Iswaran finds out how SPH newsrooms adapt to digitalisation, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Iswaran finds out how SPH newsrooms adapt to digitalisation

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Digitalisation has impacted all industries from manufacturing to financial services, and the Government is also making changes in the use of digital platforms to find new ways to reach citizens, said Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran.

Similarly, the strong efforts put in by media organisations such as Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to adapt to the changing habits of readers and other stakeholders are "very timely and an important response to the changing environment", Mr Iswaran said yesterday.

"I know it's not easy because, whether you're a journalist or part of the management, it's really re-thinking the way you do things, and adapting it to a completely new environment," he said at a visit to The Straits Times revamped newsroom.

During a tour led by ST editor Warren Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, Mr Iswaran was shown various digital capabilities, such as how the newsroom uses data to discern readers' interests in real time, by tracking which stories are gaining traction.

The minister was also briefed on how stories are presented using virtual and augmented reality, and shown ST’s state-of-the-art video production studio, where live telecasts can be done.

The minister himself was put in the hot seat with an eight minute interview by ST news editor Zakir Hussain.

Asked which would be his three headlining stories if he was in charge of a newspaper, Mr Iswaran named the US-China trade tensions, the Bicentennial Experience show, and the death of Formula One icon Niki Lauda.

Of the first, Mr Iswaran said the trade war’s ramifications affects the whole world, and for Singapore and Singaporeans, it is a very important thing to understand.

On the Bicentennial Experience – a multimedia sensory show to be held at Fort Canning Centre from this Saturday to Sept 15 – he said: “It’s an excellent way of experiencing Singapore’s journey, in a sense, not just in the last 200 years, but before. And I found some parts of it particularly moving.”

Finally, Mr Iswaran said he got to know Mr Lauda very well, in the course of his work with Formula One and the Singapore Grand Prix, calling the man a technical and business genius.

“And he was also a very big champion of Singapore... I grew to really be fond of him,” he added.