PDA

View Full Version : Unfair newspaper article-about me!


Jedd Fletcher
11-05-10, 07:17
So, it happens that I made it through to the finals of a playwriting competition. I was interviewed by a reporter from a major local newspaper. However, in the final article, she said little about the play itself, and instead insinuated heavily that I won because the votes were skewed in my favour, the majority of the audience being "my supporters". The full article is as follows.

http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/image/20100511/c6.jpg
Jedd Jong Yue (left) and Edgar Liao will battle to be the next Theatre Idol. -- PHOTO: ACTION THEATRE


A contest where playwrights slug it out for the title of Theatre Idol will hold its final round tonight amid controversy.

Now in its fifth year, the competition is home-grown drama company Action Theatre's effort to nurture new playwrights and involve theatregoers in the process of creating plays.

Two out of five unproduced plays have been selected by majority vote to be read at the Esplanade Recital Studio tonight and compete for the top title. Tickets, which are free, have all been taken up.

One of the plays is Ma Goes Home by Edgar Liao. But the controversy surrounds the second play, Last Meals, a 15-minute play about death-row inmates, written by Jedd Jong Yue, a 17-year-old theatre studies student at the School Of The Arts.

On April 23, it competed with works by better known writers such as Jacke Chye, who won Theatre Idols in 2008, and Leon Lim, who won first prize in the 2005 SPH-TheatreWorks 24-Hour Playwriting Competition.

Members of the audience voted by text message, with only one vote allowed per mobile phone number.

The count was tight but Last Meals raced ahead with 43 per cent of audience support, even though judges K.K. Seet and Pek Siok Lian clearly favoured the other two works.

The results surprised Dr Seet. The academic, who teaches theatre studies at the National University of Singapore, tells Life!: 'Perhaps it would be more valuable for those attending a play reading to evaluate a play for its merits, rather than blindly supporting friends.'

Jong says he has been asked whether the dozens of classmates and family friends who came down to support him on April 23 might have weighted the result.

'I definitely hope that was not the case. I hope people were moved by the play,' he says.

He thinks he had maybe 30 supporters in the audience, which could not have pushed his ratings that high. He has also been asked whether he could have received votes from people who were not part of the audience.

'I did not want people who were not there to vote,' he says, adding that he thinks he won fair and square.

Action Theatre counted 115 people at the reading and fewer than that number of votes were sent in via text message.

The drama group's artistic director, Ekachai Uekrongtham, says there is often a clear separation between what the audience enjoys and what the judges think will win.

'I find the plays that tend to win are very entertaining. Judges look for different things,' he says.

Still, to ensure that tonight's result will not be influenced by people not in the audience, those who attend the reading will be made to register their mobile phone numbers. Votes from unregistered phones will not be accepted.

This will mean extra effort and cost, but Uekrongtham takes it as a matter of course.

'Every year, we try to make the voting system more transparent and systematic,' he says, even though he thinks it unlikely that people would want to cheat or that they would be able to. 'You may be underestimating the audience. They won't think 'Just because you are my friend, I will vote for you.''

Yet he is pleased that the results of Theatre Idols are being so hotly debated.

'Controversy means people care what is happening to the programme. To me it is good that this is happening. It means Theatre Idols is becoming a very competitive platform.'

http://meltwaternews.com/prerobot/sph.asp?pub=ST&sphurl=www.straitstimes.com//Life%2521/LifeNews/Story/STIStory_524891.html

The director herself is very upset at this, and needless to say this has put a dampener on an important day. Has anyone had similar unfortunate run-ins with the press?

EscondeR
11-05-10, 07:56
Rita Skeeter, eh? ;)

On the serious side, THAT is why I try to stay away from unnecessary publicity. Media seem to stick to a rather strange reader/viewer image - they think public is not interested in all good, white and fluffy characters, but will read/watch (and pay for obviously) about corrupted and foul :rolleyes:

I feel sorry for ya :o

aktrekker
11-05-10, 08:24
Get used to it.
Suck it up and move on.

