t Double Yellow's Musings: Singapore...boleh! Other countries...shitleh!
The warped mind of Double Yellow craves for humor everyday. His daily dose comes from The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Channelnewsasia, etc. He also thinks that because of this preamble, this blog will never get featured in the local media. And of course, please read the Disclaimer before embarking on the journey.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Singapore...boleh! Other countries...shitleh!

It is an open secret that our local media always dishes out good news when it comes to Singapore and bad news when it comes to other countries. I was generally free this Sunday and decided to take stock of the current situation. Here are the results from The Sunday Times, 26 June 2005....

Local News

1. Mobile Phone Addiction, Page 3, NEUTRAL
2. Boy, 15, feared drowned in waters off Lower Seletar Reservoir, Page 4, NEUTRAL
3. Top Youth Award for disabled swimmer, Page 6, GOOD
4. Added post for Ng Eng Hen: 2nd Defence Minister, Page 6, GOOD
5. NDP Aerial rehearsal draws crowd, Page 7, GOOD
6. Heads of top US and Pacific varsities to meet here, Page 7, GOOD
7. Trio gets $6000 in vouchers in shopping challenge win, Page 8, GOOD
8. Specialist docs right on your doorstep, Page 8, GOOD
9. Fancy eating orchids?, Page 9, NEUTRAL
10. Food factory tours are a big hit in heartland, Page 10, GOOD
11. He’s been named…Mr. Beautiful, Page 11, GOOD
12. Strange sounds due to water in PVC pipes, Page 12, NEUTRAL
13. Man subdued with stun gun after four-hour stand off, Page 12, GOOD*
14. Medical insurance: which type should you buy first, Page 18, NEUTRAL
15. More leeway now for altering landed properties, Page 20, GOOD
16. NUS 100 years young, Page 22, GOOD
17. Students learn about business by running campus café, Page 23, GOOD
18. Lend a light, Page 24, BAD
19. Why not make Singapore a 24/7 living city?, Page 24, NEUTRAL
20. A well-run IOC session will augur well for Singapore, Page 27, GOOD
21. 11 swimmers qualify for SEA games on merit, Page 32, GOOD

* I have marked this article good because the article was more about the stun gun being used than about why the guy and why he had to be subdued.

Overseas News

1. Tsunami aid not going to the poor, Page 1, BAD
2. KL Minister guilty of graft, Page 13, BAD
3. Schapelle Corby’s Double Trouble, Page 14, BAD
4. Descendant of Mughal Emperor lays claim to Taj Mahal, Page 14, BAD
5. Disney drops shark’s fin from HK menu after global protest, Page 14, BAD
6. Oprah’s not going to let Hermes snub go easily, Page 14, BAD
7. Hardline mayor will be new Iran President, Page 15, BAD
8. Pretty, bright and dangerous killer, page 17, BAD
9. U.S. confirms home grown case of mad-cow disease, page 17, BAD
10. Public shaming in Chicago, Page 36, BAD
11. British mum faces the music, Page 36, BAD
12. Iranian web censorship, Page 36, BAD
13. Australian spammer in court, Page 36, BAD

Since we seem to like statistics so much, here goes… out of 21 articles on local news, a whopping 14 were GOOD, 6 were NEUTRAL and a measly 1 can be considered BAD. Not very surprisingly, out of 13 articles on foreign news, all were BAD. Singapore, if you have not realized oredi, is one loooong stream of GOOD news.....

It’s significant that there were not any BAD articles about either China or India….we are probably concluding some important economic agreement with them at the moment :p


Anonymous your fan said...

>> Disney drops shark’s fin from HK menu after global protest, Page 14, BAD

But isn't the fact that they finally decided against serving the item following the protests a GOOD thing?

10:28 PM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

heheh...its true that the outcome is good, but i think what the paper wanted to highlight was the fact that global protests forced Disney Hong Kong to change something.... things that wd never happen here.

10:37 PM  
Blogger wandie said...

It's GOOD news because it's inconsequential, harmless news.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Yuhui said...

I think it's quite normal for media to trump up their country's image. E.g. the American news says that the Iraq war was a good thing, even though everyone knows it isn't.

2:07 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey wandie, its harmless to the sharks...but got consequence one. When was the last time the Spore gahmen decided to cave in to something because of a global civil society protest? :-) or should I be asking, when will be the first time?..;-)

2:12 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey yuhui, its true that media tries to trump up its country's image. But where is the need to put down other countries? why is it that of all the news available of a foreign country, our local media chooses to publish only the negative ones? :-)

2:15 AM  
Blogger wandie said...

doubleyellow, i was referring to the GOOD news in general.

4:37 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey wandie, sorry ah...me a bit blur :p 'good' news indeed....!

4:46 AM  
Blogger duckshoe said...

uh.....assuming some disabled malaysian swimmer won a youth award, or maybe the Thai NDP rehearsals drew a crowd, or the Indian minister became second minsiter of defense, or there were specialist doctors right at the door step for Hong Kongers..etc,etc..

Would we care?

I, personally, would rather read about some big sh*t going down elsewhere.:)

7:17 PM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hahah duckshoe, the local paper thrives coz of u !! :) since u seem to hv a penchant for reading big shit, me thinks you will like the local media better if they publish shitty things happening right here at home....right? :)

8:46 PM  
Blogger Yuhui said...

In general, and I'm not talking about the media, there are two ways to make yourself look good:
1. Boast about your good points.
2. Attack other people's bad points.
Played right, your image can be boosted tremendously. Done wrong, and you get attacked by others.

