Journalist's job 'harder now, but also more important'

(From left) Mr Ng Wei Kai, Mr Tay Hong Yi, Ms Wun Yun Fang and Ms Li Si Miao were the recipients of the SPH journalism scholarship.
(From left) Mr Ng Wei Kai, Mr Tay Hong Yi, Ms Wun Yun Fang and Ms Li Si Miao were the recipients of the SPH journalism scholarship.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

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 yesterday.

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.

The scholarships were awarded to 32 recipients at the ceremony held at the SPH News 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 the four recipients of the SPH journalism scholarship was Mr Tay Hong Yi, 21, who interned at The Straits Times for five months. He will be studying social sciences at the Singapore Management University.

Asked why he applied for 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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Journalist's job 'harder now, but also more important''. Print Edition | Subscribe