Drawing the line between privacy and public interest

WHEN hackers sent an email on Sept 16 containing the personal data of some 300,000 customers of local karaoke bar chain K Box, it sparked a question that regularly challenges the ST newsroom: How should the newspaper draw the fine line between privacy and public interest? PEH SHING HUEI who assumed the News editor's post recently explains how he and his colleagues covering the story arrived at the decision to meet its obligation in satisfying public interest without compromising personal privacy.

Peh Shing Huei

Be mindful of local sensitivities

IDRIS
I think it’s worthy to note that there are many Muslims who are readers of The Sunday Times. I was quite disturbed by the fact that the paper’s edition on Oct 5 which falls on Hari Raya Haji featured a distasteful article in the Sunday Life! section (“Cheat Sheet: Ham”). The Sunday Life! food critics could have been more sensitive to the events that unfolded for some Muslims on this religiously auspicious occasion such as the sacrifice of cows or sheep. They could have chosen a food-related theme and perhaps discussed lamb cuts. At the very least, avoid discussing non-halal food (food that Islam sanctions against consumption such as ham). Local journalists should practise more sensitivity and respect local cultures, at least for the most important races in Singapore.

 

Haze story

We thank ST Readers' Post contributor Paul Lee for offering his take on the haze -- Readers' ed

Yap Koon Hong, Readers' Ed

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