How do activist citizens make an impact?

October 7, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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Dear Dr. Chee,

I am a fellow aspiring activist and I just want to ask you a few questions as we try to grapple with the fact that we are attempting to improve our coverage of media in Singapore.

One, how do you manage to get your agenda into the Singapore media considering how tightly controlled it is? Two, what can we, as ordinary citizens, do to improve coverage of issues we care about?

Thank you for your time and I hope to receive your reply as soon as possible.

DAVID

SDP: Dear David,

It is important when considering activities to conduct to ensure that it must be genuinely be of public interest. If this goal is met, the international media will be interested to report it and this creates pressure on the local media to follow suit.

If the PAP media refuses to report on issues that the foreign media find relevant and important, then the credibility of the PAP media is further undermined. With time, especially with the advent of the Internet, the local media will be even more distrusted and the pressure from beneath will cause the lid to pop. As it is, intelligent Singaporeans and those who want to know beyond what the Straits Times and its ilk talk about, they turn to websites such as this one, Singapore Window, Singapore Review, Think Centre, the various blogspots, and so on. We need to keep up the pressure on the local media by continue to provide alternative and censored information, and also find creative ways to improve our communication with the people.

If citizens want to create an impact on the public consciousness on a certain issue, it is important to sit and plan out one’s actions. Objectives, goals, action plan, follow-up action, publicity, etc. all need to be properly thought through and executed. The strategy adopted will depend very much on the issue canvassed. On this score the SDP and its network of activists (both local and international) would be happy to help. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.