The Straits Times celebrates 170 years with exhibition on Singapore STories at ArtScience Museum

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong looking at blow-ups of past articles from The Straits Times, at the newspaper's ST170 exhibition grand opening at the ArtScience Museum on July 15, 2015.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong looking at blow-ups of past articles from The Straits Times, at the newspaper's ST170 exhibition grand opening at the ArtScience Museum on July 15, 2015.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.
ST170 exhibition grand opening at ArtScience Museum.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - On the day that former President S. R Nathan took over as executive chairman of The Straits Times in 1984, he was exhorted by founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew to take care of the 140-year-old paper, which he likened to a "bowl of china".

"You break it, I can piece it together, but it will never be the same. Try not to," said the late Mr Lee, who died aged 91 on March 23.

On Wednesday, The Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said that "the fine china is intact".

In fact, the newspaper's July 1 revamp across its print, online and mobile platforms has given it "a new gloss and a new glow", said Mr Fernandez.

"The challenge for my colleagues and I, going forward, is to safeguard this precious piece of china," said Mr Fernandez in a speech to more than 200 guests who attended the launch of an exhibition which the broadsheet has put together to tell the Singapore story.

"Not just as a museum piece, but to ensure that this family heirloom continues to be valued and treasured, relevant to the changing needs of ST readers, and the wider Singapore community."

Called Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow, the exhibition at the ArtScience Museum was officially launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday to mark The Straits Times' 170th anniversary.

 

The exhibition, featuring stories and photographs, will be open to the public from Friday to Oct 4, and is the first one at the museum that is free to the public through the entire 11 weeks.

The Straits Times, which was launched in 1845, has seen Singapore through the world wars, an economic depression and the race riots, said Mr Fernandez.

It has also fought off many competitors and "rode waves of change" in technology, from the introduction of the telegraph, the telephone and the Internet.

"Through it all, the ST survived, and thrived, and lived to tell the story," said Mr Fernandez.

"And it is this that gives us a certain quiet confidence that we will see through the current turbulence in the media industry."