ST's new video series gives close-up of topical Singapore issues

The first time Kelly saw a man's private parts was in an image from an Instagram follower. She was 14. It's a situation many young people face on social media. CloseUp investigates what lurks behind the screens of three girls.

SINGAPORE - A new video series that seeks to give a deeper look at issues that hit close to home debuted on The Straits Times' online platforms on Wednesday (Feb 3).

Titled CloseUp, the programme aims to delve beneath the surface of some of the biggest headlines in town, and will tackle a wide range of topics, from the hypersexualisation of social media to the challenges plaguing the migrant worker community in Singapore.

The first episode of the series, InstaSex, sees Straits Times education correspondent Amelia Teng traversing the darker side of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, where young girls and boys are often the target of strangers' sexual overtures.

In the documentary, she meets teens who have encountered sexual harassment and - in the worst cases - assault, as a result of interactions on social media.

Other episodes in the pipeline include Migrant Burden, where Straits Times correspondent Yuen Sin investigates the multimillion-dollar underground recruitment market.

She speaks to migrant workers who pay exorbitant recruitment fees to employers and illegal brokers in Singapore to secure jobs here.

Another episode in the series, Battle of the Sidewalks, helmed by producer Vanessa Liu, takes viewers onto Singapore's busy footpaths, where pedestrians and a growing number of cyclists jostle for space.

Mr Warren Fernandez, Straits Times editor and editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, said: "In addition to the news, audiences have shown an interest in long-form reports that dig deeper into an issue, and especially when told in a compelling fashion. This new series of videos will do just that and delve deep into topics of interest to our audience."