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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Reporting On Reporters

No, fellow biogeeks, I'm not talking about luciferase assays. I am talking about those human reporters who write news stories.

Yes, that was a lame joke. Ha.

On Tuesday, the Straits Times (Singapore's grand dame newspaper) invited people who contributed letters to its forum for a celebration bash at its headquarters. I wrote a letter to the Straits Times a few months ago about science, technology and creativity, so I was among them chirpy guests.

There were about 60 of us, and boy did they treat us fine!

We get to ask the editors direct questions about the Straits Times. We get to hear a song performance. We get a guided tour of the newsroom. And we get free dinner.

With chocolate eclairs.

What did I do to deserve this? *tears welling up*

Anyway I should comment on the title of this post.

This is probably the strangest article in the Fresh Brainz collection so far, because I am literally reporting on the reporters.

To make it even more bizarre, on the Wednesday edition of the Straits Times, there was an article describing this forum gathering itself.

So the reporters were reporting on how I was reporting on the reporters.

My head is about to explode.

Quick, distract me with some photos!

Ah... better. This is Mr. Kong Soon Wah, the forum editor. He is a nice uncle. If he didn't choose to publish my letter, then I wouldn't be invited. So he is the reason why I got free food.

Of course you may ask - "But how could he not choose your awesome letter? That glorious exemplar of cogent excellence?"

OK, you'd never ask that.


Yes my friends, that's Nick Fang himself.

He is taller and looks more handsome than the photo at Stomp Starblog. He was the MC for the event.

Unfortunately I might have pissed him off when I mentioned Xiaxue's name during the Q&A session.

Hence that reluctant smile.

I forgot that not everyone shares my love of that bawdy princess blogger!


We were led on a guided tour of the Straits Times newsroom. During the tour I discovered these AMAZING FACTOIDS!

I know you like trivia.

1. The Straits Times costs $1.20 to make. Advertising brings the price down to 80 cents (70 cents for subscribers).

2. Sports reporters only have about 5 minutes after an event to finish a report. To get around this, they dictate their reports over the phone while the event unfolds.

3. The printing press produces 1 million copies of newspapers in two hours. The printing machine costs about S$250 million a piece.

4. Reporters are issued with laptop computers because they are constantly on the move. Subeditors get desktops.

5. The newsroom has two hot babes wearing little black dresses while working at 10pm. Why? Why?

Not that I'm complaining.

6. The Straits Times has one of the most advanced resource libraries in the world. Latest photos from large news agencies like Reuters are automatically uploaded into its database system.

7. The Straits Times is 161 years old. This is the first issue on Tuesday, 15 July 1845.

And how can I let up a chance to take yet another panorama? If you look carefully, you will find that every desk is cluttered with stuff.

It looks so... busy.

*start messing up my own desk*


PALS said...

I would like to ask a question if Singapore's The Straits Time is part or a sister-company of Malaysia's The New Straits Time.

It would be good if you can help me.

New Straits Time at CPB

Lim Leng Hiong said...

The Straits Times was established first, in 1845.

The New Straits Times, based in Malaysia, was formed in 1965 when Singapore and Malaysia separated.

They are not officially sister companies though I don't know if there are any high level links between them.