xu would cover it. So would TRE. But TMG? My toes are laughing.

[My friend was alluding to Bertha Henson’s boast that she allowed one Harry Lee to edit her copy of her article on him when she was a junior ST reporter.]

And

The issue is why the tip-off went to HK? Because the informer knows that HK site will do the issue justice, but not a S’pore site?

He never got a response.

I’d add two more points to my friend’s snarky but not unreasonable comments.

I suspect that the whistle-blower was certain that if he reported via a S’pore site, his identity would not remain a secret very long. He’d be safer telling the news via a Hongkie site. In this I think he or she has got a point. Something Goh Meng Seng and Uncle Redbean don’t play up is that British standards of behaviour still apply in HK.

And the TMG writer obviously does not have a clue about how the CID or real journalists (not SPH or MediCorp or N Korean ones) operate.

An experienced CID officer catches criminals largely via his network of informers, not thru using the methods of Sherlock Holmes or CSI. A retired very senior police officer once told me that a new CID officer is given a list of existing police informers in his area and is then expected to “recruit” new contacts. When a crime is committed in his “area”, the officer is expected to use his network to solve the crime.

No rocket science or even forensic science needed, As one can expect, this job is not for scholars.

As for how journalists operate outside N Korea and S’pore, he should go find out how the London papers or US journalists work. They inherit and build up networks of informers. Unlike S’porean journalists they don’t depend on “briefings” or releases or reading the local MSM or Facebook.

The attitude of this tua kee writer from TMG is precisely why a former ST reporter and strike leader* wrote on his Facebook page: Investigative journalism has been frowned upon by the establishment here. The mantra was that it has its own checks and balances which can correct its own mistakes, prompting the online world to create a phrase – ownself check ownself – to mock a government that resents media playing the watchdog.

The embarrassment is not just for the government. The MRT story exposed the local media’s inability and/or unwillingness to investigate government scandals and thus help play its rightful role in society.

Investigative journalism is a lost art here. Our newspapers are filled with press-release journalism, making them dull and at most times unreadable.

Hear, hear.


*In those innocent days the Labour minister helped organise a strike at the then ST. That was how pro-labour the PAP were then.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: