by Eric Ellis
The Australian, June 21, 2001
Part of the challenge, Chua says, of being a journalist and possibly even being a Singaporean is testing boundaries that are "not clearly defined" by the Government, "perhaps on purpose".
"It's part of our culture, part of our maturing as a nation."
That means little campaigning journalism and no established culture of investigative reporting. An underground press is virtually non-existent, in large part because of the Government's restrictive press laws.
The system functions like a big corporation, designed to maximise profit. The Government maintains an upbeat information department, frequently holding press briefings lauding economic achievements but rarely or publicly discusses substantive matters of policy and politics.
"Government press control might shock one's liberal western mindset, but this is now a well-entrenched part of national culture," says Roland Rich, a former Australian ambassador to Laos and co-author of the book Losing Control, which analyses press freedom across Asia. "You get the government you deserve and in Singapore you also get the press you deserve."
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