How much does the advertising dollar affect editorial coverage in The Straits Times? Do reporters really protect their sources? Can newsmakers trust reporters when something was said "off the record"?
These were some of the questions posed to editors of The Straits Times, at the first dialogue session of the year set up for the paper's advertisers.
Responding to how advertisers shape news coverage, deputy editor of The Straits Times, Mr Alan John said: "It does not...It is okay to be aware and bear in mind our advertisers. But we cannot have advertisements drive our news coverage."
Editor of The Straits Times, Mr Warren Fernandez said: "You have to ask yourself, as a reader, will you still want to read the papers if it was advertising dollar that drives the news coverage?"
The editors also explained about the daily operations within the newsroom and spoke about the recent changes made to the paper with The Straits Times operating as an integrated platform now, combining both print and multimedia content, such as video and sound clips.
Organised by the Singapore Press Holdings' marketing team, the session was attended by some 200 advertisers, mostly made up of public relations and corporate communications practitioners.