…and Asian journalists are struggling to deal with it – without analytical depth as they are used to the “he said” brand of quote journalism.
From patent thefts to reckless immigration each is the result of Western largesse that has hit businesses hard, made locals lose jobs, brought in professional mediocrity and thrown peace asunder.
That’s the disruptive, jarring reality staring at us. They had not escaped my attention as my blogs will demonstrate. But today’s (Dec. 27) edition of The Straits Times has three forthright articles offering realistic insights into the emerging new world order where populism is seen to strike lethal blows to liberalism in Europe and the U.S.
Locals Seriously Shortchanged – from Education to Employment
First came Brexit, then Donald Trump sprang a huge surprise with the next big change lurking on Germany’s horizon. France and the Netherlands are likely hot on their heels.
And why not as the local populations have been over the years seriously shortchanged – from Education to Employment! It is not an issue confined to the West, it is happening in Singapore and other advanced economies such as Australia as well.
No Diatribe, Just Soundbites Based on Reality and Reason
Going back to the focus of this post, the three pieces in Singapore’s top newspaper were well-written and made for engaging reading without any hint of motivated diatribe but containing soundbites based on reality and reason.
None of them was written by any full-time correspondent of The Straits Times. It has generally been so during the last 22+ years I have been a subscriber to it. Most readable pieces have generally been written by outsiders.
This is a trend that could be evident in newspapers in the rest of Asia as well. Most of them rely on freelance subject matter experts to present incisive articles on topics of interest.
Muckraking Hinging on Prejudices
Their own teams either practice the “he said” brand of quote journalism or resort to muckraking that hinges on the prejudices they subscribe to.
No originality, no analytical depth, they are just grounded in precis writing that captures developments as they unfold. In a sense, they may be doing justice to their roles as regular reporters are only expected to present news, not offer views.
Objectivity is not their domain as if they are not seen to toe the governmental line their existence will come under threat.
But without reports that capture reader attention, newspapers will struggle to survive.
That aside, the three opinion pieces that resonated well with me are:
The essence of the pieces can be summarised through the following points:
- “The rest of the world needs the US much more than the US needs the rest of the world.”
- “Laws on intellectual property protection were ill-defined and rarely, if ever, enforced. Soon, the Chinese joint-venture partners were competitors, and formidable ones at that. Not surprisingly, the foreign firms lost.”
- “The longer Europe’s rejects overstay their welcome, the more embittered and susceptible to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria recruiters’ whisperings they become.”
The changes we have begun to see on the political terrain are attempts at bringing back what the prosperous world lost – peace, harmony, a high quality of life and justice for locals!
G Joslin Vethakumar