Lopsided, biased reporting by main stream media: The odds stack against the Oppositions

Editors’ notes: You often heard about netizens complaining the local news media are controlled by the Government, I think so too. While reading the 1 May 2011 The Sunday Times today and feeling that the reportings were mainly one sided, I decided to carry out a simple experiment:

Full page reporting on PAP’s view: total 7 (P1,P3,P8,P9,P12,P13,P18)

Full page reporting on Opposition parties combined: total 1 (P15)

Full page covering both PAP and opposition parties: total 5 (P6,P10,P11,P14,P16)

Another experiment I did for the 3 May 2011 The Straits Times turned out similar results:

Full page reporting on PAP’s view: total 9 (P1 half,P10 half,P12,P13,P14,P15,P16,P17,P20,P22)

Full page reporting on Opposition parties combined: total 3 (P18,P19,P21)

Full page covering both PAP and opposition parties: total 1 (P23)

[Updated Aug 2015: Askmelah is seeing the same issue repeating itself all over again in 2015 election, in a typical news reporting, we are seeing more than 15-20min devoted to the PAP propaganda during prime time slots and less than 5min in total for the remaining 6-7 opposition parties. Did somebody say it is FAIR?]

There is one ruling party but more than 5 opposition parties and with such lop-sided reporting, the playing field is very far from level with the media exposure of opposition parties getting less than 5% each on average and when they do, the media tends to paint badly the opposition’s image more than the positive ones. While the relaxation of internet for election campaigning helps in GE2011, you can safely bet that most people are heavily influenced by the mass media.


[Updated 31 Aug 2015] “while candidates are being reminded by the Elections Department to steer clear of negative campaigning and conduct a clean campaign, the mainstream media too should be reminded to stay out of the gutter.”GE2015: A poison pen letter against WP’s Daniel Goh, but the media looks the worst

 “The press is free to report views that are different to the government but it is not their job to hold the government to account. Your job [as foreign media] is to report facts, not to get involved in Singaporean politics.” – source

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lopsided reporting 1 may 2011


Letter writer criticises ST for being partisan

Source: St Forums 5 May 2011

THE biased editorial (‘GE 2011: What do voters really want?’; last Friday) should carry this headline instead: ‘GE 2011: What does PAP really want?’

It will be good for the national newspaper to stand up and be neutral or else The Straits Times will continue to be viewed as partisan.

My wish is to have a strong government with political parties like the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and worthy opposition parties providing checks and balances against one another.

We must have a strong government that looks after the interests of all Singaporeans, not a ‘daddy-knows-best’ government.

I do not want a government that at one point tells me I need to pay for the services which I would like to have, and then, on another occasion, tells me that I am not entitled to purchase a new flat from the Housing Board because I am single. I am willing to pay for the new flat at a higher price.

I write this letter knowing that it will most likely be thrashed by The Straits Times, perhaps in another editorial.

Still, I feel strongly enough to write in to exhort The Straits Times to stay out of politics and leave the political parties to press their own messages, unless the paper believes that the PAP is not as strong this time round and needs assistance, or that it is really a PAP outpost.

Crispian Tan


Watch the video below, the newly transformed SDP is very savvy and creative with the use of new media: