Freedom From The Press: Journalism And State Power In Singapore

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For decades, the city-state of Singapore has been an international anomaly, combining an advanced and open economy with reduced civil liberties and press freedom. The book analyses the country’s media system, showing how it has been structured – like the rest of the political framework – to provide maximum freedom of manoeuvre for the People’s Action Party (PAP) government. Going beyond critique, the author explains how the PAP’s “”freedom from the press”” model has achieved its extraordinary resilience and stability.

One key factor was the PAP’s early recognition that capitalism and the profit motive could be harnessed as a way to tame journalism.Second, the PAP exercised strategic self-restraint in the use of force, progressively turning to subtler means of control that were less prone to backfire on the state. Third, unlike many authoritarian regimes, the PAP remained open to ideas and change and occasional failure, this helped the PAP to consolidate its authoritarian form of electoral democracy. This volume is essential reading for those who are interested in Singapore’s media and political system. Singapore’s unique place on the world map of press freedom and democracy makes the book an important contribution to the comparative study of journalism and politics.

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For decades, the city-state of Singapore has been an international anomaly, combining an advanced and open economy with reduced civil liberties and press freedom. The book analyses the country’s media system, showing how it has been structured – like the rest of the political framework – to provide maximum freedom of manoeuvre for the People’s Action Party (PAP) government. Going beyond critique, the author explains how the PAP’s “”freedom from the press”” model has achieved its extraordinary resilience and stability.

One key factor was the PAP’s early recognition that capitalism and the profit motive could be harnessed as a way to tame journalism.Second, the PAP exercised strategic self-restraint in the use of force, progressively turning to subtler means of control that were less prone to backfire on the state. Third, unlike many authoritarian regimes, the PAP remained open to ideas and change and occasional failure, this helped the PAP to consolidate its authoritarian form of electoral democracy. This volume is essential reading for those who are interested in Singapore’s media and political system. Singapore’s unique place on the world map of press freedom and democracy makes the book an important contribution to the comparative study of journalism and politics.

 

Publisher: NUS Press

Paperback

2012

ISBN: 9789971695941