December 1st, 2009
Press coverage of the AWARE saga – probably the biggest media controversy of 2009 – is the subject of a research paper by Tan Tarn How of the Institute of Policy Studies. His report finds that, contrary to critics’ claims, Straits Times coverage was generally “objective, fair and balanced”. While there have been many opinions aired about ST‘s AWARE coverage, even in Parliament, Tan’s report is probably the most detailed analysis to date.
As for the criticism that the national newspaper over-covered the issue, Tan suggests the opposite. He argues that at least three key issues of great public importance were not given sufficient airing: how different interest groups should engage with one another; democratic decision making in organisations; and the role of religion in public life. “In terms of journalistic professionalism, too much coverage is a problem, but too little is a far greater one,” he writes.
Tan declares his interest as a former journalist with the Straits Times.
Download the full report in PDF by clicking here.