Found by googling "Straits Times Sucks"

My typical Sunday morning involves sitting in one of the cafes on Mohamed Sultan Road, demolishing a coffee and leafing through whatever reading material happens to be lying around. Usually I go to the Book Cafe, which (joy of joys) has The Times, the NYT, and the Sydney Morning Herald in its stacks.

Today, though, I’m at Delicatessen - which has much better coffee (and a truly great ham-and-omelette croissant), but doesn’t have international newspapers. And that’s how I found myself reading the Sunday edition of the Straits Times, and pondering just how useless a newspaper can be.

The ST is not a joy to read. It’s a simulacrum of a newspaper. It has the external phenotypes of a newspaper - paper, ink, occasional smudging on your fingers. But it doesn’t print any actual news.

If you leave out the Xinhua-AFP-AP-sourced stories from China and Myanmar, here’s today’s ST news:

  • Page 1: The Government has made seatbelts compulsory on new minibuses;

  • Page 2: Miss Singapore Universe has been dropped from TV due to poor ratings;

  • Page 3: Selfless mother who saved two kids from runaway truck now in stable condition;

  • Page 4: Immigrant workers locked out of their workplace after landlord fails to pay rent;

  • Page 6: What do Singaporeans do when they drive? Eating, shaving, kissing… [ed note: this is why I don’t own a car]

  • Page 17: Foreign Minister George Yeo says “we must respect the autonomy of countries [read: Myanmar] and accept the fact that they know local situations better than foreign people ever can”. O RLY?

This article from Imagethief, a blog written by an American PR professional now living in China, does a great job of explaining the ST (and a lot of other newspapers in Asia). He also has some great tales of launching a software company in Singapore, back in the roaring 90s.

**Update: **I went back and corrected the quote from esteemed Foreign Minister George Yeo (and corrected his name as well, sorry about that, George buddy). Another money quote from Mr. Yeo:

_“I don’t see how [force-feeding aid to Myanmar] can be done because if we try to do that, it will only make the situation worse and will increase the suffering of the people in Myanmar.”

_

Hmm. Given that only 20% of the survivors have received any aid so far (according to the United Nations, and the NYT article linked above), JRE has to respectfully disagree.