Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To Nanyang Chronicle: Don't do a disservice to your fellow students

I first saw this over at SDP's website.

In its current issue, the Nanyang Chronicle published a piece titled Protest or performance art? by Daniel Ong. (You can access the PDF version of the Chronicle here. The article is on pg.26)

The writer practically regurgitated whatever has been published & broadcasted through our pro-PAP govt media. It was like reading bias propaganda bullshit from the Straits Times. In fact, I might not be too far off the mark 'cos one of the Chronicle's "teacher advisors" is Ben Nadarajan, a Straits Times journalist.

According to its website, the Chronicle is "a student-run campus newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, on a bi-monthly basis. The Chronicle started publication in July 1994 with the aim of providing timely campus news and information as well as being the voice of the campus population. The paper also provides practical training for undergraduates who are keen to work in the field of journalism after graduation."

I wouldn't have blogged about that inane piece if not for the fact that its published in an educational institution and targeted at students. Nationally, they're already exposed to such bullshit & propaganda from the bias local media, day in & day out, year after year.

The SDP asked ".....would an alternative view be allowed to be published?". Unfortunately, I don't think any would be published.

Nevertheless, here's a request to the editors of the Chronicle: Surprise me by answering SDP's question in the affirmative and publish an alternative view. You'll be doing a disservice to your fellow students by not doing so.


Anonymous said...

wow you only read one article and you slammed the entire paper. talk about being fair...

Anonymous said...

very pro-PAP meh...

and do you really think ST journalists are all that pro-PAP too ;)

article19 said...

I believe you have misinterpreted what i've written. If you care to read my post again, you'll see i wasn't slamming the whole campus newspaper. Just that one inane piece.

And talking about being fair, its only fair they publish an alternative view and let their fellow students read it too. Now that's being fair.


Anonymous said...

why dont u contribute the article you wish to see, to nanyang chron then?

Anonymous said...

Singapore and PAP where got fair one!

You should know by now what.

What they do is always fair, because they are all got educated scholar and talent. Most Singaporeans don't have what.

article19 said...

IF the nanyang chronicle's willing to publish an alternative view, i think it is only fair they ask Dr Chee and the SDP to write the piece. I don't think that is too much to ask for. ;-)

Anonymous said...


i believe you have lost track of a very important fact: that chee soon juan has indeed lost his credibility, even amongst singaporeans who are hankering for political change.

instead of fighting for whatever meagre scrap of reputation you think you can salvage by attacking, not least a newsletter published by a governmental tertiary institute, i think it'd be wiser to instead, do what csj has failed to do, which is provide the Singaporean political system, with a politically-sound, economically viable alternative

Anonymous said...

woahrao! look, chronicle also has a license to keep. say wrong thing, next year no need print liao. its tries its best already, i'm surprised how some of its articles managed to get approval. pity the archives don't have 2005 issues... there's some really controversial stuff in there.

Lish Phoeng said...

It is also possible that in reading the article, you might have been taken it out of context. It is unfair to accuse TNC as a pro-PAP media based on a rather limited scope of observation as made through a reading of one particular opinion article.

Perhaps a content analysis over past issues will shed better light on this matter. Personally I have not done so, but I am confident that TNC is a paper that does not slant its views along any particular political ideology as was accused here.

It is even more unfair and illogical to blatantly accuse Mr Ben Nadarajan by implying that he, as a "Straits Times journalist", abuses his influence and brainwashes the students involved in TNC.

Are you Mr Ben Nadarajan? If not so, on what basis do you lay claim on the knowledge of his disposition in politics and make such grave allegation against his integrity and credibility as a mentor-figure to the students at TNC?

It should be noted that the article was published as an opinion article in the said publication. As I understand it, an opinion article is an article that a student with particular concerns and thoughts has written to share with the rest of the student population - and perhaps in certain cases such as this one, are read by other members of the public.
For all it's worth, your claim of the dearth or absence of "affirmative" answers to SDP's questions with regards to the publication of "alternative views" - whatever these maybe or may mean, might simply be due to a corresponding dearth or absence of students who contribute the very sort of articles you are perhaps dying to see, and not a result on an inherent "bias propaganda" as you have acutely claimed.

You pointed out that TNC aims to become "the voice of the campus population".

I'm sure that if Dr Chee SJ is part of the campus population and writes to express his views on certain issues, the present editors in TNC will treat his contribution the same way as they have treated and regarded Mr Daniel Ong's contribution to the paper.

