As the S-league reached it 1/3 mark, I wished to make a note & up to a point judge how the local media have done since Singapore won the Tiger Cup back in January especially as the local media have long demanded results from our National Team first before they could report about our own league and players.
That is why a comparison is needed now on how our local media previews are faring compared to last year when the National Team had not won the Tiger Cup.
As I cannot read Malay or Tamil, I can only point out 3 previews - TNP, Shin Min (Chinese), and Today from our local media.(Leaving out those like football update which act more as a punter guide despite at times having quite some good articles)
Then after doing the research on the 3 papers, I ranked them according to what I think are the Best to the Worst.
First up is local free paper Today which one would say is the best of the 3 and certainly it is with the job they are doing.
There is no doubt Today is continuing the good job of promoting the S-league since they got the contract from FAS back in 2004.
Back in 2004, Today had divided up the S-league preview into 2 parts with the first part on Monday and the second part later in the week on Thursday but now in 2005 Today have combined all of the contents on the S-league preview at the beginning of the week on Monday as well as having an extensive review section on the actions in the S-league.
It is great this way as readers apart from updating themselves on the matches ahead can now also update themselves on how the S-league matches that have gone by had progressed.
The best part though is the short take on S-league milestones achieved by the players & coaches. It could be anything from players appearances to coaches track records and this is a part of the S-league neglected by the mass media (Or should I just mention SPH papers)
In this way, defenders and midfielders will also get their due recognition as it is near to impossible they ever get to the milestone of 100 S-league goals that the mass media is only interested in.
Another great point to note about Today is that the free paper is the only local paper interested in the S-league involvement in the AFC Cup as it is a competition that involved top clubs from Hong Kong and
(which SPH like to report as much superior to local sides) Malaysia
But strangely or not ST, the flagship of SPH, reported our clubs activities in the competitions as whenever they feel liked it (or dare I say it was a light day on the EPL scene) and with such worthwhile achievements worth noting in Asia swept under the carpet while the SPH lead media continued their criticizing the S-league (for their own biased purposes), is it any wonder why local fans say the local clubs have few achievements despite what the local clubs have already shown in the AFC Cup 2004 and now in 2005.
In all, it is great the S-league has chosen to continue their hand in hand work with Today as it is unlikely SPH papers would come up with anything that Today is coming up with past experiences as proof.
- SHIN MIN (CHINESE)
In second place is Shin Min and coming from the SPH side I have low expectations of the SPH Chinese paper (as one who had seem how biased SPH would be).
One can say after reading the theories stories, it keep coming up with at times, can be quite funny and refreshing because for one things the stories can easily contradict with earlier stories they had wrote about as Shin Min continued to change tracks as the need arise.
It is certainly not difficult to understand why it does that as one know the large number of gamblers are Chinese and a huge number buy Shin Min for its theories so the papers had to boast the egos of those who won money while comforting those who lost out.
In that sense, it would easily be a punter preview but it is not as other than the S-league preview, Shin Min still have a weekly coverage of the players and it is not a bad look of the players but they just lacked the look on why these players were important players to their respective teams with much focus on their private lives.
However, it more than make up for it with coverage not just on top names like Indra and Alam Shah etc but also on less known like Tengku Mushadad and Imran Sahib etc.
In all, with no Chinese rival to compete with, one can say Shin Min is doing a decent job. After all the coverage of the previews are already the most extensive of any SPH paper one can find in the Republic and at times it add up to that by doing extra reporting on S-league games (during the EPL quiet spell, no doubt).
Still one can only see it ranked behind Today but it is certainly in second place by a wide margin over the third placed paper TNP.
I am not sure to call the article this paper is coming out with a preview or 'Ernest cover
Tay backside' column as it is the feeling one get with reading their reports.
The TNP man, Ernest, always looked at ways to protect the Shin Min man. (Before continuing, just wished want to tell Ernest to stop lying in his reports about Tay being a good punter as the TNP trio have been playing the EPL game for a while now and from the mouth of the common gamblers it is wide knowledge that Tay tend to be the worst of the lot as he hit the Singaporepools 1/2 game - which regularly see a payout of $1.19 - as a hit consistently while sucking most of the time at the rest)
Back to their previews & one can only say one would like to see Ernest really do his job as a reporter and write and in the process show his knowledge (Or lacked of it) of the S-league instead of those bullshits he is currently putting out.
It only tend to show that it was the correct decision for the S-league to give the contract to MediaCorp as back in 2003 TNP had did such a terrible job of reporting that it was impossible to see why FAS would want to stick with it anymore.
After all, if SPH so called sport reporters like Ernest (apart from having no knowledge of the S-league as well as no interest in the local game) cannot even do a decent job when they are being paid for it then the money is best given to it competitors who have real sport reporters instead.
Still though one should not be surprise that TNP had come out with such a disgraced preview even now for SPH is still filled with pro-Malaysia Cup and anti S-league attitude men like Jeffery Low and with him now at TNP, it leave one wondering if TNP is now assigned the task of bringing down the local game.
In fairness though while TNP did come out with reports on the schools lacked of interest in sports like football, it is quite limited in it scope and considering that it was TNP which lead the call about MediaCorp lacked of interest in the local game during the Tiger Cup, one have to say it is the pot calling the kettle back.
In all, if anybody wanted to know the S-league better it is better to wasting money on their so called previews as it is a Ernest covered Tay backside reporting instead as this writer have already done that long ago for a free paper can offered more than whatever TNP can come out this and which just want the money without anything in return.