Straits Times, 30 May 2009
By Han Fook Kwang, Editor
I HAD been reluctant to write this piece defending The Straits Times’ coverage of the Aware saga. Some of my colleagues had wanted the paper to put out its side of the story in the face of criticisms over how we covered the saga. But I wasn’t keen to make the paper the focus of this long-running debate, for I’ve always felt that newspapers shouldn’t be active players in the stories they cover. Our job is to report accurately and fairly what is happening and to make sense of it for our readers so they can draw their own conclusions. However, critics have assailed us over these very issues, and I have little choice now but to set out the facts concerning our coverage after two MPs spoke about it in Parliament this week.
On Tuesday, Nominated Member of Parliament Thio Li-ann said that reporting on the saga had been biased and lacked a diversity of views. She did not name The Straits Times but everyone listening to her would have concluded that she was referring to this newspaper.
Were we biased and one-sided in our coverage? This is best answered by detailing how we covered the story.