Legal landmines and OB markers: Survival strategies of alternative media

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The general election was an opportunity seized by “citizen journalism” websites to showcase the contribution they could make as alternative media in Singapore's political landscape. It was also a moment of choice. With little institutional baggage and few organisational restraints, bloggers could pick from a wide range of political stances and editorial strategies. This chapter examines the choicesmadeby four leading websites: The Online Citizen (TOC), Temasek Review, Yawning Bread and the Singapore General Election Portal. It analyses where they situated themselves in relation to partisan politics, to other media, and to the electorate at large. It finds that while some adopted more populist approaches, others were more wary of ground sentiments and tried to maintain some professional distance from the public. These differences suggest that citizen journalism has not resolved the fundamental tensions between popular and elitist conceptions of democracy, and among competing normative notions of journalism's role. Rather than a failure to conform to some unitary professional norm, citizen journalism's diversity should perhaps be seen as a reflection of these tensions inherent in journalism's relationship to democracy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBattle for hearts and minds: New media and elections in Singapore
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
Pages29-47
ISBN (Electronic)9789814713634
ISBN (Print)9789814713610
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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