Singapore Democrats Chairman Gandhi Ambalam has invited several media personalities and scholars to speak at a forum in conjunction with the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 08 (www.worldpressfreedomday.org).
The theme for the forum is: What is the role of the mainstream media in helping to the push for openness and political maturity in Singapore? Those invited are:
Mr Alex Au, blogger and gay rights activist
Ms Chua Lee Hoong, Poilitical Editor, Straits Times
Dr Cherian George, Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Dr Gillian Koh, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies
Ms Melanie Lee, journalist, Reuters
Mr Martyn See, filmmaker and blogger
The speakers have been asked to talk about political openness in relation to a world that is becoming more integrated both economically as well as politically. Such being the case, is it getting more difficult for Singapore to resist the trend towards greater transparency and openness.
Also with the advent of an alternative media in the form of the Internet, is there added pressure for a freer flow of information?
Against such a backdrop, how will Singapore’s mainstream media cope with changes? Will it continue to be part of the “nation-building” apparatus or will events compel it to rethink its role? Also with greater awareness among Singaporeans and the growing campaign for free speech and freedom of assembly, how will our media be used to counter such a movement?
Will the industry need to address the dismal rankings it receives in international surveys such as the World Press Freedom Index conducted by Reporters Without Borders?
Details of the forum will be announced in due course.