Other than the healthcare workers, cleaners, delivery drivers and many others at the frontline in the global battle against Covid-19, a group of dedicated individuals are often forgotten when we give thanks – media professionals.
Maybe I am biased because I built a large part of my career in media organisations like Singapore Press Holdings and News Corp, but the global Covid-19 brings out how important it is for reliable, timely and accurate news reporting.
There are many professional journalists and newsroom workers working everyday to ensure the right information is disseminated to the public to keep everyone informed in a timely manner. Would you trust your Facebook or Instagram newsfeed for information on Covid-19? Or would you go to news sites like Straits Times, Today, CNA, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, just to name a few of the reputable news sources.
For too long, in the relentless pursue of quick advertising dollars, cheap, gimmicky click bait content are deployed by upstart news websites to deliver mass eyeballs. Cut-and-paste and desktop journalism becomes the norm, leaving the costly, heavy lifting of on-the-ground news gathering and fact-checking to the traditional news media.
It is in this extraordinary time of the Covid-19 pandemic that we see a resurgence in the importance everyone places on the reputed news media company who built their brand on trust and accuracy.
Journalism is not an easy job. There are newsmakers like the United States President who can be downright antagonistic to journalists who don’t sing his tune. Even in Singapore, there is the delicate balance to churn out reports to feed the public’s right to know versus balancing embargoes with the government agencies to present a united front and for the greater good. To publish or not to publish – decisions have to made on the fly.
In this new world of fake news and rapid information flow, it is all the more important for us to thank the media professionals at the frontline, working round the clock to ensure smooth flow of accurate news.
Thank you guys!