I read with astonishment and puzzlement about The Independent Singapore’s featured news, “SPH Media circulation data massaging: Some 30 years of hanky panky?” (Jan 15, 2023). Several crucial points which are concerning the SPH Media circulation data saga:
It is true that the number of readership of the total SPH’s printed newspapers (any language title) is more than its factual circulation number, as one copy of a printed newspaper could be read by more than one reader. (For example, 1 copy multiply x number of readers).
Why did several former SPH Media senior executives ignore and forgo the quality of integrity and trust, which are of the utmost importance and professionalism to the publishing professionals? And why did they need to bloat and falsify the circulation data?
Didn’t they know that the destruction of several thousand printed newspapers across all titles was equated to the huge waste/loss of money from the shareholders (as the former SPH was a publicly listed company)?
The stiff competition from alternative online media in the last two decades, such as Today, The Independent Singapore and Mothership, has resulted in the loss of sales revenue (inclusive advertising revenue) and the steep decline in readership of SPH Media.
Most importantly, how would the present SPH Media Trust learn from this painful lesson and turn over a new leaf from here?
Teo Kueh Liang
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore.
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