One Election, Many Themes

2 Sep

A few pertinent themes surfaced in the blogposts my coursemates and I wrote. It is worthwhile to look at these themes because underneath them lie deep seeded issues that have been brought up time and time again. After reading through the stories, I categorized them as follow:

Social Media

A couple of friends talked about the use of social media in this election. The May General Election was dubbed a social media election. It is no surprise that analysts are keeping tabs on how social media has been employed in the Presidential Election as well. Anjali wrote at length about how social media was used in covering the results of the elections. However, she also showcased in her post the ills and downside of using social media in a live broadcast. This was most apparent when a laughable comment made on the channel’s twitter account was shown live on television.

Taken from Anjali’s blogpost:

This tweet went viral and it wasn't long before it became the butt of jokes

Singaporeans who did not vote

This was covered by two of my coursemates, Yi Han and Natalie. I thought this was a refreshing angle to take because much has been said about Singaporeans who ho exercised their rights as citizens and voted for their seventh president but not many stories focused on the people who did not have their say. Yi Han brought up an interesting issue, one that has not been covered in the papers before – of Singaporeans who did not vote in the Presidential Election because they were unaware of the deadline that they would have to meet in order to reinstate their names. The interviews that both of them had in their stories were also appropriate and strong as they managed to find people that can support their story angles.

Reporting ‘live’ from the gathering place

A couple of friends blogged about what happened on the night the results were released. These were reported from the gathering places of the various candidates. Tamilai was at Dr Tony Tan’s gathering place (Toa Payoh Stadium) whilst Wonky Wan  and Samantha Branson was at Dr Tan Cheng Bok’s gathering area (Clementi Stadium). Their blogposts were interesting as the writers gave a first hand account of what happened throughout the night. It gave me, the reader, a good feel of the events of the night as they gave a minute to minute account. In particular, Wonky Wan incorporated multimedia and a slideshow of photos in his post. He also managed to get good quotes from the supporters present at the stadium and these capture their mood and raw emotions.

This quote from Wonky Wan stands out to me in particular because it aptly represents a generation who is increasingly politically conscious:

One of his youngest supporters present at Jurong East Stadium, Poh Emran, 15, said he is “happy for Singapore to have a new President” and if he could say one thing to Dr Tan Cheng Bok now, it would be “Thank you and (the campaign was) a job well done”.

Samantha, on the other hand, took some excellent photos. I find this the most poignant:

A tired looking Dr Tan Cheng Bok thanking and greeting his supporters. Photo credits: Samantha Branson

Voters and the prevailing mood of the election

There were a few opinions on how well received the election was by the younger voters. In his blog post, Kenneth wrote about how young Singaporeans were excited about the election. He later moves on to talk about how these young people made their decision on who to vote for base on materials found on alternative media. Twofourfive on the other hand, wrote about how there was not much hype and excitement surrounding the Presidential Election. She managed to get good quotes from Singaporeans (of all ages) which acurately reflected the disinterest and this helped strengthen her story and made her angle believable.

One of them being:

An elderly citizen, Mdm Teo, expressed her discontent, saying, “This is so troublesome. I had to come here from the market just to vote.”

Analysis

A few course mates such as Wen Tong and Ken gave an overview of the election. One which left an impression is Amelia Tan’s post on the silent majority and how they are a formidable force. It is a fresh perspective, one which throws light on a group of people that has not been mentioned much, if at all. Her lead paragraph was wonderfully crafted and it drew me into the story at once.

My Thoughts

Reading these blogposts gave me a comprehensive understanding of the Presidential Election and brought me to think of issues which I had not consider previously. What makes a good story is one with strong angle, supplemented with appropriate interviews and quotes. Incorporating photos and videos into the blogpost, as Wonky Wan did, are plus points as they add colour to the story.

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