Former journalist Cherian George wrote a piece entitled, “Malaysiakini turns 10. So where’s Singaporekini?”
My hypothesis is that we don’t have a Singaporekini (i.e., an alternative media outlet that enjoys broad readership) simply because we haven’t found our Steven Gan and Prem Chandran — a combination of an experienced journalist and a good business mind to lead the team. Popular sites like The Online Citizen and Temasek Review all have people who are passionate about what they do, and love to write, but don’t know how to make money. (I point back at myself, as I was a writer for TOC until August this year when I stepped out.)
It will require a few bold professional journalists and businessmen to start up something truly credible and sustainable that Singaporeans can flock to. We had an unfortunate false start with SingaNews. I’m told there is a new news portal being started by a few ex-mainstream media editors come next year. Hopefully that will give our government-aligned mainstream media a run for their money.