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GE 2011, Local News Media

Beware the commentators this elections

From Dr James Gomez’s Notes on Facebook,

“THEY” have always been around, but they often put their head out and “peak” during elections and in the run up to Singapore`s 11th general elections it will be no different.

So who are THEY?

They are the “commentators” often sought after by local mainstream “cub” reporters. The old media dogs also use them, but only when necessary and when it suits their purposes.

These commentators are often local, if not they work in local instituitions and are always handy to speak “expertly” on local politics and stake their say on civil society and political parties` developments.

They are spectator commentators, reviewing websites and other online content. Occasionally braving a public actively like a large public forum or rally where they might be less invisible. Often they shy away from smaller seminars where they would have to actually interact with the people and organizations they comment on.

Apart from being media commentators, they also are speakers at forums which the instituitions they belong to organizes. From such perches, they also comment on politics and civil society and such musings are too covered by the local media.

So what is wrong with such commentators and why be wary of their pronouncements?

We should be wary of such commentators because they speak about processes and instituitions such as selected civil society groups and opposition parties with whom they have no direct access or privy to their inner workings.

The damaging part is their very comments are multiplied in the mainstream media and run the risk of being taken up by readers as accurate. The danger is that an inaccurate image of the Singapore political opposition and civil society is presented and perpetuated.

We often zoom in and complain about the local media, but it is also important to keep an eye on these “commentators” because often they are the source of the problems.

Their “comments” help shape some of the local mainstream media reports. Other times their viewpoints go further in “academic” writings and can influence those who read or cite them.

So come this election, be a bit discerning or at least beware of these commentators!

And for some ‘hard truths’….

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “Beware the commentators this elections

  1. Me suggests that James Gomez put this(his) article at Temasek Review.

    patriot

    Posted by patriot | March 7, 2011, 23:44
  2. Why not break their cover right now by naming them.
    So when they crawl out of their tortoise shell or cave somewhere we can alert and point others to the prediction!

    But you forget the biggest culprits – the ministers themselves. They would be coming out with doomsday threat or misinformation, particular on the EVE of ‘cooling off ‘ day. I suspect they would do that to take advantage of the opposition who would be effectively gagged. IMO WATCH OUT FOR SOMETHING SENSATIONAL. THE COUNTER IS FOR BLOGS TO READY THEMSELVES FOR AN IMMEDIATE REBUTTAL THAT SHOULD INCLUDE THE FACT THAT GOVT HAS BEEN DISSOLVED FOR THE GE AND THE MINISTERS ARE MERELY PARTY MEMBERS LIKE THE OPPOSITION.

    Posted by anon | March 9, 2011, 00:31
  3. Here’s a post about a ‘commentator’ – http://kentridgecommon.com/?p=10201

    Posted by Jacob 69er | March 9, 2011, 07:40

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