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Hey I’m a PR and I Love Singapore

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Almost Singaporean

Straits Times – 27 March 2010

Permanent residents Vishal Garg and his wife Shweta moved to a Marine Parade condo to improve their three-year-old son Prateek’s chances of getting into popular schools nearby, but recent changes mean PRs will get one fewer ballot than citizens for places at schools. — ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

THREE-YEAR-OLD Prateek Garg once smacked his Chinese playmate for calling him Indian. ‘I’m Singaporean!’ bawled the child, whose favourite food is chicken rice.

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Oh my god….Period. The first sentence of the article simply puts me off. With all due respect to the featured family above, this is yet another USELESS piece of news published by our beloved Straits Times. Come on….! We are talking about the national newspaper here. To make things worse, it’s on the bloody cover page!!! Where are the priorities given?! I SURE do NOT see cover page news when a national serviceman passed away while serving the nation. How about the discussion of the mandatory death penalty after the recent case of Yong Vui Kong?  Even if you want to propogade, you can put such news abut Permanent Residents in the ‘Home’  section or something.

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Chief Editor: Oh no, its Wednesday night and we have no significant news for the cover on Saturday!!! Any ideas??

Jounalist : Hmmm.. how about Lee Hsien Loong’s disappearing act recently?

Chief Editor: You still want your job Mister? ….err I know! Recently our Ministers are talking about integration policies for our beloved Permanent Residents. I think this is realllllllyyyy important as we are trying to create a cosmopolitan metropolis right?

Journalist : Great idea! I have a PR friend who is a banker, wife is a trainer, and a little boy awaiting balloting for Primary school.  They live in an upscale condominium in Marine Parade and they sure loveeee Singapore and adoreeessss our Government. I reckon they can even say the pledge backwards! Perfect candidates right!

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And hence ladies and gentlemen, the cover page of your Saturday’s Straits Times.

Back to basics people. What is journalism all about? It’s about awareness of issues, investigating, fact-finding, analyzing and presenting to the readers out there. Whether its opinion based, or news reporting, the main idea is to trigger the reader out there. To make him aware, think and form his own judgment. Of course we have tabloids that covers gossips and scandals, but I am focusing on the average mainstream national newspaper out there. Now, telling me about how ” Singaporean”  a PR family is NOT news. What do a reader gain from that, especially our citizens. The most we can say is “good for them!”……… NEXT.

Since I am on the topic of journalism, another issue that perplex me, especially by our local reporters, is how they love to place an occupation after a name. For example, in an unfortunate news like an accident, these  reporters will state, “Mr ABC, an investment banker died while driving to work today.”  Now if I were to substitute the investment banker with pool cleaner, will it make any difference? Will people feel more sympathy as he was a banker? Why do we always categorize people by their job? It does not help especially since we live in a judgmental society.

To be fair, I would not say the Straits Times is trash. I do enjoy the opinionated pieces especially in the Sunday Times and the contributions by the foreign press at the review and forum pages. HOWEVER, please don’t blatantly spread propaganda. It’s cheap. Why not for a change talk about how the average couple out there is coping with their 30 year HDB mortgage? or whether work life balance is ever existent  nowadays. These are matters that are close to our hearts that should definitely be looked at.

Kudos to online blogs like  ‘The Online Citizen” and “Temasek Review”. It’s true that some of their articles can be slightly  bias at times, but AT LEAST they make us THINK and QUESTION and JUDGE, and that is what effective journalism is all about.

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Written by Nabs

March 27, 2010 at 2:58 am

Posted in MIND, Politics, Ramblings

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