Baey Yam Keng: The balance of media coverage is now quite ‘fair’
Posted by temasektimes on May 30, 2012
The Singapore media is not only only neutral and independent, it is not controlled by the government either, declared PAP MP for Tampines Baey Yam Keng, who also sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Information, Communications and the Arts.
Mr Baey was commenting on the recent blistering exchange between WP Chief Low Thia Kiang and Lianhe Zaobao Chief Editor Goh Sin Teck on the mainstream media’s coverage of the Hougang by-election.
Mr Low had earlier accused of the media of being used as a ‘tool’ to undermine the chances of the Workers Party in the election, a charge which was fiercely denied by Mr Goh.
Speaking to queries from the media, Mr Baey reiterated that “no one can control the media and any responsible media would want full editorial independence”:
“Sometimes reports may not be what the newsmaker wants it to be, because there may be neutrality by the media, so it’s not always what the newsmaker wants.”
Mr Baey also disagreed with Mr Low’s assertion during Saturday’s press conference that the conduct of the by-election was regressive.
“I don’t think we have gone back 20 years, I think the balance of coverage now is quite fair in that you have more profiling of the Opposition parties than you did before, perhaps even more than what the PAP would like. Readers will have to decide for themselves, and nowadays social media also plays a big role … They can look at what is out there and form their own opinion.”
The Singapore media was recently ranked 150th globally in terms of press freedom by U.S. NGO Freedom House, below the likes of Russia, Romania and Azerbaijan.