The Middle Ground couldn’t resist aniping at TOC aka Terry Xu
THE Online Citizen (TOC) has had a bad week, having had to endure a salvo of fire coming from different sides. First, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam chastised the site for propagating “falsehoods” with regard to the death of 14-year-old Benjamin Lim. Second, The Straits Times ran a story highlighting that the site was now a one-man-show. The third and latest blow dealt to the site comes in the form of a Media Development Authority (MDA) order for The Opinion Collaborative Ltd (TOC Ltd), to return its revenues to a foreign advertiser.
My friend replied:
I tot Terry Xu (aka TOC) had a great week. Get great publicity thanks to minister (eyeballs that TMG, Indi and mothership would kill for), show S’poreans that one man get make a difference* (get minister upset), and best of all fix the “bad” side of TOC. All hail Terry. Btw, I edited his first pieces for TOC. After each rewrite, I mean rewrite, I’d say to Ravi, “Pls ask him to juz take photos.” It was clear from his sentence structures he was thinking in Chinese, then translating into English. He’s come a long way.
Terry posted this recently on what makes him run (Btw, he left out what he told me last year: his feeling that there are injustices that have to made tight or at least publicised.):
I was talking to one of my friends this afternoon and the point about “journalism standards” came out.
My point is this. I don’t call myself as a journalist. It would be an insult to the term if I am titled as one. I am trained as a electronic technician at school and worked as an engineer so I would introduce myself as either of that as my core profession and engineering to me remains as my passion in life. I call myself as a reporter or whatever, solely for the sake of convenience in doing my work.
So whenever anyone from the journalistic community talks about journalism standards** to me, I don’t feel insulted nor disheartened. I just learn whatever I can from the comments and feedback to improve the stuff that I do.
The reason why I am doing what I am doing now is because the people who are trained in their job are not doing their god-given duties/profession properly with pride and integrity. If Singapore had real journalists who covered stories truthfully to the best of their ability, there would be no place for a person like me, someone who is terrible in English and ill-trained in “journalistic practices” doing what is essentially a one-man show.
So Singapore reporters or journalists or whatever, think about the reason why you took up the course and subsequently the job. Is your monthly salary the reason why you decided to work as a reporter or because you had a greater calling in this profession.
Singapore can never change for the better without the media professionals doing their job right.
Additional note – Some have talked about the difficulties that reporters have when facing their editors who are put in place for their pro-government stance. While not dismissing their attempts to push the boundaries, I still note that reporters (of course, grudgingly due the editors) is responsible for the poor literacy of this country. Because, ultimately, the half truths are written and signed in the name of the reporters.
On another point of securing the job as a reporter, a simple point for such reporters to consider, while it is unfair, but wouldn’t they be just perpetuating the whole system that brought about this unfair situation by conforming to the system; giving an impression to the public that nothing is being hidden from their eyes and everything is dandy. That because one needs to be paid, then submit articles so as to support a media outlet to allows the editor to bully the reporters into submission? To me as a layman, it seems just illogical especially when they know exactly who and what is creating this non-conducive environment for their work.
I made a small donation to TOC. I hope readers do too https://www.patreon.com/tocsg?ty=h.
Btw, my dogs are thinking about my suggestion that I stop donating to the
RSPCA and to donate instead to TOC. I told them there’s a minister looking out for dogs and cats etc, but there’s no minister to help people like the Lims.
*Those who applied to be NMPs, wanting to make a difference, should take up blogging. Has any NMP in recent memory got a minister so annoyed? I rest my case.
**A tua kee media figure criticised Terry recently in an article in Yahoo. Funny he didn’t tell us that he is a shareholder of the Indian and has some management role there. But this guy has form in not disclosing interests http://www.stockbank.com.sg/news/2412 and http://exchersonesusaurea.blogspot.sg/2011/06/pn-balji-formerly-of-st-paid-spin.html
Anyway what can one expect from someone who bites the hand that fed him well?