The change marks the move towards a new framework Singapore needs to have to take full advantage of the new media environment, in light of a strategic shift in the media landscape.
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Here are excerpts on the new media landscape that PM Lee talked about in his keynote speech at the Zaobao Forum, in point-form:
New Media Landscape
The media landscape has been completely transformed since Zaobao began
a. Globalisation and technology have drawn the world closer together, but led to more rapid changes and uncertainty
b. Social media is transforming our lives
c. Readership and consumption habits have evolved
i. Number of Singaporeans readers is stagnating; their median age is rising
ii. Interests more diverse, including greater demand to hear different points of view - not just for serious news, but entertainment and lifestyle too
iii. Many people no longer read the papers or news online, but rather rely on friends' recommendations via social media
iv. Media "pulled" on demand rather than "pushed" to captive audiences
v. Preference for shorter, quicker snippets than comprehensive analyses - 140-character limit on Weibo and Twitter makes it an impossible challenge to report serious stories!
vi. More sources of news, many of which are free. More readers using free news aggregators, thus putting pressure on paid providers like Zaobao
These trends bring many benefits, but also new challenges
i. Easier to share information, connect with one another, keep abreast of latest trends
ii. People may be physically far apart, but they can connect instantly to family, friends and colleagues, e.g. "virtual" reunions over Chinese New Year
iii. People are using new media to organise themselves for common causes
(1) e.g. disaster relief efforts for "Typhoon Haiyan" in the Philippines
(2) Humanitarian assistance could be quickly organised because of new media
(3) What would have taken many days now takes minutes
i. News that travels fast may not be the most accurate
ii. Immediate consensus views may no gel with considered analyses
iii. Easier to coalesce in narrower groups, and hence harder to forge a national consensus