“I deeply regret that one of our staff breached professional ethics and posted a fabricated report. I would like to assure the public and all STOMP readers that the website does not tolerate such unethical behaviour.”
The Editor of the Straits Times, Warren Fernandez, had this to say:
“This is a very regrettable breach of our journalistic ethics. The credibility of our content is critical to our readers, and all of us in the newsroom. Upholding this is a duty of each and every member of the team. We will have to work to improve our print and online processes, to do right by our readers.”
It is commendable that the various editors have come out to reassure the public of its “journalistic integrity” and “credibility”.
Commendable words but when it comes to STOMP, the actions speak much louder than mere promises or claims of such lofty attributes.
STOMP, which operates under the Straits Times which itself is under the SPH umbrella, is a cesspool of disgrace to true citizen journalism, the very thing which it claims to be, and which the Straits Times and all SPH publications claim STOMP to be. Whenever STOMP is mentioned by the mainstream press, its name is always preceded by the title “citizen journalism website”.
To citizen journalists like those of us at publichouse.sg who do our best with limited resources to keep the faith of being a citizen journalist, STOMP’s claim to being a “citizen journalism website” is a joke of the highest order.
STOMP not only apparently allows its staff to pose as nondescript members of the public – Samantha Francis’ original posting of the train doors was under the name “wasabi” – but it also verges on promoting xenophobic sentiments.
It’s an observation which I have made in recent months. To confirm this, I Googled “STOMP foreigner” and this is what came up:
The word "foreigner" or "foreign" is in every one of these postings. Why? Because it grabs attention and attracts eyeballs.
These are just a sampling of the seemingly anti-foreigner postings on STOMP – the “citizen journalism” website which its editors claim to hold to "journalistic ethics", "operating procedures", "professional ethics", "ethical behavior", "credibility of our content", "upholding.. duty", "to do right by our readers".
The Government has expressed its concerns of anti-foreigner or xenophobic sentiments expressed online and it has often pointed the fingers at bloggers or netizens.
Yet, in its own backyard – SPH is after all ultimately owned by the Government itself – is this cesspool which it refuses to clean up first.
Therefore, perhaps SPH, the Straits Times, STOMP and the Government should do some soul-searching before they point the finger at “netizens” for promoting anti-foreigner sentiments.
Just go take a look at STOMP and see how its claims to all those lofty attributes of journalistic professionalism stands up.
Truth is STOMP is no citizen journalism endeavour. It is a voyeuristic site which grabs eyeballs through sensationalism.
It is nowhere even near journalism of any kind.
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