Sep 17, 2007

Amazing ... Even THIS Can Be News

I haven't blogged much this month. The local news scene seems incredibly slow and boring.

I thought that maybe it's just me - that nothing very interesting to me is appearing in the local newspapers. But I just saw this in the "Latest News" section of the Straits Times Interactive:


ST Sep 17, 2007
Girl loses phone while swimming

A TEENAGE girl lost her mobile phone when she left her belongings unattended while taking a dip in the pool.

The theft happened on Saturday at about 7pm, at the Jurong West sports complex.

She had left her bag - with her $600 phone in it - on a table before she started swimming with her sibling, police said.

While she was in the pool, she looked up several times and saw that her bag was still on the table.

But when she emerged half an hour later to check her bag, she found her mobile phone missing.

The mobile phone's unique identification number, or IMEI number, is 3593-8100-1783-258.

Anyone with information can call the police at 1800-255-0000.

Gasp. Girl Goes Swimming at Public Pool. Girl Leaves Handphone Unattended. Handphone is Stolen.

This is news? And deserves to be reported in the nation's leading newspaper?

September 2007 is clearly not the most exciting of times to be working as a journalist in Singapore. But one might really have expected the Straits Times to do better than this. You know, send your journalists to do a feature story, investigate some trend, interview interesting people etc, or something.

22 comments:

pinto said...

As Ong Sor Fern wrote recently:

"Yes, I am an information snob. I prefer my writing to come in published formats: newspapers, magazines and books. As someone who grew up on a hearty diet of old media, I trust these established systems of delivering information simply because there is quality control.information with an eagle eye, so I value the quality, not just the quantity, of information." ST Life, 6 Sep.

This is obviously one of those quality articles. We can be sure that the information is accurate and of great significance to Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Dang, I should have called ST instead of SPF when I lost my handphone last year.

Miak said...

the girl must be well connected. maybe elite girl you know?

sohcool said...

LOL. This is precisely the kind of news my colleague (a french) told me when he visited Singapore. He told me: "Singapore is so safe that the headlines in the main papers reads something like this: Man knocked down the door of ex-wife during a confrontation". Of course, that was many years ago. Somehow, things have gotten worse (?).

Anonymous said...

Trust ST to NOT report on SDP activists' march on Sunday on the anniversary of the shameful episode at Hong Lim Square.

Anonymous said...

It is unoffensive and fills up space that might have been filled by investigative reporting (which may turn out to be offensive to certain important whoevers in whatever way, in one manner or another, contextually seen or otherwise )....

Ao said...

maybe its more of a warning to other people not to leave their belongings unattended.

Anonymous said...

I find it a bargain to pay $20 over dollars a month for a stack of window cleaners - the Home section is especially a great aid to scrubbing crud from the toilet bowl rim. As a bonus, I get immense entertainment value in reading how they attempt "nation building" on the newest idea to come out from the government.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this phone contained Tammy grade movies and ST may be trying to warn the thief not to spread it around. This girl must be important enough to spend this kind of effort to retrieve the phone.

Harrry Mao Tse Tung said...

I would think that the recent ultramen demonstrations with a backdrop of four huge Red Riot Cars (manned by Red Guards, Yes! The police in spore is no different from Mao's red guards) will be creative enough to call for a news report in ST.

But you have only news report in ST that even the Red Guards won't care, they will claim to be too busy to solve lah, have to prepare the SOP for Hong Lim Video Taking Session.

etre pour soi said...

"The mobile phone's unique identification number, or IMEI number, is 3593-8100-1783-258.

Anyone with information can call the police at 1800-255-0000."


Wow. Doesn't the above remind you of something? By the same token, even those 'missing dog' notices that you sometimes see plastered on lamp posts and at bus stops could qualify as news!

James Chia said...

I think my friend needs regular interviews with OSF because he's someone who loses phones something like twice a year!

jkc said...

About a year ago I returned home from work to discover that the front page story in the local newspaper was an interview with the homeless person hanging out in front of the Wal-Mart.

Of course, this is a small town in Alabama, not Singapore, but still...

George said...

You are quite wrong about there being no newsworthy topics/items here. The problem is the selective manner the ST has chosen to report as well as the self-imposed restrictions on what its reporters may pursue as news.

Among the symptoms are large pictures accompanying reports to fill up the pages and the coverage of a host of banal and inane topics and subjects.
The ST is not known as the 146th (?) for no reason!

PS, There is little reason for the ST to report real news since it or rather its publisher the SPH has practically cornered the print advert market in Singapore.

Fat cats don't need to chase rats anymore.

Anonymous said...

fiFor real news, forget about ST and turn to the forums and blogs on the internet.

About 60% of the ST paper is devoted to advertisements, 15% to featured articles from other news media and 25% for local and foreign news. So you can imagine, if they take away the news that cannot be reported, they have to fill up the paper with 'non-newsworthy' news like the handphone theft.

Anonymous said...

One of the news that I had wanted to follow is the authencity of the tooth relic from the Singapore's Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

The ST seems like didn't follow up that bit.

iago said...

its quite interesting how people still ignore crime prevention messages, but reporting a case like this doesn't really get the message home (which seems to be the only purpose of this article, other than a space filler). Frankly, I think the girl would be more interesting than the handphone :S

celestialdweller said...

errmm...is the gal Wee X Min??????

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Every year University and Poly fees will increase. No investigative reports? It's an annual trend right?

Every year Electricity and Water prices will go up. No investigative reports?

Every year, every thing under the mega mart of you-know-who will increase price, without substantial increase in service, etc. No investigative reports?

Haha. Ok, national building is important indeed. ^^

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think the news is ok because it at least drives a message home not to leave belongings unattended.

I just thinking. What if the next time the thief does not just steal the handphone but the entire bag as well? Imagine all clothes gone and no money also....

Anyway, why complain so much about the news anyway? Those who are brainwashed will have no issues. Those who can think will look at this news and then look at other news. It is not as though the latter group of people bought the straits times hoping to find great news or something....

Mr Darren said...

How is politics/political agenda defined in Singapore?

xtrocious said...

>I find it a bargain to pay $20 over dollars a month for a stack of window cleaners - the Home section is especially a great aid to scrubbing crud from the toilet bowl rim.

I use ST to line the peetray of my 2 dogs - very good stuff - super absorbent...

I guess shit attracts shit :p