Singapore bloggers beat mainstream media as real checks on the People’s Action Party
You didn’t hear it wrong.. A member of the People’s Action Party, or PAP, has officially declared that Singapore bloggers are now the real check on the PAP, tho Singapore Government.
In her rally speech for the Hougang By-Elections, Ms Denise Phua, announced that bloggers, mrbrown (http://tmrbrown.com) and Siew Kum Hong (http://siewkumhong.blogspot.com/) are the real check on the PAP because they are not politically aligned.
The video clip can be found here.
In her rally speech, her omission of the mainstream media as one of the real checks on the PAP speaks volume of how politically aligned the local mediastream media, like The Straits Times and Today, are towards the PAP.
This role of the local mainstream media is now as described as Walter Lippmann in the 1920s as just translators between the public and policy making elites.
Lippmann understood that journalism’s role at the time was to act as a mediator or translator between the public and policy making elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke, journalists listened and recorded the information, distilled it, and passed it on to the public for their consumption. His reasoning behind this was that the public was not in a position to deconstruct the growing and complex flurry of information present in modern society, and so an intermediary was needed to filter news for the masses. Lippman put it this way: The public is not smart enough to understand complicated, political issues. Furthermore, the public was too consumed with their daily lives to care about complex public policy. Therefore the public needed someone to interpret the decisions or concerns of the elite to make the information plain and simple. Lippmann believed that the public would affect the decision-making of the elite with their vote. In the meantime, the elite (i.e. politicians, policy makers, bureaucrats, scientists, etc.) would keep the business of power running. In Lippman’s world, the journalist’s role was to inform the public of what the elites were doing. It was also to act as a watchdog over the elites, as the public had the final say with their votes. Effectively that kept the public at the bottom of the power chain, catching the flow of information that is handed down from experts/elites.
Then came the Internet and the tools of social media that now has enabled the public to be the real checks of the power chain.
May 22, 2012