Sunday, March 26, 2006

Who said what?

Mis-communicationOh dear me, everybody except LTA (Land Transport Authority) got it wrong. LTA has sent letters to both the Straits Times and Today newspapers to correct a report that came out in both papers that stated that the LTA will be equipping public buses with CCTVs. LTA clarified that this has yet to be decided on and that a feasibility study is being carried out now to determine the viability of the proposed CCTV-on-bus project.

Well, it seems to me that either the people who we rely on for our daily news (and that's not just one newspaper) are not very reliable news reporters or the LTA is not a reliable communicator, or both. If it is the first, I am worried because most people on this island rely either on ST or Today for the news. For that matter, even Mediacorp TV got it wrong in its Broadcast News Reports, which I caught on the evening 9.30pm bulletin when the story was reported. If we cannot rely on all these sources of news, then who else can we rely on? This is a bit worrying.

But of course, it could also be that LTA did a lousy job communicating the facts to the public via the news media, which must then be clarified / corrected / backtracked on (choose any one word that suits your view of events) via the same media. If this were the case, LTA was perhaps running ahead of itself in announcing this bit of news, and in the process, mis-communicated it.

A third theory is that the news as reported were not wrong but LTA backtracked because the public was non too happy about the prospect of paying for these CCTVs and their operational upkeep. These were expressed in the same press media and through local blogs. So LTA might have thought it wise to say that nothing has been decided until the outcome of the feasibility study.

Public transport and transport costs is a sensitive issue on this island, so you don't want to stir up the hornets' nest unnecessarily.

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