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Slowly, Slowly... Monopoly

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  • Mellanie Hewlitt
    Yadav, Dharmendra From: Yadav, Dharmendra Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 10:20:27 -0000 Slowly, Slowly... Monopoly Early this year, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2004
      "Yadav, Dharmendra" <media@...>
      From: "Yadav, Dharmendra"
      Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 10:20:27 -0000
      Slowly, Slowly... Monopoly

      Early this year, the Straits Times increased its price. Among the
      four key justifications it gave was that it was not able to absorb
      rising costs.

      Many readers accepted this argument. Some readers, like me, chose not
      to buy Straits Times on certain days. A few readers even boycotted
      the newspaper.

      The thinking reader then was not convinced.

      Shortly after the price hike, Singapore Press Holdings gave out $1.8
      billion in special dividends to its shareholders.

      10 months on and what happened? One finds a facelift for the Straits
      Times. Oh yes, with glossy supplements too.

      Was the price increase an attempt to tackle rising costs or merely an
      opportunity to raise more funds for the Straits Times to spend?

      The Straits Times has also made it more difficult for users to access
      its website. The reader - even though he or she may well be a
      subscriber - now needs to sign in to get the information he or she

      Such moves by the Straits Times – a national newspaper – do not fit
      with a Singapore that is committed to providing its citizens better
      access to information.

      The thinking reader is now confused.

      But here's some good news for the thinking reader, especially those
      concerned about their privacy.


      This is not the first time SPH journalist have misquoted their interviewees.
      Now adays no one can differentiate between facts and fabrications on the
      Straits Times

      4 Nov 2004
      ST Forums

      I wasn't interviewed, says analyst

      IN THE article, 'US needed to jolt Taipei awake' (ST, Oct 28), your correspondent Ching Cheong quoted me as saying that I expressed 'shock'. But he didn't interview me. Nor did he say what I expressed 'shock' about.

      The United Daily News article, which I assume he was 'lifting' a quote from, said that I was 'surprised' (jingya), not 'shocked'. My surprise was directly related to US Secretary of State Colin Powell's statement about 'reunification', which he has since retracted.

      Many of my colleagues also complain that Ching Cheong 'quotes' them without actually interviewing them. At best, this is sloppy journalism. At worst, it is unethical.

      And what is the basis for the charge that I am a pro-Taiwan expert? Reporters should not attach labels to qualified experts who objectively analyse international affairs.

      I object strongly to the article and hope that I will not be quoted in the future unless I have been interviewed personally.

      Bonnie Glaser (Ms)
      Independent Consultant
      Senior Associate
      Center for Strategic and
      International Studies
      Washington, DC, USA

      CHING CHEONG REPLIES: Under pressure of deadline, I used the quote attributed to Ms Glaser as provided by a fellow journalist in Taiwan who had seen it in the United Daily News. As he and others in our circle of China-watching journalists often pool information, I did not think to inquire further about proper attribution. I accept readily that I should have done so and apologise for the lapse.

      My description of Ms Glaser as pro-Taiwan was not meant to be pejorative. It was just our shorthand way of describing someone whose views we know to be fairly consistently sympathetic towards Taiwan. I note her objection and, henceforth, shall refrain from using any term other than analyst to describe her.
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