Fake News Select Committee Accused of Publishing Fake News about Alternative News Journalist

Local journalist Kirsten Han has accused the government-appointed Select Committee set up to tackle online falsehoods of publishing fake news in a report published on Wednesday (27 Mar).

The report detailed a “summary of the evidence” by speakers who sat for the hearing that day.

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Said Han:

“It’s come to my attention that the summary of evidence for the session with myself, Terry Xu, Howard Lee and Shih-Tung Ngiam, and Jolovan Wham after us, has been released on the Parliament website. The summary is inaccurate and misrepresents my views.”

Han had been questioned for 5 hours at the hearing together with The Online Citizen editor Terry Xu by PAP MP Edwin Tong – an appointed-member of the Select Committee.

(READ: PAP MP Accused of Lying to Win Votes Heads Committee on Battling Online Falsehoods in Singapore)

One portion of the summary Han takes issue with is this:

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This is the dialogue between Tong and Han on the issue, as extracted by The Online Citizen:

Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai: That is a question of description. What I’m saying to you is that if you are trying to advocate the view, then I think the complete facts which support or detract from that view ought to be set out so that readers can judge?

Ms Kirsten Han: Again, that is a matter of editorial choice because as journalists we cannot list every single fact that’s related to the issue.

Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai: Don’t repeat that. I know. But the point is within that context, you must also know that what facts you should set out which would lend your story or your conclusion to a credible landing and also provide the basis for people to form a view?

Ms Kirsten Han: I’m sorry, but, you know, it’s not that I’m deliberately trying to be difficult, but I have to repeat again that it is a matter of editorial choice and that is the answer that —

Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai: So it’s outside of your control?

Ms Kirsten Han: My answer will not change.”

Han says she is “working on a formal complaint for my portion of the summary”.

She has urged the public to watch the video of the hearing and compare it to the committee’s summary.




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