Thursday, December 14, 2006

On "Credibility"

Many Singaporeans online appear to think that all opinions should be equally respected so long as they come from individuals. This is silly, because the right to say what you want is not the same as being credible or correct.

The Straits Times used to derive a lot of its credibility, in the eyes of most Singaporeans, from the fact that it was a government mouthpiece. So the paper's reputation was tied to how well people thought of the government.

Now, some Singaporeans appear to be ascribing credibility to sites that are not the Straits Times (especially blogs), simply because these sites are not the ST. My guess is that this is a knee-jerk reaction against The Straits Times' pro-government stance; a reaction fuelled in part by grievances against the government.

But fundamentally nothing much has changed. Many Singaporeans still define the "credibility" of a source by its distance from the government. Whatever happened to thinking critically? Non-ST sources need to be questioned too.

Also see Seah Chiang Nee's article on the "credibility gap" between bloggers and the offical media. Akikonomu has a response.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Masses look towards leaders. If the leaders fail them, they look for the next best alternatives. Sometimes, barbarians filled the role (look at history) and 'lead'.

If appointed leaders do not earn the respect of the people, they will be replaced sooner or later. It never change for the past 6000 years.