Again, from the U.S. media, how often do they report something positive about a foreign country (that is not their ally, e.g. Britain)? So it's quite a common phenomenon anywhere.

10:47 PM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

sorry yuhui, but if a news media is always gonna trump up its country's good points and attack others' bad points, then in my opinion, such a news media sucks bigtime!

just bcoz the U.S. media does it, dosent make it right....right? :)

11:34 PM  
Blogger duckshoe said...

it's a serious question, would people really want to read about some disabled malaysian swimmer that won a youth award or that the Thai NDP rehearsals drew a crowd?

Do you really want to read that? Really? Am I the only one that thinks that that would be boring? (granted it's not more interesting because it's local, but nobody else is going to print it so I'm ready to cut the media some slack on that :P )

11:52 PM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

duckshoe, you wanna cut the media some slack? go ahead... but u've seen the statistics urself :) i am not saying that the local media should never report bad news about other countries. It needs to find a balance...in the case of our local media, i think its totally skewed.

I think it goes back to what i responded to yuhui....if a news media is ALWAYS gonna trump up its country's good points and attack others' bad points, then in my opinion, such a news media sucks bigtime!

1:15 AM  
Blogger duckshoe said...

yeap doubleyellow, fully get your point.

I guess what i was trying to say is that I don't think that the statistics mean the media is just trying to stomp on other countries. Of course I could be wrong, but hear me out)

assuming any of the following happened in singapore:
1. tsunami aid didn't go to the poor due to say a red cross boo boo
2.a cabinet minister was found guilty of graft
3. the IR restaurant doesn't serve shark's fin due to a global protest
Assuming any of it happened here, I am so sure the media will cover it and cover it prominently. So in that sense, we are not overly biased to only printing the bad of other countries.

Further on that, if the good about the foreign country is:
1. their national university is 100 years young
2. their swimmers qualify for sea games on merit
3. they have a scholar.... named Mr beautiful
...etc .etc..
Why would we want to print that? It's just not news. I mean, i'd looka t such a story and go "pffffff, who cares if the national university of bangladesh is 100 years old?"

I think bad news makes the front page. And I think when picking stories from overseas, the media picks stories that are on the front of the foreign papers, not on page 12 under the fold.

That's what I think.

3:14 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

duckshoe, i get ur point and its well taken :) but i gather two things....

(1) you would rather read good local news as opposed to good foreign news.

(2) you believe that just because the local media here does not print bad news on its front page, there is nothing bad that goes on here.

If (1) is true, I have no issues with it. But personally, I would rather read how Japan successfully managed its income gap during the 1980s and how Iran, Saudi Arabia and Korea do so well in soccer rather than some sleazy shit that takes place in those countries.

I know i have generalized (2) from your comment and hence I hope this is not what you meant. If you referred it only with respect to the examples you gave, then no issues. If you truly believe (2) in its entirety, then i dunno what to say...:)

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Data said...

While I think the US media may tend not to report good things about other countries, they do not shirk away from reporting bad things about their own, or about what the US is doing overseas. Hence the relentless "body count" of US dead in Iraq; articles on insufficient counter-terrorism preparation; scandals etc. Ever since Vietnam and Watergate, I think, any current administration has to cajole and wrestle with the press for any good coverage.

This is where I see our local media differ. The bad foreign news is not too different from other media, but on the local front nothing really bad ever happens. The crime rate may have gone up, but the headline will be "cases of molestation down" or something. You could argue that Singapore is truly an oasis of peace, prosperity and no screw-ups, but oftentimes it's just a cautious media which believes it's acting in the national interest.

11:12 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey data, thanx 4 highlighting the diff between the local and U.S. and I think you bring up a very impt point.

"...cautious media which believes it's acting in the national interest" - I wonder how the media actually defines 'national interest' - is it just anything that shows SG in good light or could it be something more concrete and deeper? just a thot..:p

6:55 PM  
Blogger kLairE said...

probably anything that makes the country look good. :)

after all, when singapore looks good -- nice squeaky clean oasis of peace, it's easier to attract investors. right? :)

6:54 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

yeah klaire, its always about image in SG :) abt the foreign investors, i really wonder whether they are so dumb so as to believe everything that the local media spews out...:)

7:45 AM  
Blogger expat@large said...

Good, bad or shitleh, foreign news deserves to be treated with respect in countries like Singapore with such a large expat communities.

In other countries' newspapers, there is more respect given to the fact that people care about what is going on elsewhere in the world. Reading the Dubai Times (excellent overseas coverage!)or the Bangkok Post, even the South China Morning Post means you don't have to trawl the Internet to find out what are the main issues going on at home.

International news in an international newspaper for an international community. Not what you get here.

Great post, double yellow!

6:48 PM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey expat, cdnt agree more! overseas news needs to be reported in much more balanced manner in our local media. I've been reading Bangkok Post and SCMP for a while now...mebbe I shd include Dubai Times in my staple diet too :)

thanx for ur comments, much appreciated, do keep reading/commenting...:)

7:46 PM  
Blogger Indi said...

propaganda tools are common nowadays.

5:27 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

Oh my God Indi, you used the dreaded 'P' word :) isn't that supposed to be meant only for North Korea and Iran? heheh :)

7:01 AM  
Blogger bishie said...

Hello ya-all, relocating from UK to Singapore next year and have heared absolutely nothing bad about Singapore.
Come on people, dish the dirt, there must be something bad.....
So far the only bad thing I have heared is from a Navy guy who thinks there are too many prostitutes in the 4 floors!!!!!

5:11 AM  

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