The redesigned Straits Times you are reading today is another milestone on a journey of 170 years during which this newspaper has strived to keep faith with its readers. It has stayed the course with them from the tentative foundations of contemporary Singapore in the colonial era; through the horrors of the Great Depression, World War II and the Japanese Occupation; through the excitement and the agony of Self-governance, Merger and Separation; and onwards to an Independence that has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of an unwanted people. Words on the page have moved in tandem with the tumult of the streets and convulsions in the corridors of power.
This historical legacy has to be preserved in new ways. After all, newspapers are a conversation among readers mediated by journalists. The nature of the conversation will change as the vocabulary of popular tastes and aspirations absorbs the mood of the times. Hence the need for newspapers to constantly reinvent themselves to reflect the mindscape of an evolving audience, particularly the young.
Form without content being hollow, this newspaper's new look is not cosmetic. It aims to deliver quality content - timely and trusted coverage of the news of the day, with a focus on issues that matter to our readers, such as health, education, community and technology and science. Foreign correspondents will add to the breadth of domestic coverage, reporting and interpreting events in Asia and beyond that bear directly on the prospects of the city-state. Importantly, the revamp represents greater inte- gration of the paper's print and digital platforms to cater to the demands of a technologically-advanced readership which wants reliable real-time information round the clock. Mobile and tablet apps help to meet those needs, with the next day's broadsheet offering time and space for more reflective commentary.
The revamp of this newspaper aims to ensure its relevance to a Singapore generation whose expectations of the media are influenced by the information revolution, felt keenly in a globalised island-state. The explosion in the volume of information on the Internet makes it even more necessary than before to have a trusted source of news which treats facts as sacred and opinions as belonging rightly to the sphere of discussion, contestation and debate. Social media play a role in expanding the domain of communication. However, newspapers owe their credibility to the relentless efforts of professional journalists to deliver news which is accurate, balanced and fair. They are also ever mindful of the need to safeguard the long-term success and survival of the community they serve. This has always been, and remains, the touchstone for The Straits Times. The past has been but a preparation for the future.