Today editor: “Matter closed”

March 13, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

Today‘s editor, Mr Walter Fernandez, told Dr Chee Soon Juan that he will not publish the SDP’s reply to Mr Loh Chee Kong’s article and that he considers the matter closed.

The saga started when Mr Loh, a senior reporter of the newspaper, printed an interview with Mr Chiam See Tong where he described the Singapore Democrats as practicing the “darker side of politics” by ousting Mr Chiam.

Dr Chee wrote in to correct Mr Loh but the newspaper would not publish the reply.

After more than week and a couple of emails from Dr Chee, Mr Fernandez agreed to post the SDP’s reply on its online edition. Dr Chee asked for the letter to be published in the print version where Mr Loh’s original story appeared because the readership is much greater for the mainstream press.

Mr Fernandez continued his prevarication: “Your letter has been published unedited in our online Voices section.” Notice how he avoids the inconvenient question of why he would not accord Dr Chee his reply in the newspaper. The editor then added: “This is the appropriate platform and we consider this matter closed.”

Of course he does. When confronted by questions that they can’t answer without lying, autocrats and their minions usually tell the questioner to just shut up or, in this case, “matter closed”.

It might be opportune to cite the preamble of the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists in the US:

Public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.