Friday, 1 March 2013

Press freedom and publication bias go hand in hand in Singapore

Singapore was placed 149th in the “World Press Freedom Index 2013”, a further drop of 14 places. This is contrary to Singapore income position in the world#2.  So, Singapore can achieve economic development without press freedom.

No wonder the ruling People’s Action Party dismissed the low press ranking#3. In fact, all mainstream media are controlled by the government.  The Singapore Press Holdings#4 and Mediacorp#5 are the only authorized publisher and broadcaster.

The 149th poor ranking wasn’t mentioned in local media. Surprisingly, even Singapore based also dared not provide the details#6. The website gave a publication bias #6 headline: ‘Watchdog launches global press freedom 'indicator'.

Just imagine international news sites like yahoo, also exercises ‘self-control’. So, when reading article like ‘Medical Journal Cites Misleading Research’#7, one will find many similar examples of publication bias in Singapore.

Perhaps, this is the prize for economic achievement.     

More about publication bias: 
Publication bias is a bias with regard to what is likely to be published, among what is available to be published. Not all bias is inherently problematic – for instance, a bias against publishing lies is often a desirable bias – but one problematic and much-discussed bias is the tendency of researchers, editors, and pharmaceutical companies to handle the reporting of experimental results that are positive (i.e. showing a significant finding) differently from results that are negative (i.e. supporting the null hypothesis) or inconclusive, leading to a misleading bias in the overall published literature.

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières, or RSF) has just released its annual press freedom ranking – “World Press Freedom Index 2013″ last month.

Singapore’s ranking dropped 14 positions from 135th last year to current 149th. It appears that Singapore’s ranking has been getting worse over the years:

2009 – 133rd
2010 – 136th
2011/12 – 135th
2013 – 149th
At 149th, Singapore’s ranking is even worse than countries like Cambodia (143rd), Congo (142nd), Ethiopia (137th), Zimbabwe (133rd), Libya (131st), Angola (130th), Algeria (125th).

Singapore is only slightly better than Myanmar (151st).







(A 150- word mini blog)

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