The Straits Times Newspaper

Do you think the Straits Times (ST) newspaper is worth $1.10  and  $1.20 for Saturday’s copy?

For me, I find the quality of ST as a respected newspaper for current affairs local and global has declined drastically. Nowadays, I find very few newsworthy reports and articles to read. Domestic news is important but there is not enough of it. Instead there are pages and pages of sports news.  

The ST pads up the daily newspaper  by having sections  and supplements like property, motoring, recruit , scholarships …etc  catering to sectors of society but we seniors must also pay for them.

Last Wednesday (May 25) there was a supplement entitled “The doctor is in”. I read the articles on the various afflictions and their cure including beauty treatment before realizing the write-ups were supporting the advertisements of products and services appearing on the same pages. I felt cheated by ST.

If not for the obituary pages, I would have given up buying the ST last year.

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Read the write ups with a big pinch of salt!

10 thoughts on “The Straits Times Newspaper

  1. Agree with you, Jasmine. I also find ST not so newsworthy anymore, especially when you can get news all over the place.

    After subscribing ST for almost half my life, I just terminated it last month after hesitating for almost a year. I guess time has changed.

    • Hi Leng Kee, Jassmine,

      I cannot resist not responding to your comments. For those in the know, the printed newspaper has been on the decline, in the last 20 years, starting from the US and moving across Europe and now to Asia. We also face a serious situation whereby kids, and many adults do not read newspapers. I am not sure about content, but most readers put the blame on the decline in newspaper readership to the new media.

      Newspaper decline in Asia ranges from 10 to 50% in the last few years. Interesting, is the India market, where newspaper copies increase double digit. 10 to 18% growth is the reality in many Indian language newspapers. The reason given is that internet is not readily available outside the main cities in India.

      Singapore newspapers are well cordinated. Bundling the e-version and the printed versions have managed to secure a stable printed newspaper quantity. TODAY is also smart, with a free version, available to train riders. Unfortunately, paid newspapers seem to be dropping month by month.

      Despite, all said, the new media is not making enough revenues for the newspaper media. After all the efforts in the last many years, the reality is the printed newspaper is making the main money, and is funding the e-versions.

      Both of you mentioned content being of low value, and you see this as the reason for not buying the printed Straits Times. I have been in the newspapers industry for the last 40 years; and i would be keen to know if you are getting more or better news value from the e-versions, facebook, or television.

      If I were to answer the above question myself, I would say the Straits Times has excellent content for the Singaporean resident. A good balance between local domestic news aned international news. It caters well to sports, business and life.

      Perhaps, the Straits Times has not allowed itself to carry more articles on the opposition, grass roots thinking and anti govt grouses, compared with the fast, free and easy social media. Over time, readers tend to think the Straits Times is pro-government.

      Sometimes, I think the Straits Times has too much content; and thus I tend to favour reading the short and sharp TODAY newspaper.

      Interesting Post, Jassmine.

      Terence Seah

  2. Nowadays, you can read the news online from all over the world offering different perspectives on a subject, and for free as well though you may not get the full edition.
    Why buy the hard copies and waste your money? It makes no sense.

  3. Hee hee, Jassmine

    You are my generation…but I stopped subscribing to ST ever since they charged for delivery…

    Newspapers in our time (PG) were almost essential…we just had to read it each morning together with a cuppa, before moving on to work or the day’s chores.

    Now I download Today on my iPad, try to read the local news, skip the pages of sports, make a mental note to read an interesting commentary later (which I invariably forget to do), glaze over the “letters page” which promote some cause or political agenda…

    Oh, but do you know what I miss: The Pen Pal page! Oops! I mean the Obituaries! Now, I am blissfully unaware of such events…makes me feel indestructible.

    Unlike you, I hate to fork out $1.10 or more just for that!! Hey, if I’m really that desperate, I’ll go to the library to read back all the issues.

    But Terence, poor thing, it does mean that newsprint sales are down…except in India!

  4. Hi All,

    Terence
    Yours is a very interesting global overview of the state of the newspapers . I’m glad you mentioned that ST is making money for SPH. I had been thinking, for all the advertisements SPH bundles the ST with, how much revenue it must be raking in – so much that I think ST should be FREE!.

    As for news content, it is overwhelmed by advertisements – besides the separate supplements, there are several full- page advertisements of shopping (NTUC, Courts…etc) in the A section (supposed to be the serious portion of the ST) and ads at the bottom of almost every page…. and whatever news content there is often lacks depth.

    Kenneth,
    The forum page (letters) is one of the sections I look forward to but there is only a handful of letters. Many do not get published due to lack of space. There should be at least three pages of letters! The letters offer different perspectives which help readers have a balanced view of issues.

    There is no competition for ST, so there is no “scoop” to talk about. If only there is a rival newspaper, I am sure ST reporters will have to work much harder to get a scoop eg. The recent news about the workers’ party – a challenge for the top post- what is the REAL reason? The whole thing to me seems like a ploy because the reason reported is so….mild!

    And the report about the China tour guide trial –the picture of the three ladies in today’s front page is so interesting but the report is such a letdown – half of it is old news! How come ST cannot get an interview with the elderly lady who lived with the rich widow before she moved out when the tour guide moved in? Reporters should go and snoop for a scoop, but since there is no competition, the ST reporters do not have to work so hard.

    ST is no more the premium newspaper in Sg that it used to be.

  5. Hi Terence & Silverhairs,

    Since the early Eighties, I have been a faithful reader of The Straits Times, albeit
    on personal purchases only for copies of Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, the reason for such particular purchases being my keen interest to keep up with the Sporting news, usually being British and European soccer games.

    The Straits Times has been regarded as the Top Asian English language newspapers for the past decade specifically for its Factual reporting of news.
    Perhaps from the early Seventies due to coersion from the authorities not to even occassionally adopt a anti-govt stance, thus the ST has been quite often accused of being pro-govt.

    Past March was the Fourth Caucasian who volunterily remarked to me “We love being in Spore or We love Spore” and the reply by all from my enquiry for the reason behind their remarks were “Spore is Orderly, Safe, Clean and Punctual”

    And Indian Nationals love Spore too as three had mentioned the distinctive fault-lines of Caste and Religion is Blurred in Spore.

    Do have a pleasant mid-year. Regards

    Abel Tan

  6. Personally, I prefer to read the printed rather than the online version – easier to read. However, feel that they should not charge extra for ST on Saturday – most, if not all, of the time never read those extras (and they make so much money from advertisements). Agree with the others, because ST is monopolising the market with no competition, they have no incentive to improve themselves.

  7. I have stopped reading newspapers for quite a few years now except for when I’m at the dentist’s waiting room, some company’s reception area waiting for clients and the like.

    I agree with Huang CS that on the internet there are so many sources for news, each having a different perspective on the same event. My regular news websites :

    BBC
    Al Jazeera
    CCTV
    Bangkok Post
    and of course The Straits Times and Channel Newsasia
    occasionally, CNN but I find their news to skewed towards the U.S.

  8. I still buy the ST out of habit but am always thinking of letting it go as I only read about half of the paper. I also prefer hard copies to soft copies of anything.

    The internet is a double edged sword and total dependence on it only renders us more vulnerable. I was happy to read that Govt computers will have no internet access from next May (Why take so long to implement?).

    The new media are all the rage now, but I prefer the traditional newspaper.

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