Freedom From the Press
- About the Author
For several decades, the city-state of Singapore has been an international anomaly, combining an advanced, open economy with restrictions on civil liberties and press freedom. Freedom from the Press analyses the republic'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. Cherian George assessed why the PAP's "freedom from the press" model has lasted longer than many other authoritarian systems. He suggests that one key factor has been the PAP's recognition that market forces could be harnessed as a way to tame journalism. Another counter-intuitive strategy is its self-restraint in the use of force, progressively turning to subtler means of control that are less prone to backfire.
The PAP has also remained open to internal reform, even as it tries to insulate itself from political competition. Thus, although increasingly challenged by dissenting views disseminated through the internet, the PAP has so far managed to consolidate its soft-authoritarian, hegemonic form of electoral democracy. Given Singapore's unique place on the world map of press freedom and democracy, this book not only provides a constructive engagement with ongoing debates about the city-state but also makes a significant contribution to the comparative study of journalism and politics.
Cherian George is professor of media studies at the Hong Kong Baptist University School of Communication, where he also serves as the director of the Centre for Media and Communication Research. He is the author of four other books, the latest of which is Hate Spin: The Manufacture of Religious Offense and its Threat to Democracy (MIT Press, 2016). He received his Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University. Born and raised in Singapore, he was a journalist with The Straits Times before switching to academia. He worked at Nanyang Technological University for ten years before moving to Hong Kong in 2014.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 272
Year Published: 2012
Size: 229mm x 153mm