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Title: The marginalised mainstream : the culture of subcultural media 'journalists' in Singapore
Authors: Sim, Jui Liang
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Technological changes including the invention of the Internet and the subsequent transformation of passive media consumers into active content producers have rendered porous the boundaries of journalism. Yet studies on journalists in Singapore have been largely confined to professionals working in mainstream media organisations. Elsewhere, studies have been conducted on independent or alternative journalists who operate outside of mainstream media structures. However, most of them tend to be involved in radicalised political media, citizens media or community media. Little is known about the culture of the individuals working in subcultural media which is produced by members of a particular subculture and aimed at serving the needs of that subculture. Hence, this study seeks to contribute to the discussion on the culture of journalists in Singapore by focusing on writers and editors who not only work outside mainstream media, but are also involved in subcultural media. A series of face-to-face interviews conducted with individuals involved in subcultural media projects has found their culture to resemble that of mainstream media. For instance, the informants’ story selection decisions are based on the mainstream journalistic values of localism and scoop. Like mainstream journalists, some informants tend to turn to elite, successful sources within their own subcultures. More importantly, the informants’ relationships with their contributors are rather hierarchical since they continue to make the key decisions in the subcultural editorial process. While their earlier socialisation in journalism school and commercial newsrooms might account for their mainstream culture, a less obvious reason lies in their marginalised status as writers and editors of subcultural media. Their locations outside of mainstream media structures mean that they face limited access to newsmakers, public relations representatives and advertisers, not to mention economic scarcity and a symbiotic albeit unequal relationship with mainstream media. Becoming professional and mainstream, both in the manner of conducting themselves as practitioners and improving their media projects, therefore represents the informants’ strategy of alleviating their marginalised status. Despite the challenges they faced, these subcultural media writers and editors intend to soldier on with their media projects and this could be partly explained by their possession of subcultural capital.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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