March 2, 2008

I know that I am probably going to ruffle a few feathers here by saying this, but I am still going to anyway.

mypaper seriously needs a change of editors.

Even if it is a free local tabloid, the paper really needs an increase in its sense of social responsibility to the mass readers. Even with its generally positive reviews thus far, with the concept of the paper being fresh and unique, combining both English and Mandarin elements into a single paper, together with the implementation of a vocabulary bank where new vocabulary can be picked up between languages, the easy-to-understand language and the simple yet eye-catching layout of the newspaper, the paper really has a lot of areas for improvement.

On two pertinent instances already, the editors chose to focus on largely-overseas events instead of a major Singapore happening.

Firstly, it’s the day after the results broke that Singapore had emerged victorious in its bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010. Instead of focusing on that, the front page story was that of the Edison Chen scandal. Local blogger Dawn Yang came out of her shell with her story that the actor had once made a move on her, though she rejected the advances he made on her.

Now, we see the paper focussing on the Starbucks shutdown in the US (Thur, 28/02/08) for its English segment, as well as how Facebook has widereaching global impacts and how some corporations are actually inspecting the Facebook accounts on their employees to monitor their employability for the Chinese segment. If you haven’t noticed, that’s the day after Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Terrorish Mas Selamat Kastari had actually escaped the Whitley Road Detention Centre, sending the nation into high security alert. News on that was relegated to a single column in the English segment, and a quarter of a page on the Chinese segment.

Alright, I shall choose to ignore the fact the editors of the paper really have a warped sense of ideas as to what a front page story should be, considering that the paper has to be milked for all its worth.

It’s just that, for a such a thin English tabloid to have that many spottable English grammatical /spelling/ punctuation/ sentence structure/ slang errors within a day, it just becomes slightly more unforgiveable. I apologise that I’m such a stickler for details, but it lies in the paper’s social responsibility to be answerable to its readers. Perhaps Secondary School teachers can start using the paper as a training ground to hone their students’ skills in the editing / transformation segments of the English paper.

The following encapsulates a few mistakes which arose over the past few days:

Article: “Lessons for a budding journalist” (Page A2, 28/02/2008)
Excerpt: There were no celebrities with their glittery designer gowns. No gold statuettes to mark the even,t either.

Article: “Material Mum makes it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” (Page A15, 28/02/2008)
Except: The album, which features such songs as Candy Store and the first single Four Minutes, is the follow-up to Confessions on a Dance Floor, which made its debut at No. 1 on the US pop chart in November 2005

Article: “Love Him, Hate Him” (Page A1, 29/02/2008)
Excerpt: The charismatic Thai politician who is so intensely hated and loved at the same returned to his homeland yesterday to an emotional welcome after 18 months of self-imposed exile overseas.

Article: “No more politics: Thaksin” (Page A8, 29/02/2008)
Excerpt: The billionaire-turned-politician acknowledged that some politicians had ties with him, but added that this was “part of Thai culture” and should not construed as a political comeback.

There are still many other errors around for you to spot, in the midst of building up your current affairs knowledge.

Have fun!

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