Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why Press Freedom in Singapore matters?

I think we are taking the values of free speech and free press for granted. While I do not deny we need to engage in self-censorship for issues like terrorism and official secrets to maintain Singapore’s national security, it is however our mainstream media’s role to provide the most accurate and the most unbiased information for all Singaporeans without any risk of intimidation by our government to prevent our journalists from writing about sensitive or embarrassing issues such as Singapore’s fast widening income gap, rising cost of living, foreign talent policy and Temasek’s foreign investments etc.

However, if our journalists decide not to take on an investigative role but instead adopt self-censorship in their news reporting in the name of “nation-building”, allowing the government to control any information to release to the public or withhold any undesirable piece of information so that the government can carry on with their agenda without any external pressure, the journalists are doing their readers a disservice as they are assuming the released information they have in hand is 100% accurate. And when they publish those “facts and statistics” in the newspapers, people will believe every single word that they read as truths.

Therefore, in order for our mainstream media to remain objective, it must be able to legitimately criticise the government and inform the public in the most complete and responsible manner. It is more important that we suffer small ailments or hiccups as early as possible than to cause Singapore to suffer major setbacks should any government policy fails in the future.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Daylife adds:[...]For instance, in Singapore, also yesterday, a study determined that most people there favor stability over press freedom as summed up in this quote:
...[condensed]...
However, blogger James Chia recently wrote, on the blog All and Sundry Singapore, “in order for our mainstream media to remain objective, it must be able to legitimately criticise the government,” and went on to say:[...]
James, you obviously have a clear & supported view of press freedom, and I think you could offer interesting insight to our readers. We'd love for you to comment on our post if you don't mind sharing your view! Thanks, Matthew