Tag Archives: Singapore

British journalist loses appeal against jail sentence in Singapore

At the end of last week British journalist and author of a book about the death penalty in Singapore, Alan Shadrake, lost his appeal against a six-week jail sentence in the country.

Shadrake was handed a prison sentence and fined thousands of dollars at the end of last year, after being found guilty of contempt by a Singapore court.

The BBC reported on Friday that Justice Andrew Phang of the Court of Appeal panel said they affirm the sentence imposed by the judge.

According to the Telegraph after the verdict was given Shadrake said he had not expected the appeal to be successful. The Telegraph also reports that Shadrake will spend an extra two weeks in jail from tomorrow because he cannot afford to the pay the fine.

Alcohol helps diversify Singapore newspaper’s revenue stream

The stereotype was that journalists were never far from a bar… now publisher Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is betting on its readers’ fondness for a drink with the opening of a new sports bar earlier this month. The watering hole will be linked to SPH’s tabloid title The New Paper:

The New Paper Sports Bar offers punters live football matches on a host of large TV screens, oodles of Asia’s Tiger Beer and an exclusive live feed from The New Paper’s newsroom where its sports writers offer up-to-the-minute betting tips.

Full story on the PANPA website…

#FollowJourn: @benjaminbland/Freelance journalist

#FollowJourn: Ben Bland

Who? Freelance journalist based in Singapore and covering Southeast Asia.

What? Writes news and features for The Daily Telegraph, The Economist, Monocle, British Medical Journal and Gambling Compliance, among others.

Where? @benjaminbland

Contact? Through blog http://theasiafile.blogspot.com or email theasiafile@gmail.com

AsiaMedia (via EJC): Radio services go offline in Singapore

“A dispute over licence fees has forced most of Singapore’s radio stations to stop streaming online,” reports AsiaMedia.

“Following an amendment to the Copyright Act last November, the Recording Industry Performance Singapore (Rips) asked radio broadcasters to pay an annual licensing fee if they wanted to continue their internet radio service.”

Full story at this link… (via EJC)

Online Journalism China: shortcomings in the earthquake relief effort going unnoticed in the scramble to present a front of national unity

As the catastrophe and media blackout in Burma continues, coverage of the Wenchuan quake in China has taken centre stage.

While pictures and information on Burma are scarce, the international media has been given a free hand on the ground in Sichuan province, perhaps as natural disasters offer an unrivalled opportunity for the government to show itself in action.

Western media has produced some moving accounts of the tragedy as well as some more critical pieces on how the government has handled the rescue effort.

In the Guardian, Naomi Klein reports disgruntled parents lamenting the collapse of their children’s schools, and Tania Branigan quotes claims of corruption and misuse of funds.

Unsurprisingly, coverage here has primarily been on the rescue effort, the suffering and on Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao’s visits to quake-hit areas.

Domestic media has focused on the Party’s action plan and prominently featured press briefings detailing the government’s response, as well as making full use of photo opportunities for Party leaders.

Wen seems to have become the human face of the Party’s disaster relief efforts. He is visible in the same way that he was during the winter snow disaster; where he personally visited the gridlocked Guangzhou train station to address stranded spring festival travellers.

Thursday’s China Daily featured a picture of him holding two forlorn looking girls by the shoulder and quoted him as saying: “I am grandpa Wen Jiabao. You must hold on, child! You will be saved.”

China Daily has focused on the human cost and survivors’ tales, running capped-up front-page headlines “MAGICAL MOMENTS,” and RESCURERS RACE AGAINST TIME”.

Like the snow disaster, a lot of prominence is being given to donors’ generosity and volunteer rescue efforts (including those of foreigners on the ground) as China again attempts to present a united front.

However, the New York Times carries an excellent article asking why the government has accepted aid from Japan, Taiwan and Singapore but rejected offers from others.

Despite the huge mobilization of the army, the troops lack the necessary heavy lifting and drilling equipment to dig for survivors.

Such shortcomings seem to be going unnoticed amongst the scramble to present a front of national unity, and few here are asking why professionals from the West are being told to stay away.

