The scoop that shocked Singapore

The scoop that shocked Singapore
FRONT PAGE: Reporter Judith Tan with her award-winning expose on former Speaker of Parliament, Mr Michael Palmer.

It was a text message that sparked the sensational expose of an extramarital affair of a politician with a female employee: "My friend got a super scandal about a politician having an affair.

Got proof. You interested?"

The intriguing message came on a Saturday morning in December last year when reporter Judith Tan was shopping for Christmas presents.

Ms Tan's account in The New Paper of how the extramarital affair of the former Speaker of Parliament, Mr Michael Palmer, was exposed and his resignation, won her a joint-silver at the 12th Asian Media Awards on Wednesday.

Her scoop, "Source. Messages. Scandal" (Dec 13, 2012) bagged the silver in the best in editorial content category at the award ceremony in Bangalore, India.

The award is organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), an organisation representing more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and more than 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.

The Straits Times with its story on the gang rape of an Indian student last December shares the silver.

While the veteran journalist was surprised when she found out about the win, she is not ready to celebrate.

She said: "While it is like a sort of an affirmation of the reporting of news that I do, it is also bittersweet because somebody lost his job. Because of his one moment of folly, he had to resign despite him doing a great job."

After that first SMS, the contact's friend sent Ms Tan, via e-mail, the screengrabs of SMS and e-mail exchanges allegedly between the politician and the woman, all of which suggested an intimate relationship.

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