LETTER SENT TO PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE PRESS CLUB
I am writing to you concerning a recent incident involving a freelance journalist, Mr Brown or Lee Kin Mun, and our media regulators. For more information, see "The inutility of speaking truth unto power".
As a result of this incident, his column in a newspaper in Singapore has been suspended, and the journalist has described it as a "trying few days" for those around him and himself.
You have stated that the role of the Singapore Press Club "is to foster camaraderie and fellowship among media professionals". And you have invited "involvement, input and guidance" plus suggestions and views.
I encourage the Singapore Press Club to look into issues where a journalist's livelihood is affected due to such unfortunate circumstances. The Singapore Press Club can help such journalists cope with these testing times. This is not unprecedented.
When a journalist's life was threatened last year, the Singapore Press Club did not run away from its duty to aid the media professional. It highlighted its "deep concern [about] the detention in Beijing of Mr Ching Cheong, an outstanding Straits Times journalist".
Based on this precedent, the Singapore Press Club can certainly do more for journalists based in Singapore.
Perhaps, a fund could be set up to help them with loss of income. An assistance scheme could be established to help such journalists find other ways to express themselves.
This challenge is an opportunity for the Singapore Press Club, and I hope it will rise to help one from its own brethren.