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Should Singaporeans pay for news?

by Gene Kam

Commenting on the Today Online article, "Getting Singaporeans to pay for news", Kam wrote on his Facebook page,

The author ends her piece with:

“News organisations have the mammoth task of providing credible and up-to-date information, run a profitable business, and nurture and grow its base of loyal readers.

The rest is up to the readers.”

While she did quote some interesting examples of how other news publications engage with their readers, she could have highlighted other factors hampering positive development of Singapore’s news industry – lack of alternatives, over-regulation, perceived or actual bias in reporting, poor management etc.

The closing line of the piece seems to lay more of the blame on the readers. While readers expect or demand more, the publications must be seen to respond accordingly and recognise that the readers are a discerning audience, instead of treating them like cows mindlessly chewing on fodder.

It’s not that readers are cheap - they will pay if it’s worth paying for.

The rest is up to the news publications.