Speech By Minister of State David T E Lim at the opening of BBC news bureau in Singapore

03/10/2000

Mr Patrick Cross, MD of BBC World

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Let me begin by congratulating BBC on the opening of your new BBC news bureau in Singapore and the launching of the Asia Business Report- a new program that will be aired on BBC World.

Singapore warmly welcomes BBC’s decision to make this your newsgathering hub for Asia. We know that you have arrived at this decision after careful consideration, and we are just as excited as you are with the final result. BBC has long had a presence in Singapore. We are glad that you will now expand and build on that presence. We wish the very best in both of these endeavours.

The demand for news today is increasing. But at the same time, the demands made of newscasters have also gone up. Viewers and listeners want to be kept up to date on key events that they consider to be newsworthy. But they don’t want to be bothered by news that appears to be of little relevance to their lives. They want in-depth analysis, but they don’t want too much news. They want it delivered so that all the essential points are covered, but they don’t want it read out dull and flat.

Meeting the demands of such demanding customers is no simple task. Fortunately, you have all the capabilities of modern technology at your fingertips to help you.

But of course, collecting and presenting the news is not just a matter of bits and bytes or cut and paste. It takes human ingenuity, creativity and personality. It requires that newscasters know both their audiences and their news equally well. With Singapore as your base, I have every confidence that you will be able to tap your regional bureaus to meet the demands of your listeners and viewers everywhere in the world.

There will be much to report about. Asia is on the move. There are many challenges ahead, but that’s what makes the future exciting, and that’s what makes the news.

On that note, may I once again congratulate the BBC, and wish you happy reporting from Singapore!

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