According to China Media Project (CMP), critical coverage of the quake has apparently been banned by an edict discouraged by one of  numerous directives intended to stop the spread of malicious rumours stories that may show the authorities in a bad light.

However stories like this, on the poor structural integrity of the schools that have collapsed, seem to have passed unnoticed.

CMP also runs a translation of another editorial by Southern Metropolis Daily editor Chang Ping. Chang highlights the dubious nature of the law on spreading false rumours in the light of the public’s overwhelming demand for information regarding the quake.

The law has came to the fore after a number of false rumours also surfaced in chatrooms and forums alleging that the authorities had somehow been warned that the quake was coming but suppressed the information, it would have perhaps been easier to dispel some of these myths quickly if the ever present spector of the authroities didn’t loom large and automatically make people suspicious of any news that suggests underhand activity on their part.

It will be interesting to see if the commercial media will begin receiving pressure to avoid critical reporting in the coming days when fewer survivors turn up and locals face the grim task of moving the dead and contemplating rebuilding their towns and homes and lives.

That will be a time for much reflection – and a lot of reflection may lead to some touchy questions.

Social Media Journalist: ‘Blogging… the most important social media activity for me by a distance’ LLoyd Shepherd MessyMedia

Journalism.co.uk talks to journalists across the globe working at the collision of journalism and social media about how they see it changing their industry. This week, Lloyd Shepherd, MessyMedia.

Headshot of Lloyd Shepherd, MessyMedia

1) Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Lloyd Shepherd, and I’m co-managing director and co-founder of MessyMedia. We publish mainstream entertainment and information websites, aka blogs, and we’ve got two going at the moment: Westmonster and Glitterditch. I also do consulting with the Guardian, Channel 4, Yahoo! and the BBC.

2) Which web or mobile-based social media tools do you use on a daily basis and why?

As for social media tools, I’m going to define these as ‘tools that help me interact with other people to get stuff done and swap ideas’. So I’d say these qualify:

Google Apps: it’s a small miracle that you can set up an office software suite for nothing these days, and it’s not even the cost that’s miraculous: it’s the fact that you can run a virtual office IT system without an office IT department.

Mac OS: Apple Mail, iCal, Safari, Address book. All syncing with an iPod Touch.

Netvibes: my browser home page. It lets me track key headlines, Facebook, Twitter and some nice Flickr photos all on one page. My world in miniature.

Facebook: not essential, but useful, particularly for keeping in occasional touch with former colleagues from far-flung parts of the world. This morning I got a question from a former Yahoo! colleague based in Singapore who wanted to know about hotels in Beverly Hills. Why he thought I could help I can’t imagine, but those occasional human contacts are very important over time.

Twitter: I’ve been in and out of this, but right now I’m really into it. Again, it’s about the human touch. People you may know only by reputation come alive in Twitter, and that’s important.

last.fm: Not for work, but still officially The Best Website In The World. Arguing about Elton John and Morrissey with people from Tokyo – it’s what the web is for.

Blogging: I run two blogs: Dadblog, and MessyMedia. Both are essential to me. They let me think things through by writing about them, and they are a calling card. The most important ‘social media’ activity for me by a distance, I reckon.

del.icio.us: I use this for links I want to share, rather than links I want to keep for myself. For the latter I use….

EagleFiler: great local software for storing and annotating all manner of things: webpages, emails, documents, the works

3) Of the thousands of social media tools available could you single one out as having the most potential for news either as a publishing or newsgathering tool?

Publishing and news-gathering: most of the things that have ‘potential’ are already huge: YouTube for video, Flickr for photos, Wikipedia for breaking community coverage. These things are going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. I think Twitter’s still got a long way to go: Number 10’s [the UK Prime Minister’s website] launch of a Twitter account last week was an interesting moment. And Ning is fascinating too, and growing fast – I think it has to work out a way of providing ‘enterprise-level’ community services (like Pluck) but if it does, it could be massive.

4) And the most overrated in your opinion?

Digg. A daily celebration of the banal and the obsessive. I feel exhausted every time I look at it.