Quasimodo
11-05-10, 08:32
Get used to it.
Suck it up and move on.

How sweet! :vlol:

Like EscondeR said, this is just some journalist trying to make a story about a local writing competition more interesting.

No such thing as bad publicity, though, eh?

Liara
11-05-10, 08:45
Lol, aktrekker sounds like one of those football coaches who keeps pushing people even if they're asthmatic. :p

I'm with Quasi on this one, you're in the newspaper, man! Enjoy the publicity! I'd love to be mentioned in the paper for something I wrote, even if it's controversial. Look at this way, controversy attracts people. You might get the attention of some influential people in the future. ;)

Dennis's Mom
11-05-10, 12:24
Like the others have said, any publicity is good publicity in the fine arts.

Whenever I ran a competition at my forum, works were always posted anonymously. It was the best way to insure an even competition.

If this continues, I would champion that the plays be presented anonymously and have a randomly selected jury vote. Whether or not it ever happens that way doesn't matter. What matters is that it shows confidence that your works would still be voted for even if people didn't know it was yours, and a willingness to level a perceived uneven playing field.

michaeldt
11-05-10, 12:50
well, any publicity is good publicity? :o

xXhayleyroxXx
11-05-10, 12:54
Thats journalists for ya :p Was your play about the different people and their last requests for meals? If so I read it and found it enjoyable :)

Cynic
11-05-10, 13:22
Well, ain't it a *****? :D

Nerd For Life
11-05-10, 13:23
That's too bad.

young Lara Croft
11-05-10, 13:24
Since enerybody is alive and there is no loss of limbs you should be proud to make a debut in the local newspapers! :D

Apathetic
11-05-10, 13:24
Get used to it.
Suck it up and move on.

Explain.. :confused:

xXhayleyroxXx
11-05-10, 13:28
Since enerybody is alive and there is no loss of limbs you should be proud to make a debut in the local newspapers! :D

thats not the case where I live :p everything gets posted -- a full page spread of who's just married, an archaeological dig and who was involved etc...

I've been in my local paper quite a few times

Jedd Fletcher
11-05-10, 16:11
Thanks everyone for posting. Anyway, I lost the competition (the other playwright Edgar won), so now nobody has anything to say to/about me!

Uzi master
12-05-10, 05:34
Lol, aktrekker sounds like one of those football coaches who keeps pushing people even if they're asthmatic. :p

I'm with Quasi on this one, you're in the newspaper, man! Enjoy the publicity! I'd love to be mentioned in the paper for something I wrote, even if it's controversial. Look at this way, controversy attracts people. You might get the attention of some influential people in the future. ;)

Aktrekker seems a little grumpy latley... (makes joke that would most likely get me banned)

anyway, yeah the media twists everything, and apparently also raise children:p

Alpharaider47
12-05-10, 05:36
thats not the case where I live :p everything gets posted -- a full page spread of who's just married, an archaeological dig and who was involved etc...

I've been in my local paper quite a few times

Oooh now you've got my full attention :p

^^ Hey I'd be glad you're in the paper lol. I don't agree that it's fair, but I'm sure you're talented enough to overcome this.

Aranara
12-05-10, 05:48
^
Seriously. :pi:

And I'm sorry to hear that Jedd! People would write anything because they need to fill the pages of the newspaper...

Newspapers here are full with politics and sports...I used to buy the newspaper before school...You should feel lucky (kind of); you made it- an article about you in the newspaper :) Not the best of article...

aktrekker
12-05-10, 07:03
What I meant was if you want to write plays, movies, or anything else, the media will always put you down. There is no escaping it. They will knock the writing, directing, acting, compare you to someone else, etc, etc.
So...get used to it.

If you aren't able to handle the criticism, you should find something else to do.
So...suck it up and move on.

It wasn't meant to insult, and it wasn't done in a bad mood. It's just reality.

LightningRider
12-05-10, 09:53
The Media does **** like that all the time.

It's why I love em. Karma and all that. <3