a community of singaporeans

“Every citizen is a reporter”

Posted by theonlinecitizen on July 4, 2007

This is an extract from the blog, DailyKos.

Meet some of the citizen reporters of OhmyNews, a South Korean venture that in 2000 became the first online newspaper in the world to accept, edit, and publish articles from its readers.

It was established by Oh Yeon Ho, who has earned his credibility in the student pro-democracy movement of the 1980s, including having served a prison term for his activities.

OhmyNews was instrumental in bringing down the previous South Korean president in 2002, and the election of current President Roh Moo Hyun. Not only did OhmyNews garner the first media interview from new President Roh, but the president himself addressed the opening of the conference:

β€œThe media has to change if our society is to advance. The most powerful force that raises the standards of the media is no other than the participation of alert citizens.

The standards of the media and quality of its products can improve when more citizens participate in the production and distribution stages and use their responsible criticism to act as a check against the possibility of the media morphing into a political power.

Moreover, solidarity between the media organizations that are actively participated in by citizens will greatly contribute to advancing democracy globally.”

Β To read the full article, click here.


8 Responses to ““Every citizen is a reporter””

  1. […] blogosphere were often at odds. Well there is truth to that Statement. Compare and contrast these two articles on the impact of the net. Essentially the ST article has once again labelled the Internet as a […]

  2. Gerald said

    Thanks for highlighting this article. I like what was written about OhmyNews:

    The model presented by OhmyNews and many of these other ventures contrast with Daily Kos and much of the U.S. blogosphere in that they are focused on creating an alternative media, being the journalists that they wish they had in their countries. Their efforts are geared more toward original reporting than the kind partisan political activism prevalent in our blogosphere. But the primary aims of Daily Kos and OhmyNews, or, or NowPublic are all the same–having our voices heard above the din of traditional media fluff and, in too many cases, government-run media.

    I think that’s what Singapore needs and it’s also what Singaporeans want: original, honest reporting, not the same old anti-establishment rhetoric. I have friends who are interested in current affairs but don’t read blogs and don’t read Straits Times either because they find both too skewed.

    I think TheOnlineCitizen has led the way in opening up a new avenue for credible, alternative media in Singapore.

  3. Hi Gerald,

    That’s a big compliment, to say that about theonlinecitizen. πŸ™‚ I’m not sure if everyone agrees with that assessment, though. Haha..

    Honestly, I do not really find anything wrong with being partisan, especially when you already have a mainstream media which is hopelessly and blatantly partisan.

    That is why I do find blogs like Singapore Election Watch and Singabloodypore necessary.

    I would hate it if every blog tried to be “non-partisan” or “objective”.

    The mix and diversity of views on the blogosphere is what makes it intriguing, interesting and attractive.

    Having said that, I do not think TOC will become morbidly or rigidly partisan. This is because of the people behind TOC – the editors and writers – who prefer to be more “circumspect”.

    But we’ll see… πŸ™‚


  4. Ned Stark said

    I concur with Andrew. And I opine that at times people are too lazy too bother thinking and thus would prefer to have “balanced” views rather than coming up with one themselves. Furthermore the view that is perpertrated by the MSM with regards to the anti establishment internet is alarmingly in accurate. There are a diverse range of views and just because one happens to be so against the government in one area does not mean that one is WHOLLY against the government. Furthermore honest and orginality is in the eye of the beholder.

  5. […] Much Ado About Objectivity July 5, 2007 Posted by Ned Stark in Uncategorized. trackback This post was inspired by Gerald’s comment found here. […]

  6. Hi Ned,

    Nice little write-up about the issue on your blog..:)

    You are right. I have always had a problem with the term “objectivity”. I once told someone that bloggers cannot, in fact, be expected to be “objective” simply because ordinary citizens (which is what bloggers are, mostly) cannot be expected to have easy access to information – especially in Singapore – which they can then depend on to form “objective” arguments.

    What they can do is instead give opinions based on what is available to them.

    Thus, “objectivity” will always be subject to the access to information.

    And unless we have a Freedom Of Information Act and bloggers all trained in journalism, I don’t think we will ever be “objective”.

    And even if we were, there will always be people who will complain that we are not “objective”.

    The BBC is pretty objective to some people but not so to a lot of others. It’s the same with CNN or our very own CNA.

    I’d prefer that we all accept that everyone will have a different opinion – and perhaps this will make people be more analytical and critical in deciding whether they wanna believe in something they have read – or not.


  7. Ned Stark said

    Nah Andrew, you are too kind. In fact i feel i am purely a reactionary blogger. But yes your point on BBC is a good one.

  8. sarek_home said

    Mahatma Ghandi said: “An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.”

    If we fight partisan with partisan, it will leave everybody intellectually blinded as well. The partisan views supporting the two totally opposite extreme ends are just the same stuff in different bottles.

    The real weapon against partisan is open and moderate views.

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