Dear Mr. McDermott
I think you have touched a raw nerve with your post / rant, which garnered the attention it did and did not deserve. I have been following the entries on your site for a while and to give you all the credit, Singabloodypore stands as one of my must-visit blog of the day. At the same time and rate, I visit Mr. Brown's much lauded site just to get my dose of mild political satire and the personal anecdotes. I have an unhealthy disregard for Miss Xiaxue's site and to me, it is the epitome of all things associated with Singapore's future.
No, this is not an useless email to tell you about my like or dislike with regards to arguably Singapore's most popular blogs (their readerships are in the thousands). My email is simply an almost knee-jerk reaction to the comments you spewed about my country's blogosphere as well as the intellectual and not-so-intellectual discussions that came out of it.
I would have thrown in my two cents' worth on this. In fact, if not for restrictions or my paranoia, I would have set up a blog dedicated to the media howlers from Singapore's national rags, and the many about-turns spewed by our political masters in the media. Back in 2001, when blogs were not embraced by masses here, I lamented the lack of mature blogs which aimed to bring about stimulating intellectual discussions on the state of affairs on this island. However, as the local blogosphere was still in its infancy and that there were so many possibilities for growth, I thought patience was the key in waiting for the local scene to develop or mature.
Four years on and many blog awards handed out later, the popularity of superficial blogs (I prefer the word "superficial" to "infantile" to describe majority of blogs by Singaporeans) is there for all to see. The blog scene just has not grown or matured during these four years. While there is a time and place for superficiality, the serious and intellectual aspect of blogging just has not grown. Throughout the
four years I have been around (on the peripheral, I must say), I see many serious bloggers, who wanted to make a difference, die off because of the lack of readership (which stands as a form of support, like it or not). It is very disheartening to see one's efforts at improving the local blogosphere go down the drain as more flock to sites which promises senseless humour and superficial observations on things all around. So, they shake their heads, close their blogs and go the way of the dodo.
I was trained in journalism in Australia during my undergraduate days.\ I was lectured about how journalists had to follow a code of ethics. I was drilled in on the important tenets of being objective. One of the biggest reasons why I have constantly refused to join the local media industry is the dearth of the practice of good journalism ethics. When I have enjoyed all those investigative reporting I did
during those days, why would I want to subject myself to censoring things that I believe I should say and people must know just to please my masters? Then again, the need to earn a living on this island where I feel more like a third-class citizen than a born-and-bred bona fide Singaporean, landed me a job which I hated and effectively denied me the opportunity to be more critical of how the local media scene has made a mockery of what pure journalism is about.
In all, I just want to say that you have done a good job in digging out interesting news stories which possibly would never have made it into the mainstream media. Perhaps this post of yours will draw enough attention for less informed Singaporeans who have been subjected to the shoddy journalism practised by most mainstream reporters and give them more than one perspective on how things are in this little nation.
There must be a need for people to be more well-informed.
Keep up the good work, mate.