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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Rice and spice

Looks like The New Paper is really, really going downmarket, especially today’s issue. So a berserk woman with a pair of scissors sparks a stand-off, an incontinent man’s flat smells like a public toilet, a pair of siblings turn their flat into a karung guni’s paradise, HDB corridors are being turned into private spaces….Then there are all those accident and court stories, of PIE crashes, people in charged in court etc. Even the foreign pickings are along the same vein – a girl’s death in Malacca, robbery in Petaling Jeya, a Seattle shooting…

So its crime, human interest and what is known as the “underbelly” type of stories. (And I’m only talking the first half of the paper) I wonder though if this is too spicy a diet for readers, or if this really what the TNP is aiming for. I can understand the objective if it is so –  the TNP has to distinguish itself from ST, Today and My Paper  in more definite ways -especially since they share the morning slot.

In the past, when it was the only lunchtime paper, it could try to be a more “complete” paper – give rice and some spice to serve those who do not pick up any morning paper. I.remember TNP being famous for its explanatory stories – breaking down complicated stories for readers. Then it even ventured into foreign economic news. In fact, it was a great read for young people and students who want to know about complex issues which they find tough to get through in The Straits Times. Now I am not sure that parents would want their children flipping through the pages.

I think some content aspects of the old TNP can be revived. Too much spice may not be nice.

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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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