Emergence of fake news makes journalism harder but more important, says SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang

The four recipients of the SPH journalism scholarship.
The four recipients of the SPH journalism scholarship.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Social media and the emergence of fake news have made a journalist's job harder but also more important, said Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) chairman Lee Boon Yang on Wednesday (July 26).

Speaking at SPH's annual scholarship awards ceremony, Dr Lee said it was no longer sufficient to just report the facts.

"Journalists have to dive deep into every story and ask tough questions," he said. "They have to carefully analyse every issue and offer valuable insights to readers."

And he stressed that even as SPH transforms its business to face the challenges posed by digital disruption, it will not forget that it is "fundamentally a media company".

"We will hold dear our commitment to quality and responsible journalism. The recent outbreaks of 'fake news' only serve to underscore the importance of this commitment to our readers and audience," he said.

On Wednesday, 32 recipients were awarded scholarships at the ceremony held at the SPH New Centre auditorium. Four received the SPH journalism scholarship, 12 the Lim Kim San Memorial scholarship while 16 received scholarships meant for children of SPH staff and newspaper vendors.

The Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarship is a bond-free scholarship that funds the studies of students from modest families who are studying languages, linguistics and humanities at local universities.

One of four recipients of the SPH journalism scholarship was Mr Tay Hong Yi, 21, who interned at The Straits Times for five months. He is going to the Singapore Management University to study social sciences.

Asked why he chose the scholarship, he said, "Journalism is, at the best of times, very edifying. You get to shape the dialogue while sharing the world around you."