07 February 2009

Behind Today's Lui story

I was briefly quoted by 'Today' newspaper in their second story about Lui Tuck Yew's remarks in Parliament concerning self-regulation in the internet community. Let me share with you what happened behind the scenes between the reporter and me. A peek into how "news" is made. Full essay.


yuen said...

so the story two days ago was "self regulation has failed and we might have to do something" while today it is "some people are already trying so maybe things are not so bad after all"

but for me the interesting question is still: we heard last year that various pro government figures were setting up blogs and were told to actively participate in discussions; why have they not flooded the forums with sympathetic messages?

it cant be due to lack of bodies or logistic problems; the lack would seem to be in having something new to say; there are only so many ways to condemn senseless violence or to explain that the culprit had a history of mental problems

bloggers have in the past complained that the government has not "engaged" them in discussions; actually, I would think the same situation exists: if the government's position has already been officially enunciated through its own news channels and the mainstream media, what new things can it say if it "engages" the bloggers in other forums?

Anonymous said...

George says:

You know Alex,
Maybe, just maybe, the media is trying to act as a moderator or even a potential saviour of free speech on the Internet. Just maybe, they have got winds of a crackdown by BIG BROTHER in the offing! Witness, the change made to low on filming of public protests!

Ask, how did the communists control its dissidents and the media? The govt may very well at this moment be having teams of lawyers, psychologists and other yesmen/yeswomen to work on it.

Twentyfour_sucks said...

Lui Tuck Yew wants to run a tight ship, as if he's really an admiral and all netizens and bloggers rank under him and must respect him. I would say to Lui, "You get my ass respect".

abhtg said...

YB, I am writing a book on Singapore, and have been collating a number of vaguely related statistics for it. If anybody ever questions you on the grounds of subjectivity, you might find these objective metrics useful.

You won't be surprised to know, for instance, that the local media are the world leaders in the use of the word "awareness" (in the context of "raising awareness"), usually for the purposes of drumming up support for, say, "financial schemes", or "dating violence". From my figures, 1.5% of Channel Newsasia articles have the word "awareness", which is a rate of 3 times that of the Guardian and 5 times that of the Washington Post.

I also did a check on the word "help", although the results are much less reliable considering that many web sites come with "help documents" or guides to using their web sites. The occurrence of the word "help" in the Guardian is in about 1.7% of articles and about 1.6% for the New York Times. The corresponding occurrence in Channel Newsasia is a staggering 15%.

Accounting for "help guides", the only web sites I have found that match or exceed this figure are for humanitarian efforts such as the UN or Peta (about 30% each).

A last but rather interesting note is that SingaporeSurf, a weblog that collates contributions from the local media, has an "awareness" rate of 3.2%, which is slightly higher than that of Peta, whose entire website is practically based on "creating awareness on animal rights".

Rachel Chung said...

This is Rachel Chung of the article.

There are a few points I feel i need to clarify based on your statements.

I did not 'agree with the government'. When asked by the reporter on my reaction to people who supported the attack, I voiced out my objection to violence as a solution, which I had blogged much earlier here: http://www.xtralicious.com/2009/01/12/mp-set-on-fire-by-70-year-old-man/

I still stand by a minimum level of moderation as I stated in my comment policy: No seditious, religious, racial, hateful or personal attacks will be condoned.

After all, common sense is not such a common commodity.