Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Today is restricted

Restricted Newspaper? - http://www.todayonline.com/Many years ago, when I was in school, I was encouraged to read the newspapers. I was told that not only is it a source of general knowledge that I should build up, but it was good for my learning of the English language too. Then, there was only one English paper - the Straits Times and it cost money. Nevertheless, I started to read the newspapers when I was in Secondary School.

Today, there are more newspapers on the streets and some are free of charge. For example, the print edition of Today, which is published by Mediacorp and The Epoch Times. Hopefully, this proliferation of papers will lead to a heightened general knowledge and improved English among its readers - the Singapore public.

I was quite disturbed yesterday when my 12 year old son was denied the Today newspaper. The auntie distributing the paper at Compass Point said that students in uniform are not entitled to a copy. I suppose the auntie is not making up this decision but that it must have come from higher ups, such as the distributor or even the publisher themselves. I was dismayed.

I understand that there may be commercial reasons in targetting the paper for certain sectors of the population. But I have seen advertisements in Today which is targetted at the young too. So I cannot understand why Mediacorp is denying its otherwise excellent paper to students in uniform. Now my son will start to think that the earliest he can read the Today newspaper is when he reaches at least 16 years old, and 18 years old if he manages to make JC. Somehow, this gives the impression that Today is a paper in the class of the R16/R18 Restricted Materials category prescribed by the Media Development Authority (MDA).

Surely our young students should start to know something of the world today by reading good balanced reporting through papers such as Today? But this is not what the distributor or publisher (Mediacorp Press) thinks. Apparently, profit is mightier than the pen.


Anonymous said...

How many 12-year olds you know read the newspapers and keep up with current affairs?

There you go.


Anonymous said...

read it online...

Anonymous said...

The first thing a 12-year-old does online is play games. Online papers? Nothing can be further from their minds...Fact of life today.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that the Straits Time will be given away its Sunday Times for a year to some Primary and Secondary school students in Singapore who may otherwise not have the opportunity to read the papers. Obviously, Primary Schools students in Sinagapore DO read the newspapers.