mrbrown and the art of #shitizenjournalism
The first time someone spotted Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew taking public transport, it was a novelty (although I am told that he takes it quite often, and did so even before he was Transport Minister. Good on him.)
But really, do we need a second news article about him being seen in public transport again? Will we see a third news report about said minister taking a bus too?
If you notice, the photo had the STOMP logo on it, marking it as a product of what our local papers like to call "citizen journalism" (they run this site for you to submit your, ahem, scoops).
While this photo of our new Transport Minister was fairly uncontroversial, the stuff that shows up on STOMP tends to range from the banal to the brain-dead.
- More on CNNGo: Alexis Ong: Would Singaporeans just learn how to behave?
There, I said it. I am going to get angry emails from STOMPers now. But come on, how many times do we need to see indignant "news reports" like:
"Outraged: Man parks car across two parking lots!"
"Video: Old dude walks around his house without any clothes on!"
"Exclusive photos: Schoolgirls seen wearing uniforms too short in public!"
"Scandalous: Young couple making out in the train. Do their parents and principal know?"
If we received all our political news from the STOMP school of "citizen journalism" what kind of news will we see about our ministers? With this in mind, I started the #shitizenjournalism hashtag on Twitter, pardon the language, and suggested a few fictional headlines of my own.
Little did I know, I had opened a floodgate of tweets. Here are some of the best ones:
1. @mrbrown: "Minister for National Development) Khaw Boon Wan photographed queuing for years for an HDB flat."
2. @BB_See: "Minister seen futilely trying to get a cab outside town at 8 p.m."
3. @mrbrown: "Health Minister photographed eating hawker food!"
4. @mrbrown "Minister for National Development seen staying in HDB flat!"
5. @Joel_Koh: "Minister in PM's office photographed in DPM's office! SCANDAL!"
6. @jermlai: "Minister without portfolio seen carrying a portfolio!!!!"
7. @BB_See: "Minister of Law spotted reading book about crime."
8. @mrbrown: "MP Lim Wee Kiak photographed with an information minister who makes less than $500k and still gets respect from media CEOs."
9. @Bruce_Leong: "Minister of Education seen at arcade!" -- and may I add, "Playing Street Fighter IV!" In uniform! During school hours!
10. @BB_See: "President photographed with President's Scholar! Could they be related?" -- Both have P in their title too!)
11. @mrbrown: "Minister of State for Trade & Industry photographed moonlighting at 7th Month auction!"
12. @mrbrown: "Minister of Law photographed thinking about abolishing the death penalty! SCANDAL!"
13. @Bruce_Leong: "Minister for Environment seen using air con!" -- While wearing a sweater and a woolly hat!
14. @Bruce_Leong: "Minister of Finance seen buying Toto (lottery)!" -- With his Growth Package money!
15. @lisarahmat: "Emeritus Senior Minister seen leaving Meritus Mandarin."
16. @mrbrown: "MP Dr. Janil Puthucheary photographed selling his National Service guard duties because he has to 'save lives'."
17. @BB_See: Leaked 15-minute video of Minister for Water Resources taking a really long shower!
-- and I heard, followed by long bath!
18. @miyagi: "President spotted practicing cutting ribbon." -- Hey, even a President has KPIs to meet. Or else he may get a pay cut.
19. @miyagi: "Minister for Information Communications and Arts spotted asking for Information."
20. @mediumshawn: "Minister Of Defence spotted playing Call Of Duty during office hours." --I heard he was even using the God Mode cheat code!
I shuddered when I read some of the suggested headlines and I am glad we won't see any leaked videos of our Minister of Water having long showers.
And if you "citizen journalists" manage to shoot one, please, please, please don't post it online.
Just stick to the photos of teenagers making out in public places. I heard that sort of thing can win you a prize for investigative journalism in some countries.