Seven reasons to watch the news

Seven reasons to watch the news
2014 will see the implementation of the first of a series of reforms the Education Ministry is making to the school system.

SINGAPORE

THERE was a time when many people living here said the local news in the papers and on television was slow- paced and boring, dominated by government pronouncements. 2013 was proof again that this era has passed.

From Pollutant Standards Index readings of 400 to the Little India 400 (that was the initial rioter number estimate) and the cooling of everything from PSLE T-score fever to COEs and COVs, the country lurched madly from one talking point to another: the primary school leaving exam; then certificates of entitlement for cars; and cash-over-valuation for Housing Board resale flats.

In between, we've had bodies dragged under cars; run over by the wheels of buses and cement trucks; decapitated, de-limbed and thrown into rivers.

Meanwhile, a different sort of hacking was taking place in the non-physical world of the Internet, where a self-proclaimed "Messiah" and an anonymous legion of amateur vandals dared to deface websites like that of the Prime Minister's Office and stole personal details from museum goers and banking clients.

Sometimes it seemed all it took was a little spark - from an oversized blowtorch in a network utility room or a land-clearing farmer in Riau - to ignite random chaos and throw unsuspecting Singapore residents out of their comfort zones.

Given the circumstances, few would venture to give the local news scene next year a shape or form that corresponds to any pattern or theme. So, in television terms, think of 2014 as less documentary and more courtroom drama and variety show. And here are seven reasons to keep watching:

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