So what was that article in ST yesterday trying to say? That bloggers need to earn trust? Sure, I agree, but it is a bit of an airhead statement. Of course blogs need to build trust, and I don’t doubt for a moment that they are working to do so.
But whose trust are blogs courting? Surely not ST’s loyal readers.
I’m sure that ST is well aware that readers who lap up their political commentary come from certain sections of the political spectrum. Perhaps those segments of the political spectrum even go as far as to exert an influence over the commentary being written. Trust in ST’s political opinion is as subjective as trust in the opinion of bloggers.
So it is really meaningless (or even cheap) for ST to say that trust needs to be built.
So what is the point really? When one uses the Internet, just don’t be naive. Trust must be earned, from both MSM as well as blogs. The Internet IS real life, as much as ST seems to separate the two concepts. You are out in public, interacting with people. Some say this, others that, coffee shop talk, office rumor, gossip among friends. We function fine in real life, discerning truths from rumour. We do the same online.
So ST’s long sermon about trust is nothing new. The article itself makes odd arguments and compares facts based on leaky research or poorly interpreted data, or biased comparisons. They have a right to publish all this, since as a newspaper owned by the G, they are expected to pour cold water on protests against (lousy) regulations and inform the public of alleged failures of the Worker’s Party and all alternative anything.
The Internet IS already self-regulated. ST (and the G, I assume) simply doesn’t LIKE the system and hierarchy of the Internet. They can’t handle the information. They can’t filter the rumours. They can’t stand the dispute process, which is more like two people arguing on the MRT or in a coffee shop than two journalists or parliamentarians debating or writing letters based on some professional code.
Like they say in the movie Pirates of the Carribean, the Internet “code” of conduct is “more like guidelines”. Nonetheless, we get along fine, except for those who can’t hack a little ambiguity.