In a Today Online report, "Getting Singaporeans to pay for news" dated 29 December, it was said that the recent upheavals in the news industry in Singapore have sparked a conversation on the future of news organisations, and noted that financial support from readers can help to limit the influence of advertisers on media organisations and their reporting.
The report wrote, "How do media companies like the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which announced that it would terminate 230 staff members by year-end, remain competitive on a rapidly changing media landscape? What can small online publications like The Middle Ground, which ceases operation in 2018, do to get a slice of the pie?"
Many readers commented on the article at Today's Facebook page, stressing that they would not pay for propaganda news and call for media outlets especially SPH to report on unbiased, clear, and truthful news.
Meminion wrote, "Paying for “news” not the problem. The problem is paying for “news” to report only on “news” for People's Action Party. What for?"
Susan Khoo wrote, "The reason I don’t want to pay for local news is because it is not objective. If our local journalists learn to write in a more credible and objective manner, then maybe I would start paying for my news."
Des Soo wrote, "If that’s the author’s own naive thinking, so be it. What a joke. Journalism fails, they blame readers and not their professionalism/change in market dynamics. It’s precisely this kind of writings that people will never pay for."
David Lim wrote, "Hahaha siao ah (crazy). Pay to read propaganda news? Are you ok or not?"
Tony Serio wrote, "SG Journalism is not failing due to lack of funds it is due to a lack of real journalists and a free press. Reposting other agencies news stories and reports and blogging are NOT journalism. The Times, Reuters. BBC, AP and Bloomberg are all doing fine. Taking risks, investigating corruption, getting whistleblowers to open up is all part of the business not being a PAP spokesperson. And then there is writing styles, methodologies and legalities that a journalist must know and adhere to. All of these are missing as SPH."
KH Tse wrote, "Less articles on western propaganda. More fair reporting. Positive/negative news."
David Lee wrote, "Propaganda research. Look at how ST reports on Keppel corruption. Not on the front page n tucks at a corner in other pages. If it involves opposition, it will be on the front page. Sad state."
Rudy Kipidap wrote, "Let's get things right first. Journalism in Singapore barely exists. We only have writers who regurgitate what they're told to, within boundaries framed towards a bias. Journalism requires an integrity to write the truth, to report what really is. You might as well get funding from Fox News; am sure they'll agree with your definition of "journalistic integrity"."
Daniel Lim wrote, "Lol just sell off SPH la. Bring in overseas media to report unbiased and nothing but the truth news. Shame on you as a journalist here, if you're my family member, I'll disown you long ago."
Edwin Tow Yang Heng wrote, "I would pay for commentary analysis, but our local papers are either too superficial in analysis or reprinting from AP, NYTimes, Guardian, Bloomberg etc, with the occasional good pieces from our own senior journalists or Singapore thinkers. Increase the scope and depth of our own Singapore journalists' reporting and commentary, then that will be really doing Singaporeans and next generation a service, and we will gladly pay for the papers."
Ng Kuan Luen wrote, "Don’t even get me started. But in short it’s another case of inability of a Singapore industry to compete on the global stage. What rubbish, ‘getting Singaporeans to pay for the news’? The statement itself reflects the authors own narrow-mindedness that’ll doom itself. Try ‘getting the whole world to pay for the news’ and you may have a chance to survive."
Shinn Ng wrote, "Why should we pay to read only the good things about the PAP? At the rate our standard of journalism is going, it is better that they get their fundings from the PAP only."
Alan Tan wrote, "Who pays for gutter journalism, fake news, propaganda news, and gossips? I don't mind getting it for free to collect my pet's poops and urine though."
Aw Farid Chong Yee wrote, "Is there even journalism in Singapore? I think blockbusters movies are worth a dime to watch for entertainment then reading news article from *journalists* in Singapore."
Stevie Lim wrote, "If your editor in chief for straits are PAP lackey like Warren Fernandez, and have Sumiko Tan part of the leadership, you think people should respect or pay for it?"
Long Cheng Chiang wrotre, "It is all about the spirit of journalism. journalists ought to be objective, bold, critical and unbiased. once you have those qualities you will be able to attract readers. Do we have it here?"
Danjel Lim wrote, "If journalism fails in Singapore, it's never because lack of financial support, it's because lack of truthful and unbiased reporting. Face the fact please."
Pasakorn Sanrattana wrote, "Who wants to read mostly brainwash news? Always talk bad about other countries and always say Singapore number 1 for this and that and the best for this and that. If they want us to pay for social media example "FB news", I will just Unlike the page. Why would I to pay and get attack by so many internet brigades over my feedbacks?"
Terry Chng wrote, "I think if all the newspapers were to ceased operations, Singaporeans will be better for it.
To be uninformed is better than to be misinformed."
Julia Goh wrote, "Acting as a mass communication tool should uphold their professional ethics in whatever news they reporting and not being selective, biased, taking sides. I dont agree it's right and fair for Singaporeans to pay for news that's not accurate."
Yuanxiu Liu wrote, "Don't make me laugh, Today. Your articles are best written for people who are mentally deranged. Singapore will be a better place without your rubbish articles!"
Michael Goh wrote, "Don't worry, if the government wants us to read the right thing, they will pay for it, which of course comes from taxpayer's monies. So in a way, we already paid for it."
Alvin Peh wrote, "Paying to get brainwashed by propaganda which only serves the interest of the ultra rich elites and the privileged families within the gov and its highly paid ministers and civil servants in a capitalism liked model and society. No thanks."
How Lian Chan wrote, "Do I care if the ST and Today and any other mouthpieces of this government fail? I can do without these mouthpieces. Really it is all bias news and propaganda. I would no pay neither do I want to receive them for free. We are seeing the decline in sales and advertisement revenue. Thanks to Facebook we are getting the news I mean the real news fresh from the mill. Good riddance to Today."
Alex Lim wrote, "Ownself fail start blaming people for not supporting local papers? Ranked 154th in press freedom index and still expect people to pay for propaganda news. Close down SPH better lah."
Glenn Clary Soh wrote, "Wanna be a real journalist? Write for a real newspaper! Write with a conscience! Write with the light of truth and impartiality!"
Elvin Ong wrote, "We need journalist who has high moral standards instead of spreading propaganda. Stop blaming the readers. Reader spend money on truth information, not political propaganda and liberalism propaganda."
Ong Wes wrote, "If journalism is practised with bias agenda then perhaps its better not see or read their articles. Just like CNN and RT. View everything from a wider angle. Journalism is to expound truth, not half truths."
Lynx Ng wrote, "With the kind of skewed content that SPH churns out like ads for PAP, they should be paying the public to read instead."
Kelvin Seet wrote, "Journalism means incorporating and complementing what the general public needs to know and have to find out, with sources other than the government, the authorities or the people with interests in the act or issues that may skew the facts. In other words, we don't have journalists. We have reporters reporting the news as required. The substantial and important news are always on other countries or from other news sources. There isn't anything meaningful on our issues.
The amount of blocked information or lack of interest in getting true facts out, only serves to kill the local news agencies. It's not the public who refuse to pay, it's the news media that doesn't provide what we want to read or know."