ASIA MEDIA STAFF WRITES – It’s no secret that Singapore news media is not exactly free. That said, controls on the nation’s journalists have eased over the years, and today’s environment is far looser than a decade ago. This has led to a unique brand of Singaporean citizen journalism found most prominently on the blogging platform Stomp.
Stories on Stomp seem to be anything and everything that capture the interest of the average citizen. Tales involving people defecating in public are ever popular, as are bizarre paranormal sightings and humorous accounts of wardrobe malfunctions at a local theater.
Stomp’s ability to let regular citizens have a hand in reporting has made waves in the island nation and provided a new platform for the everyday citizen to report what they feel is most important. But with the volume of do-it-yourself reporting has come a drop in editing standards that would typically ensure stories are fact-checked and legit. This absence has led to a drop in public trust among some readers and now a petition in underway to shut Stomp down.
The petition has reached its goal of 20,000 signatures, which perhaps speaks to a legitimate gripe. Citizen journalism, it turns out, may not be perfect. But Stomp has provided an avenue for Singaporeans to report news outside the usually accepted mainstream media and is a step in the right direction for a country that would benefit from a freer – or at least a less policed — media. Let’s hope Stomp doesn’t get stomped.