I’ll keep it simple because it really speaks for itself. So, here we go.
This is the Straits Times front page on 19 September 2013:
There are more than a few problems with the report by Melissa Lin and Chia Yan Min but I won’t go into them now. Just the headline alone makes you squirm – you could replace the word “F1” with say, “foreigners” as in “Foreigners rev up the economy”, and it would be true too. Or the word “exports” as in “Export revs up the economy”, or any relevant word, really. “Cats rev up the economy!”
But I digress.
The other piece of news about the F1 which got many people talking last night (18 September) was the cancellation of the 1 World Music Festival (WMF). It is a music concert which is tied-in with the F1 festivities. This year was supposed to be the inaugural WMF event, over 2 days (20 and 21 Sept) at the Marina Barrage.
Headlining the gig was pot-smoking Snoop Dogg. (See another write-up here on why some are questioning his presence at the now-cancelled concert.)
Anyway, the news of the cancellation of the concert, which was criticised online, made it to the Straits Times on 19 September as well … but…. at the bottom of the page on HOME B3…
Here’s a closer look at the report:
Look closer and you see that Walter Sim describes the event as a “fringe event outside the official Formula One circuit.”
I presume Mr Sim is right, and that the concert is not sanctioned by the F1 organisers.
But if that were so, it is rather strange that the Straits Times had been promoting and giving the impression that the concert was more than just a “fringe event outside the official Formula One circuit”.
It was splashed on the front page of the paper’s LIFE section, with a two-page spread inside.
Rewind – to 5 September 2013.
But when the gig is cancelled, it goes right to the bottom of an inside page. Nevermind that the Straits Times has a responsibility to inform as many people about it as possible, given how the ST itself had been promoting it.
I guess the cancellation of the WMF – just 2 days before the event – does not deserve front page treatment, although the cancellation is quite spectacular in itself, no? I mean, you cancel on Snoop?
Anyway, it now no longer helps to rev up the economy. So, no front page for you!
So glad that we have a nation-building mouthpiece to filter and play down the bad news for us.
Here’s the real reason why the concert was cancelled: “Religious leaders forgot to bless 1 World Music Festival.”