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All the about Pkchukiss's life in the Singapore Armed Forces

Saturday, February 26, 2005


In a surprise turn of events (after an announcement of compulsory registration for online access), local newspaper The Straits Times' online service has decided to start charging subscribers for access to the same articles that can be found in its print edition.

Given Singapore's small size, ST's coverage of Singapore news far out-rivals that of its competitors (Channel News Asia and Today, both owned by MediaCorp), leading them to believe in their dominance, and (probably) monopoly on local news.

I say they had better stop dreaming! The Straits Times' coverage of local news has been known to be skewed, and with its reputation as a [> Nation building newspaper <] with government (which is, as we know, the PAP), it is about as reliable an independant new source as a PAP issued press release.

With rumours of [> declining print edition subscribers <], I am not surprised if the proposed charging for online access will lead to decreasing traffic, not to mention lower bandwidth bills with their angry upstream provider.

In fact, such an act only deters casual readers, only hard-core ones desperate enough would bother to type and make available articles online through reproduction from the Straits Times' print edition, as can be seen on local online forum communities, which in itself defeats ST's plan of valuing its content, and is in itself not illegal, as the physical media has already been paid for, and all articles are paid by advertisers in its print edition.

Visit [> Straits Times Interactive <] while it remains free to see for yourself the plethora of articles: you can find nothing complimentary about any party in opposition to the PAP.

[> A short commentary by Mr Brown <] on ST's plan to charge for online access.

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