Thursday, February 09, 2006

The newspapers and Politics.

Was going through this with my class just now about how the press works and the dangers of government control over said institution when I realised that I've had this post in my head for the past couple of weeks and I haven't written it down yet.

How is it that one party gets to use the press in a way to hit the other over the head when the media in Singapore is not supposed to be the medium for partisan politics?
"Hmmm..." says I.
"Hmmm..." says the students.


I guess it's not surprising to say that Singapore does not have a free press. It's been overtly controlled by the government, admittedly so at that, so no big shock there. But then again, the government's made up of primarily 1 party. So...What does that mean for the press?

Does it mean that the media is controlled by a single political entity which is not necessarily our elected government per se? Does that mean that the primary means of information dissemination in Singapore is worked by a partisan body? Does that mean that effectively rules regarding the media are set (and broken) by said majority power and is partisan?


On the other hand, it's hard to believe that the Workers Party came up with a manifesto so flawed that if it were more flawed, we'd be walking on it? (Aural joke...listen to it) Maybe there's a conspiracy... (Oooo...) I figured that it sounded like someone from an opposition party sneaked into WP headquarters and messed around with their manifesto.


Meanwhile, I'm bemoaning the fact that it's evident that elections are coming around and that means one whole day burned. Maybe my constituency will be a walkover. (It's all becoming so anyway...) Maybe I'll call in sick.



Blogger code22x said...

I don't buy this "Free Press" thing, because it is just concept that assumes that the Press is fair, intelligent, impartial and responsible - and the public is knowledgeable and reasonable. This is not reality, just like pure economics.
The “Press”, like “Government” is a body of many, many people, not one person, and therefore not possible to ensure everyone to act and think the same. Only robots and computers can.
Singapore is a very small, crowded place and is very difficult to hide things, and even if possible, not for very long. I think our system in dealing with the Press is very good, giving them the responsibility to validate what they report. And our government knowing that the people want more transparency, effectiveness and power of Internet, implemented discussion sessions, and even email to PM & ministers. And because our Press can be judged and brought to trial, we get downfall of old NKF. The government move fast to fix the problem.
In other countries is very different with irresponsible Press, and I think this could create riot and undermine our stability if we allow it in Singapore. Just look at Denmark. Imagine how long will it take for us to recover, if possible if it happened to us!


Tue Feb 14, 12:03:00 pm 2006  
Blogger Packrat said...

Wasn't an argument for free press but a press that is controlled by a political entity which is not (surprisingly enough) our elected government.

I understand that the idea of a free press is indeed unfeasible due to the myriad of controlling factors as well as possible press irresponsibility. Press irresponsibility also ends up in things like the escalation of the Cronulla riots.

The problem is that when a party with an agenda, let's just hypothetically say, like turning Singapore into an oligarchy (as opposed to a democracy) has control of the press, it can do so without a whimper from the people.

Just something to think about I guess.

Tue Feb 14, 01:45:00 pm 2006  

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