A letter that TODAY refused to publish

December 15, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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After publishing an inaccurate article and subsequently a commentary by a reader, TODAY refused to publish the following response to these two pieces.

Dear Editor,

In reference to the article “Why Chee is in hospital: MHA” (6 Dec 2006) and Rashid Osman’s comment “Why ask for special treatment” (7 Dec 2006).

Here is a proof of how an article published by a daily newspaper can manipulate public opinion.

The article published on 6 Dec 2006 is far away from the basic standards of journalism as it only shows the opinion and information received from on side. Therefore, it is of no more quality than a parrot repeating every sentence it has heard from the government officials. Professional journalism is to dig into the story and to reveal the full picture after seriously evaluating the version of both sides of the story.

A daily newspaper should be aware of it’s responsibility in disclosing information the right way and especially of the harm (or benefit) it can mean to public opinion to only disclose one part of the picture.

Certainly there is a vast majority of people like Mr Osman who easily believe into press information without being critical and asking further questions. Therefore, a free and independent press is of very high importance and the freedom of press should be one of the highly cherished standards of a democratic system.

Rodny Scherzer
Germany