As expected, the focus was on the behaviour of the social media. What about that of the good boy of Singapore journalism, the mainstream media? The reporting by MSM on the first day, Dec 10, was pathetic.
The Straits Times had just one report; it was on the top of Page One with a picture of a burning vehicle in the background and riot police in the foreground. The report was lacking in drama and perspective. Turn inside and there were two pictures with a caption. That is all.
Here is Singapore’s first riot in more than 40 years and that is all ST, with huge resources at its disposal, can do? Agreed, they didn’t have much time because the story broke at about 9.30 pm and it was a Sunday, when the newsroom operates on a skeleton crew. Still, for the old dame of Singapore’s print journalism this is just not acceptable. They were caught with their pants down on a day when the social media was going to town with videos, pictures and blow-by-blow accounts. Not all of the reports there were accurate. Still…
The TODAY paper was no better with just one report and four pictures. But the worst was MyPaper, which had no mention of the riot at alll. Yes, absolutely no report. The picture on Page One was that of protests in ….Turkey. Business Times had just six paragraphs on Page 3. And this on an event which is bound to have so many repercussions for Singapore, not just political and social but also economic.