Monday, August 01, 2011

ST Sponsored Stories Not News


The Straits Times has spent the last three days promoting its new application for portable devices, which was launched today.

I am not sure how long this will continue but I will not be surprised if you run a story tomorrow to tell readers about the reception of this launch.

As a reader of The Straits Times, I cannot help but wonder if either The Straits Times has run out of stories to tell or, like some in dominant positions, it is trying its best to live in an illusion of its own creation.

It would hardly seem newsworthy since The Straits Times appears to be the only media in the world running such stories about its application and given there are many similar such applications launched on a daily basis.

Whatever the case may be, I request that these stories in praise of The Straits Times by The Straits Times be treated and labelled as "advertorials", which is the case for other sponsored content in your stable of publications.

I would rather The Straits Times focus on improving its content and perception of journalistic standards. For example, several readers have accused The Straits Times of having an editorial stance that disproportionately favours its former boss in its coverage of the presidential elections. There is also a sentiment that The Straits Times has been slow to criticise its former boss. These sentiments also reflect observations underscored by some other presidential candidates.

Of course, I am mindful and appreciative that, unlike some of its foreign counterparts, The Straits Times is not embroiled in controversies involving invasion of privacy, notwithstanding that several in its ranks have once been involved in sensitive intelligence gathering functions in government and this is a key skill inherent in these journalists at least.

In the hope that The Straits Times will continue to grow from strength to strength, I remain your loyal reader.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?
Feel free to react below or leave a comment.

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