Old wine, not-very-new bottle

In News Reports, Writing on May 18, 2012 at 12:17 am

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Some features that were in yesterday’s ST put in place in response to feedback, have been discarded, in response to feedback. And, in response to feedback, old stuff were brought back. Like The News in 5 minutes which used to be on Page 2. It’s returned except that there doesn’t seem to be a specific slot for it which would have made it easier for readers to flip to. Then the Page 2 column which was intended to showcase the best column is now just another Opinion, the re-named Review pages.

Sports moves to the back of the paper again replacing Money, which I recall back-stopped the paper in the past because the pages had more readers than Sports and advertisers wanted a faster way for readers to reach their property ads…But Money has been split into two, local and foreign, and the foreign bits tucked into the back of World pages (I think). Pity the poor business reader who can’t get his money news in one place. I mean, you don’t split up Sports into what’s local and what’s foreign?

What I really like is the absence of turns from Page 1. They really irritated me. Besides not ”breaking” the story naturally, the back half always seems to be just slotted in whatever available Prime space. And that is now called Top of the News…

And the masthead…take a look…

My favourite is the one in the foreground – prior to August 2008. So elegant don’t you think? Yesterday’s had that orange square at the end of the masthead – which I could never understand why.

Anyway, I have never been in favour of changes to the masthead. Quite pantang about it. I wonder which newspaper in the world has changed the look of its masthead as often as ST. I certainly don’t think the new one looks anything like “updated” to me. Then again, I suppose that’s subjective.

Never mind the way ST looks though, it’s whether content stays the same.

I hope not.

It should improve.

  1. i agree, miss b, don’t mess with the masthead! what about the content? Anything impactful caught your eye?

  2. Content? Not much difference really except that a few stories seem to be quite “speculative” of The Straits Times understands sort…like the table tennis thing – which is on Page 1, in News in 5 mins and on the back page…THREE TIMES! Then there was the extension of casino exclusion orders in Home to those on Govt help – looks like the only thing new is that ST understands an announcement expected as early as next month. And another article was how ST understands that the MRT cables might be replaced “soon”.

    As I said, I really don’t agree with the separation of local/foreign Money news. There is a Chongqing chief affirms CapLand project article in the Money page and I wondered if it was a mistake and should have been in World. In any case, I am not even sure where that meeting between Chongqing and CapLand bosses took place? In Chongqing? Singapore? Where – so it would better justify its pagination in Money? Then you have globe sales of phones going down in World and Singapore mobile shopping goes up in Money. Don’t know about you, but I rather liked more organisation of where stories should be.

    I think Page 2 and 3 was meant to be packaged together. But I seriously thought the “Cameron and KL warnings” spread over the gutter was a waste of good space. I am glad that there was a news analysis explaining disorderly default though. Excellent but I wish the headline would refer directly to it rather than Exports, jobs and property at stake – they usually are in a crisis. In fact, just the news story and analysis would do – and the death of Donna Summer could have made it there too! Hey, don’t neglect the pre-65s!!!

    I liked Streetview in Home – good to have a slice of life in the neighbourhood piece but where or where is the map which tells you where these lorongs are!!!!

    Beyond that the bigger spreads are predictable – a rah rah Mindef thing on boots and a rah rah addition to the panda-monium.

    BTW, another thing I noticed and should be buried in cemetery. I read at least three stories in the paper today which had the phrase “speculation is rife”.

    You asked for this, Ben. You got it!

  3. I agree that the one with thin elegant font looks the best by far. The new masthead font makes the paper feel very dated. And I’m so not feeling the pale green tone box. But maybe that’s just me. What’s unforgivable is that the mobile and tablet apps have not been updated. How could they forget?

    • So glad to hear from you! As for the mobile stuff, give them time lah…Print still Number 1. For the moment anyway

      • The pleasure is all mine. Love reading your blog entries every morning. Goes down well with toast and coffee. Thank you!

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