︎︎︎ With the widespread of free content today, how do you feel about the relevance of traditional media? Does it still matter in your opinion?
Traditional media has been suffering severe blows and will continue to be battered. That is because it is a very broad category which includes everything from TV to newspapers to magazines and it also includes very conservative and slow-moving outfits versus very agile media companies. The weak in this very broad field will die and disappear. But the strong and innovative will continue and perhaps grow even stronger. The digital challenge of free content will remove the weak but likely bolster the strong. There will always be a demand for good, credible, in-depth reporting. Societies, developed or developing, need it. And only media outlets with strong structure and abundant resources are able to deliver consistently.
︎︎︎ How do you think reading on the go impacts the consumption of information?
That depends on where you are. Reading on the go in a big country, where the daily commute to work may be an hour or longer, may not impact consumption patterns as dramatically as reading on the go in a tiny country like Singapore. A long train ride can clearly afford good long reads while a 15 minute one with interchanges along the way would lend itself to more bite-sized information. But regardless of where you are, reading on the go especially on digital devices allow for a faster updates and more instant information.
︎︎︎ Do you think news readership has decreased due to saturation of information?
I think news readership has decreased because of a change in lifestyle and technology innovations. To be able to click through Netflix and Spotify and be spoilt for choices on movies, TV and music, that has enthralled audiences and taken them away from news. These are just two examples among many, including of course, social media.
︎︎︎ Do you personally enjoy the experience of reading the traditional newspaper?
Yes I do, especially when done well like The New York Times and the Guardian. They give me news and analyses which I am unable to obtain elsewhere. These are the strong traditional newspapers which are more likely to survive.
︎︎︎ What’s the main difference that printed newspapers offer which e-outlets don’t/could never offer?
Printed newspapers offer the reader a macro bird's eye view, somewhat like a conventional D-Day battleground where you can see the defenders, the attackers, the venue, the weather, everything. Digital sites offer the reader a worm's eye view, somewhat like a guerrilla battle where you snip, shoot and then get out. For example, you can go into a news website and read only the article you want and then leave. But for print, you have no choice but to look at the visuals, thumb through the pages, check out the advertisements (even when you don't plan to!). You get a more holistic picture of the society in a day. Other than Liverpool winning, you would usually learn that there was an explosion in Beirut too. Online, you would think that Liverpool winning was the only thing which happened in the world. How horrifying! :)
︎︎︎ What are your thoughts on the transition toward e-newspapers?
It is inevitable because of the change in lifestyles and technological innovations mentioned above. I don't feel a particular attachment to the print newspaper and neither am I especially drawn to the electronic newspaper. It's just evolution, I guess.
︎︎︎ Can there be a balance between new and old media outlet?
Not quite sure what you mean by balance. But traditional media must go digital. Saying that is almost common sense today. I don't think the print product will die. But it will be reduced to the margins, adopted and loved by hippies who find it cool, quaint and romantic. Haha.
︎︎︎ Anything else to add?
That's all, hope this is helpful!