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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

What a satisfying Saturday!

I liked today’s issue of the ST, so much so that I wish the launch was today instead of yesterday. Especially the Saturday pages. Seems ST has done away with devoting reams to just one topic for a more varied approach with politics at the helm. Great! I was in the habit of skipping those Saturday pages once I see that the focus is on a topic that didn’t interest me. Now there’s more variety to choose from!

Those new columns Tagged and Trending are fun to read and provide a good summing of the unusual and the talk of the week. But it seems that the Science and Youthink pages have been done away with and in place are “lighter”, more “lifestylish” features? I did a bit of a double take because Opinion pages are still there in the first section – I can only presume that they contain heftier, heavier issues? Can’t really tell. Since Tommy Koh’s piece could have set as well in Opinion as in Saturday. As I’ve said before, I’d rather find topics put together in the right places for ease of access, rather than having to bump into them in different parts of the paper. In any case, I hope that we’ll still see some good Science and Youth-oriented stories – and not necessarily just from the New York Times, which looks to be a staple!

Some great writing…

Andy M’s piece on Page 3 – he’s really one person who can make economics sound so easy, without patronising the reader. It’s always a problem with “specialist writers” who think that simple writing is dumb writing. But well, Andy leads the way. So “Economist” style. And that’s not a magazine for dumb people.

Tommy Koh’s piece in Saturday – as usual, he lays out his arguments in grid form, puts the statistics in the right places and numbers his points. Some may say that the writing is pretty anti-septic but hey, I say clarity is king.

Ngiam Tong Dow’s piece in Saturday – what I’ve always enjoyed about his speeches is how he always laces them with anecdotes. And this piece has plenty. The story-telling approach is the best way to communicate stuff, better if the article also contains real stories of recognisable people.

And here’s a story that made me smile – The Ducktour operators who hired illegal guides. Loved the intro on how there are quacks in the industry who are now in hot water. And that wonderful quote from the authorities about watching the situation like a hawk. I would go just one step further and say that these people are difficult to “net” rather nail.

And a page that had everything – The cover of the Saturday section, with the blocks of Hougang flats which had one with a sun and a headline High noon at Hougang. Wonderful to see all the elements so well integrated in a page! My beef though is: Where’s the map that should accompany Hougang Highlights. No point telling me where residents congregate etc and how the ward itself does not cover the whole of Hougang estate, when there is no map!!!!

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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