Singapore Opens up to New Media
But the nation still believes in the powers of mainstream media vehicles.
25 Feb 2009, The Straits Times, Home Pg B8
Over the past few months to years, the government has indeed warmed up to the advances to new media and concrete steps are taken to get the nation ready to face the tidal wave digital media.
Digital media is widely recognised to be gaining good progress in the cosmopolitan city and it’s expected to make a significant impact in the social and political environment.
Neighbour country Malaysia witnessed a shift in votes against the dominate political party and it’s largely attributed to the awareness and effective online strategy led by the opposition party.
In the US, digital media played an important role in winning President Obama’s popularity and victory too.
The local government had launched the new media champion initiative. The initiative involves getting representatives from grassroots organisations to be new media champions to explore using new media to drive social cohesion and community bonding. Staff from the People’s Association have been attending courses to learn more about new media and how they can tap on them to drive social causes.
On the political front, the government’s feedback arm, REACH, engages the online community on governmental issues.
Whilst critics are saying that these moves are conservative and the government should engage the online community on a more direct and open platform, I think that it is a good start.
Our government has over the years, earned the reputation of being careful, and I attribute that to the success of the nation thus far. There should not be a reason why they should jump on the bandwagon, just because digital is a tidal phenomenon that is sweeping across the world.
I acknowledge that new media is making very significant progress and impact but it’s such a huge and complicated animal that it can lead to one’s success or downfall very quickly. Hence, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Making baby steps could be slower and more conservative but it’s nonetheless, considered steps that I appreciate.