mypaper (03/03/2008)

March 3, 2008

Let us all take a look at some of the errors I have spotted within mypaper on Monday, 3rd March 2008.

I came to the awareness that this is in fact the paper to read should you wish to improve your English language. Doing editing and peer reviews of flawed documents or essays are always good means to know where you stand.

Article: ‘Physical breach’ at Whitley detention centre (Page A6)
Excerpt – He added: “But we are taking nothing for granted in terms of where might be.”

Article: Commision of inquiry set up (Page A7)
Excerpt – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs announced this to reports when he visited the Special Operations Command at Queensway yesterday morning.

(They forgot to introduce him as Mr Wong Kan Seng in this paragraph, and followed up with this with “Mr Wong”s all over the article. Mr Wong who?)

Article: China’s new parliament to endorse ‘super-ministries’ (Page A8)
Excerpt – China’s new parliament is expected to promote younger leaders and possibly a non-Communist and will endorse plans to create powerful “super-ministries” when it convenes on Wednesday.

Article: Young Ming goes behind the camera (Page A20)
Excerpt – He was later was sent back to Taiwan to file stories in both English and Mandarin.

Article: Affleck has new ‘sex video’ (Page A20)
Excerpt – But in Hollywood, it’s a ‘sex video’ of sorts between actor Ben Affleck an Jimmy Kimmel.

Not too good a sign for the corporation behind the local non-fiction bestseller “English As It Is Broken” , is it?


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!

Dawn Confession

February 28, 2008

In today’s mypaper, local blogger Dawn Yang has launched a tirade against people who gave her flak for “wanting attention”, following her front page mypaper news story which broke the day after Singapore emerged victorious in its Youth Olympics 2010 bid.

Alright, to be fair, she didn’t exactly choose to be front page news fodder – that’s the fault of the editors who wanted to milk the free tabloid for all its worth.

However, Dawn, instead of getting readers to “look at this logically”, why don’t you yourself take a step back and look at things logically yourself?

Admittedly, while this whole brouhaha is a result of a misunderstanding created by the media who decides to mis-paraphrase your entry and put words into her mouth, hence along the way losing her original intent of the story (as what Dawn mentions in her fightback), is Dawn not to be faulted as well for being under scrutiny?

Let’s take a step back and analyse things a little. She claims that “as their writer, I’m (she’s) just doing my (her) job – sharing my thoughts and experiences on the controversy” by emphasising that “no matter how chamring or famous a guy is, a girl should not allow herself to be caught in compromising situations”.

Point taken.

However, let’s look at the contents of the original article. What do we see, but a foray into the kinks & croonies of the MSN conversation of Edison trying to proposition her. (And she claims that it was a few years ago! She actually KEEPS her MSN transaction backlogs for years?!) Though she did not exactly go full-fledged into the story, but what she did was effectively enough to “draw attention” onto herself – she dangled a huge yet unchewable carrot in front of the readers.

There isn’t a need for all the details should she want to drive home the message to “girls out there to be careful and sensible”. And besides, following the plights of poor Nicholas, Cecilia and Bobo, I’m sure that girls out there already know the need to be careful and sensible. Was she trying to imply that she is careful and sensible and that girls out there should view upon her as a role model?

And the timing of the entire issue is improper as well, given how different this front page story looks as compared to that of other newspapers.