PM Lee: Taking full advantage of changing media landscape

PM Lee: Taking full advantage of changing media landscape

These are excerpts from a speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a Lianhe Zaobao event last Friday, to celebrate the Chinese newspaper's 90th anniversary:

The media landscape has been completely transformed since Zaobao began. Globalisation and technology have drawn the world closer together, but led to more rapid changes and uncertainty.

Social media is transforming our lives. Readership and consumption habits have evolved. The number of Singaporean readers is stagnating; their median age is rising.

Interests are more diverse, including greater demand to hear different points of view - not just for serious news, but entertainment and lifestyle too. Many people no longer read the papers or news online, but rather rely on friends' recommendations via social media.

Media is "pulled" on demand rather than "pushed" to captive audiences. Preference for shorter, quicker snippets than comprehensive analyses - 140-character limit on Weibo and Twitter makes it an impossible challenge to report serious stories!

There are more sources of news, many of which are free. More readers are using free news aggregators, thus putting pressure on paid providers like Zaobao.

These trends bring many benefits, but also new challenges.

The benefits - it is easier to share information, connect with one another, keep abreast of latest trends. People may be physically far apart, but they can connect instantly to family, friends and colleagues. People are using new media to organise themselves for common causes, for example disaster relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Humanitarian assistance could be quickly organised because of new media. What would have taken many days now takes minutes.

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