Personally I do not think that any self-respecting paper resorts to begging and asking others to contribute; I feel that the paper has provided the avenue, and if an individual wishes to express his opinion, he would have to do so, willingly and responsibly.
As such, I feel that your suggestion to have any paper and not just TNC "ask Dr Chee and the SDP to write the piece" (I assume you mean an opinion piece on the issue that Mr Daniel Ong has touched upon), is not only unfair to the paper as a social institution, it is too much to ask for, since I believe opinions should be provided on the provider's own account and not asked for.

Anonymous said...

Article 19,

I believe you are someone who is a strong believe in the value of freedom of speech, expression and opinion. I agree with you on that.

However, with regards to this article on the Nanyang Chronicle, you have actually hurt yourself in return and how others percieve you. Doesnt freedom of expression also mean the ability to welcome a diversity of view? At the least, if you believe in it, you should expect that there will be a free marketplace of ideas. However, based on your comments of "inane" and the supposed disservice that the paper has done to its peers, you have shown your own myopic view and slanted your perceptions towards being closed to what the other side has to say. Your reason simply is: because it is pro-government, pro-ruling party. This is what you had created in yourself as a stereotype, and subsequnently applied to any article deemed as being such.

In this case, I do not think that you have done much in your fight or campaign, if any, towards the road for a more open and more vocal Singapore citizenry.

You further implied that the Nanyang Chronicle is pro-governemnt because of Mr. Ben Nadarajan as its teacher advisor, who is also a Straits Times journalist. By doing so, you further damage your own reputation if you proclaim yourself to be a freedom fighter for the values of democracy, as you had labelled Ben as being pro-govt without any concrete proof. You have attacked his integrity and credibility without offering facts to back your case.

You have also labelled the Straits Times as being pro-govt without any concrete proof. I would be most willing to hear if you have any concrete proof about it. In fact, I think you should contribute a piece back to the Nanyang Chronicle if you feel so strongly about it. And I believe you are in a better position to present "that alternative view" as stated on the SDP website. I do hope that you will take it up and not expect others to do so.

And I do hope that you were actually there at Dr Chee's protest, because going by your opinion on this, you seem to imply that you support him.

Looking at it all, I feel that you have taken the article out of context and exploited it for your own purposes, while preferring very much to remain safely behind the annoymity of the Internet, behind your blog aptly named "pseudonymity".

To this, I say that you should take up what you said yourself and write and send it an alternative view. Then you will find out whether the paper will print it. If not, you can also pursue the reasons why it did not do so.

article19 said...

One of those who commented said “You have also labelled the Straits Times as being pro-govt without any concrete proof. I would be most willing to hear if you have any concrete proof about it.”

Now, I’m not sure if this individual is a Singaporean ‘cos its not a state secret that our local media has a ruling party bias and the Straits Times is very well known for that.

There are numerous reports and articles about it if one cares to do a search on the Internet, eg. For now, I’ll just refer you to a report I posted back in August (Go back to the main page, under blog archive click on August and look for a post titled “Freedom of Expression and The Media in Singapore”)

That’s the reality in Singapore: the PAP controls and manages the local media. As such, those individual(s) or groups (or even on issues like the death penalty), whom the PAP doesn’t like or feels is a threat to its tight grip on power, gets promptly bashed in the local media, eg. J B Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan, James Gomez, M Ravi, to name a few. Just ‘cos the PAP does not like them or feel they are a threat to their hold on power doesn’t necessarily mean these individuals are a threat to the country's wellbeing.

Suffice it to say, there is no fair coverage especially when it comes to domestic politics. The slant and bias by the local media is always in favour of the ruling party. That, unfortunately, is a fact.

Now, the author of “protest or performance art?” has a right to express his opinion. I did not say he doesn’t have that right. Nanyang Chronicle can publish what it wants. I did not say it couldn’t and I did not imply the Chronicle is pro-govt.

All I said was the opinion piece is like something which can be found in the Straits Times which has a ball of a time bashing Chee Soon Juan and any others whom the PAP really doesn’t like. And even when one of these individuals or somebody else responds, the Straits Times does heavy editing or spins it in such a manner that these individuals (or issues) come across as moronic & dangerous. It also happens with CNA, TNP and TODAY. And that’s what their bosses at the PAP want.

I don’t need to be a Chee or Gomez or JBJ or SDP or WP supporter to see all these unfair slant and bias in the local media. Its like a disease.

There are alternative views which will piss-off the ruling party & its minions and gatekeepers but give those views a fair shake and get them published as well. Be it in a campus newspaper or national media.