[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Monday, February 23, 2009

[Thoughts from a new media conference]
The term "freedom comes with responsibility" is an important one for netizens according to Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

At a new media conference, he had shared his thoughts about new media and I think our leaders are getting it.

The usual view he espoused regarding race and religion is a serious one. He cited why the Government decided to charge bloggers who made inflammatory remarks about religious remarks. The reason? To send a strong message that one should not use religion to spur hatred and sow discord. That in itself was the punishment which was meted out to the offending bloggers.

He asked those present to bear in mind Singapore's history and not risk committing or adding to violence in the name of religion on the Internet.

Dr Vivian further added saying that Singapore is made up of people of peace.

Moving further on my ideology that media is a double-edged sword, Central CDC Mayor Zainudin Nordin said metaphorically that we should "blunt the edges that hurt and shape the good points."

Just like everything else, there are two sides - the good and the bad. The Internet presents real power to allow everybody to express ideas, at a speed and reach like never before. Everyone now has his own printing press - one can print messages instantly and globally and ship in to anywhere in the world.

This was the main gist of his opening message.

On the thought of accountability to what one posts on the Internet, I feel that Facebook could be a good medium to contribute to that. Under normal circumstances, comments on Facebook can be traced back to an individual. And one is able to know who made the comment as compared the internet arena in general. Of course, there are cases when Facebook accounts are set up using pseudonyms and there are also instances where people use their real name in other areas such as blogs, forums and so on.

A second thought that I had is that there is still power in the majority. Dr Vivian had said that the cohesion and peace of the community and the interests of the majority have to be protected.

Two other speakers, Dr Milagros Rivera, Head, Communications and New Media Programme at NUS and Mr Yeo Chun Cheng, Chief Information Officer from MDA gave insights on new media and how it can be applicable to the community.

Completing the session was a dialogue with both speakers and chaired by Mr Felix Soh, Head, Digital Media at SPH. He gave an interesting quote about new media.

"Celebrate and reinforce the positive".

The thoughts that were shared hover on the lines of the reward and punishment method. A good action deserves a reward while a bad move deserves punishment.


Blogger ahlor said...

Blogosphere regulating in Singapore - would it be possible for selected blogospheres to form an association and have their representative/s meet up regularly with government reps to iron out any concerns? Government party to be headed by at least an MP who if necessary can raise issues concerning blogging in Parliament?
Some immunity should be given to blog reps to be decided.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 5:54:00 pm

Blogger Ephraim Loy 黎传志 said...

There was news about the Bloggers' Association some time back. I am unsure of the structure and how they intend to run this association.

But I am sure it would be a good idea for bloggers to meet up regularly with Government representatives to iron out any concerns. That said, it must not be seen as an effort for the Government to exert control over them. This has to be managed carefully. MPs who are in the MICA Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) are the best people to approach.

Ultimately, the relationship and trust between bloggers and the Government has to be built.

I am not sure what you mean by "some immunity should be given to blog reps to be decided".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 9:58:00 pm


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