Yesterday, the Straits Times (and TODAY and CNA) deleted a minister’s remarks from their reports after they had first published them. It is of course not the first time the mainstream media have done so – removing what apparently are politically inconvenient remarks made by government ministers.
Back in August 2009, the Straits Times did the same. This time, it removed then Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s remarks about the resignation of Temasek’s CEO Charles Goodyear.
When asked for the reasons why Mr Goodyear had suddenly left, Mr Tharman said:
“People do want to know, there is curiosity, it is a matter of public interest. That is not sufficient reason to disclose information. It is not sufficient that there be curiosity and interest that you want to disclose information.”
In its report later, where it had published what seemed a verbatim quote of what Mr Tharman had said, the ST edited out the line: “… it is a matter of public interest…”
In TODAY’s report of Mr Tharman’s speech, the line was included.
Have a look at the photos of the news reports below. How honest are such reports? And how honest are such media? Indeed, how professional is it to delete a minister’s remarks after having published them – without acknowledging that you have done so quietly?