New forms of Media Publishing

August 28, 2008

As more people are connected to the world wide web and getting their daily dose of news and information, it would seem that print media has just been served its ‘past expiry’ deadline.  This perception is certainly not true in Singapore just as it is not true in many other parts of the world.

I for one will read newspapers from cover to cover including the advertisements devotedly on a daily basis because I appreciate newspapers’ core attribute to analyse and provide much deeper insight on news coverage (Maclean, 2005).

However, print media like The Straits Times, Lian He Zao Bao Chinese Daily in Singapore have kept up with the times and are also now available online and are interactive as well with video podcasts and journalist blogs inviting feedback on hot topics of the day.  People are drawn back during the day for news grabs and is definitely a firm favourite of the younger generation.

Let me now share about a subject very close to my heart that I have seen harnessing the power of the media in its varied forms to grow and reach out to the masses very effectively – promoting the joy of eating wonderfully delicious asian food!

Makansutra, founded by food expert K. F. Seetoh started out publishing food guides that lists yummy ‘die, die must try’ hawker or street food that Singapore is world famous for.  The 7th edition of Makansutra Singapore is now out in all major bookshops. What amazes me is the entrepreneurship of Mr Seetoh and how he has tapped on new forms of media publishing to share and promote Singapore hawker food and in the process Singapore, to the world.

Makansutra is now available via the various media:

  • Makansutra Mobile/3G – info on the Go where the listings can be downloaded into your mobile with each listing linked with GPS guided turn-by-turn navigation mapping system
  • Makansutra TV – unplanned, unscripted, unannounced and raw! Each week, he”ll descend on five hawkers and a restaurant unannounced and catch the chefs, cooks and restaurateurs totally off guard and with a spoon in the mouth. Seetoh will, in his usual inimitably frank and uncompromising style, review the eateries in their natural best, or not so
  • Makansutra online forum – foodies are encouraged to register and share their views on their favourite subject “good food”
  • Makansutra Foodcast – a podcast on national radio Power 98FM where he shares with radio listeners tempting ‘makan’ soundbites daily

I now cannot imagine not having access to such gastronomic delights via the different media channels which in reality has just only happened in the last couple of years!  There are many other food related television programmes like The Naked Chef and Ready Steady Cook which educate, motivate and influenced people on what to eat and to adopt healthier eating habits.

The new media has definitely contributed to making the topic of food more accessible to the women and men on the street almost 24/7 especially in Singapore when hunger pangs hit!  They can just use their mobiles to find the nearest ‘die die must try’ chilli crab, chicken rice, satay, bak kut teh etc via the GPS mapping system!

To me, new media complements print media like newspapers, magazines and books, not replace them.  At least not in the foreseeable future.

References

MacLean, S 2005, ‘Print learns to love the web’ The Australian’, April 28, p. 15

Makansutra – celebrating Asian food culture and lifestyle viewed 28 August 2008, http://www.makansutra.com/aboutus.html

Power98FM – Makansutra now on Power 98FM, viewed 28 August 2008, http://www.power98.com.sg/pages/makansutra.php

The Naked Chef, viewed 28 August 2008, http://www.jamieoliver.com/

BBC Food, Ready Steady Cook, viewed 28 August 2008, http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/tv_and_radio/readysteadycook_index.shtml

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