We’ll be reading headline news like how Singapore murders innocent people and hanged the intellectual disabled. Or news like our migrant workers were badly discriminated during the pandemic when in reality, migrant workers here were very much better off than migrant workers elsewhere.
Should we not have our own mainstream media to provide our sides or our perspective of a story?
Speaking in Parliament on the government funding of SPF Media Trust, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said our local media companies play an important role in the mission to inform and engage Singaporeans.
They help to keep Singaporeans united by: providing a Singapore lens through which citizens can make sense of global events. They also presents an authoritative source of information that cuts through the noise of an online space chock-full of clickbait content and misinformation. By producing content in our official languages, local media help celebrate our diverse culture and create shared experiences for all Singaporeans.
Advertising revenue and funding
If we agree that it is important that we have our own trusted media to provide a Singapore lens through which we project ourselves to the world as we are and not as the world think we are, an authoritative source of information to unite us in a time of crisis such as during the pandemic, a media for Singaporeans and our businesses to be able to see the world through our own unique lens, for our voice to be projected without impediment, for our cultures and our traditions to be expressed in the way we want it to be expressed, then we must support funding for local media.
Does PSP Leong Mun Wai not see the importance of Singapore being able to project our voice without impediment? Does he think that the Singapore narrative can be left to others, to those motivated by commercial gains or other agendas?
Leong Mun Wai spends his time focusing his fans on the dollars and cents of funding SMT while completely ignorning the greater mission of the local media. Funding – at $180 million annually for 5 years – is indeed not cheap but it is a price we must be willing to pay in return for an independent voice of our own. The Opposition has often accused the government of being money-minded. Yet it is Leong Mun Wai’s money-minded focus on funding while ignoring the larger challenges that is not only foolish but also a disservice to Singapore.