In the current environment where things happen very fast, it is critical for Singapore to continue to have a national broadcaster that people can turn to as a credible and reliable source of news.
Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State at the Ministry of Communications and Information, said this during a visit to Mediacorp on Saturday (Jan 28)…
What he really meant is that the PAP administration needs running dogs like MediaCorp and SPH with people like Debra Soon and Sumiko Tan inside to give S’poreans the news that the PAP wants S’poreans to hear, see or read; not the news that the a free media forces* on its audience.
Index of Press Freedom
Our Asian peer group all above us: Taiwan (51st), Hong Kong (69th), South Korea (70th) and Japan (72nd)
Our Asean nieighbours above us: Thailand (136th), Indonesia (130th), Philippines (138th), Burma (143rd) and Malaysia (146th).
The same are in the last three positions: Turkmenistan (178th), North Korea (179th) and Eritrea (180th).
To be fair S’pore at 154th on the Index is a long way from N Korea. It’s even ahead of Brunei at 155th. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia somewhere lower.
Maybe the propaganda ministry’s and MDA’s ministers and bureaucrats, MediaCorp and SPH and their journalists and editors should work harder to get us down to the level of China (176th)?
Thank god, Yaacob the Info minister is a Malay, not an ambitious, hardworking, ruthless Cina like Chee Hong Tat. If he were minister he’d install a KPI that we must match at the very least China’s ranking .
*Think the lies the NYT, Washington Post and CNN feed the Americans who only have Fox and WSJ *for “fair and balanced” reporting. They are even turning to the BBC which in the UK is dissed by many conservatives as a bunch of leftists for a more nuanced view on Trump the Triumphant.
Yup I am sceptical about the “free media”. What one of the best editors in the UK wrote about his time editing the Sunday Times:
Murdoch has too much power and influence: that he controls every aspect of his newspapers on three continents, dictating an editorial before breakfast, writing headlines over lunch, and deciding which politician to discredit over dinner. He has been known to do all three. But he does not generally work like that: his control is far more subtle.
For a start he picks as his editors people like me, who are mostly on the same wavelength as he is: we started from a set of common assumptions about politics and society, even if we did not see eye to eye on every issue and have very different styles. Then he largely left me to get on with my work.
Editorial freedom, however, has its limits: Even when I did not hear from him and I knew his attention was elsewhere, he was still uppermost in my mind. When we did talk he would always let me know what he liked and what he did not, where he stood on an issue of the time and what he thought of a politician in the news. Such is the force of his personality that you feel obliged to take such views carefully into account. And why not? He is, after all, the owner.
**Both owned by Murdoch.