Straits Times Calls Out Sports Hub Management On Their Lack Of Humility
An improvement of Singapore’s press freedom rating might be incoming
Singapore’s press freedom rating was at a dismal 150th out of 180 countries last year — the worst ranking for a developed country.
Since last year, The Straits Times (ST) has been revamping its content to be more appealing to the social media generation. From publishing “listicles”, to using abbreviations native on the Internet such as “LOL”, and its ongoing Number of the Day series on their Instagram account.
The social media generation is much more critical when it comes to sensitive issues than before, leading to a rise in online alternative news sites and their anti-governmental slant.
We’re not 100% sure, but we think this trend of appealing to the social media generation may just be pointing towards an increase in press freedom within SPH.
Sports Hub given an A- grade by its management
The Straits Times conducted an interview with the head executives of the Sports Hub, asking them to grade its performance. In a ludicrous turn of events, the honchos of the controversy-filled stadium gave themselves an A- and B+, claiming that winning architecture awards and hosting numerous commercial events merited the grade. However, they may have forgotten about the pitch which more resembled a beach.
The Sports Hub has faced a slew of problems, ranging from its failed attempts at correcting the sandy pitch, to undiscovered leaking areas of the roof, which were only found out during and after Jay Chou’s December concert. Sporting and commercial events have also been postponed due to pitch restoration. Not the most exemplary of track records, despite ticket prices not being as obscene as other stadiums around the world.
ST disagrees with A-
Then came an article written by ST’s Sports Correspondent, Sanjay Nair.
He criticised the higher-ups of the Sports Hub management, accusing them of lacking humility. He also gave the Sports Hub a more reasonable grade of C+ for its woefully sandy pitch, which has become a running joke globally, with Dunga, coach of the Brazilian football team, commenting that the pitch had “more sand than grass”.
Breath of fresh air
The Sports Hub Pte Ltd itself is a partnership between the Government and three other private companies. To call out Government-linked managements for not doing the right thing, instead of simply reporting the usual PR-riddled statements, is a surprising turn.
Grading the stadium an A+ in light of all these problems is nothing short of delusional, and seeing The Straits Times calling the management out on that is a sign in the right direction that the rest of the mainstream media should follow. We can only optimistically hope that Sanjay Nair’s critical, yet balanced commentary is not a one-off and that more journalists will be able to follow suit on other more sensitive issues.