03 March 2006

What's in Mr Wang's Inbox?

A journalist from mainstream media wrote to me:
Dear Mr Wang

Hi, I'm XXXXXX, a journalist from The Straits Times.

I am writing because I'm pursuing an angle about the upcoming Singapore elections and the blogosphere.

I understand from your blog that you are interested in this as a topic and have the occasional post on it. I'm hoping to work on a piece about how the alternative media and the virtual world are also gearing up for the elections and what people like yourself hope to achieve by generating such discussion, as well as what people on the ground who are reading might be interested in.

I was sincerely hoping to hear from you, to perhaps get an interview on your thoughts.

Would greatly appreciate it if you'd write or call me.

Thanks very much and best regards
Mr Wang replied as follows:


It would surprise many of my regular readers but frankly I am not particularly interested in the upcoming elections. As far as I'm concerned, it will be an event with lots of excitement and fanfare, but even before the dust settles we all know who will win and does it really make any difference whether they have 77, 79 or 81 seats in Parliament?

If I write about the upcoming elections at all, it is because I write about Singapore's current affairs in general, and that is why you will see from my blog that I have posts about, say, Rajaratnam's death; local universities' admission criteria; healthcare costs in Singapore; capital punishment etc.

I am certainly not "gearing up" for the elections. You would be better off interviewing other bloggers - there are some who seem quite intent about covering election news.

Mr Wang
Mr Wang also briefly contemplated adding a few comments about the Parliamentary Election Act. Naaaah.

"Things could be worse. I could be an opposition member
in the Parliament of Singapore." - Neo, Matrix Reloaded.


Sleepless in Singapore said...

Mr Wang, you shd suggest to the guy to write an article about the thots of people who never got to vote, never see a banner or poster in their neighbourhood, don't remember if their constituency is still single or married, and don't even know who their MP/MP's is/are or looks like.

In other words, they shd talk to me.

Jonathan said...

That's such a great way of handling the journalists, knowing that no matter what you say, the chances of being misquoted is almost certain.

Kevin said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds it rather pointless to get excited about elections in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Haha... no way Neo said that! He will get his pants sued off!

angry doc said...

Angry doc's own favoured tool in dealing with 'journalists' is the ten-foot pole. However, if they do manage to get within ten feet, employment of a stout stick is required...

I avoid speaking or communicating with them, as they invariably have their own agenda which is usually not the same as yours; however, that never prevents them from gathering 'facts' from other sources so they can publish a story anyway...

(Events involving angry doc in his real-life persona had been misrepresented by the media on at least two occasions...)

Recruit Ong said...

The mainstream media in SG seems to think that the blogoshpere (or Alternative media) has an impact on the going-ons in real life. They take alternative media, at least the SG ones, too seriously. Any impact/influence that the alternative media has on reality is negligible and at best accidental. Their efforts would be better rewarded through figuring out the next bootlicking article that is going to cement their ricebowls or garner them some "world-beating" awards.

Anonymous said...

Electoral Boundaries are out! Election soon!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to your commentaries on the topic, they are probably targeting you to provide a fresh angle on their news reporting of this event.

Be agreeing, besides being misquoted, you will also be getting lots of undue attention which will probably be negative.

'Are you the chosen one Neo?'.... not this time.

Anonymous said...

can we talk about the role of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee as established by the Parliamentary Elections Act?

It seems to me that the Committee, though supposedly staffed by apolitical civil servants, are working directly under the PM's office, and the Committee is not shielded from drawing the boundaries without 'fear or favour'?

darrnot said...

A very critical analysis of the Electoral Boundaries Committee Report is in today's (6 Mar) ST. "Mystery of the boundary changes" - By Chua Mui Hoong, Deputy Political Editor.

Finally, a mainstream news commentary that asks the right questions of PAP.