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Much Ado about the “New Media” June 20, 2007

Posted by Ned Stark in Uncategorized.

The recent arrest of Abdul Basheer, a well educated law graduate, under the ISA has once again put the New Media under scrutiny by the Old MSM.  There also appears to have been mistaken information with regards to Basheer’s race; for he is an Indian Muslim and not a Malay. Unfortunately it appears that MSM (and since MSM is known to be a mouth piece of the government then it would be fair to say the government) has placed too much emphasis on the so called impact on the New Media on Basheer’s fanatacism. Of course Gerald and Bernard have both said their piece on this matter and to therefore say that the Internet can produce homeground terrorists is to oversimplify the underlying issues of terrorism and make one look like a silly in a circle of academics.

It is a trite knowledge that everytime the government mentions the New Media, it is either with scorn or derision loaded with veiled threats on how there should be some form of control or “ceremonial censorship“. The recent CNA article is no exception.

 And as for governments, the challenge is to manage dangers which include self-radicalisation through the internet.

Yeah, and we bloggers are deemed to be insurgents and radicals who are all too ready to start a guerilla. Bollocks.

The advent of the “New Media” has resulted in a more efficient way of collecting information. In the past one had to thumb through old books to find what one wanted, now all you need is a google search to find the same information. Of course because the New Media is relatively free from the clumsy attempts at censorship, you get all sorts of information which some people tend to find objectionable; namely, porn, videos of violence, ideas which the powers that be do not agree with and so on. Therefore it is unexpected that people are blaming the New Media for all sorts of acts, addiction to porn, acts of violence and in Singapore’s case, self radicalisation and the so called “antiestablishment” stuff on the net.

However, such accusations seem to be mere attempts to abdicate the responsibility to educate; to teach people to think critically and to be more discerning. And that is what is lacking in Singapore. Observe the letters to our wonder ST forum, how people tend to blame this and that and everything else but themselves. The truth however is often damning, that people (including the authorities in Singapore) tend to throw the ball, in this case, to the New Media. 
But there is proof to show that the New Media is unlike the immoral radical insurgent that is often portrayed by her half brother the MSM. While it is undeniable that there are those sites which do incite hatred, the truth is that the landscape is quite varied and you have a different range of perspectives found here that till date has yet to make a debut in the ST. Furthermore aggregators like Intelligent Singaporean, The Online Citizen, Singapore Surf to name a few have covered more ground in issues like the Wee Shu Min incident, the Pay Hike, Alfian’s dissmissal and so on. Even the recent arrest of Basheer has been analysed by the hardworking netizens.

And bear in mind that most netizens are either schooling, wearing green or working and may not even have journalism experience! I believe something other than the usual scorn and derision is required…



1. scb - June 21, 2007

Thanks to the New Media, we, the people can communicate freely and be educated, informed and many a time be told the truths!

2. phew! - June 25, 2007

Simply put it. Do we all we can to resist repression. Media regulations and whatnot cannot regulate your mind or our middle finger. 🙂

3. Ned Stark - June 26, 2007

Nah, there is no need to resort to The Finger. And yes, I agree only you can regulate your own mind.

4. Of a Paragraph in Digital Life (17th July 2007) « Winter Is Coming - July 17, 2007

[…] are mindless anti establishmentarians, a claim which shows a distinct lack of understanding of the dyanamics of the blogosphere. Thus the articles on Digital life do give Ned some hope that perhaps the tactic of  engaging the […]

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