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Former senior ST journalist Bertha Henson takes mainstream media to task

MSM criticised over standard of reporting, for not insisting on answers and lacking extra interviews

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A former senior journalist who spent 26 years at the Singapore Press Holdings, mainly working for SPH’s flagship English publication The , has criticised the (MSM) for its standard of reporting.

In a Facebook post written in the style of a Forum letter, Ms addressed the mainstream media saying: “Dear MSM, What in heaven’s name is happening to you?”

In her post on Sunday (Dec 22), she criticised the mainstream media for its lack of additional reporting, no insistence on getting answers and lack of extra interviews beyond the usual “experts”. Referring to the Government, she asked: “Is the G telling you cannot do this or cannot do that? You CAN say no, you know.”

Henson added: “You must get at least your core content up to standard and not simply be happy that there is ‘news’ to report. Your professional pride should be more important than the need to protect the G from possible brickbats or listening to G-men who want their agencies to look good or don’t want to give info coz scared of more ‘trouble’.”

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Ending her letter as “A Concerned Reader”, she addressed the MSM directly and said: “Please INSIST on info and tell all those G-men to go fly kite. You serve the readers, not the G. The G should know that if you look stupid and lose credibility with readers and viewers, it hurts them even more. If they don’t know, TELL THEM.”

Henson is now a part-time lecturer at the Communications and New Media Department at the National University of Singapore. /TISG

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