Week in Review: Milestones and markers
By A. Asohan October 3, 2014
- DNA setting up in Singapore marks a new phase
- A test of our vision, but also a test of the market
THIS has been a weird week of sorts. In terms of breaking news, it has been a relatively slow period compared with the frenetic pace we’ve been experiencing over the last few weeks, but internally at Digital News Asia (DNA), we’ve never been busier.
That’s because the big news for us, at the risk of sounding self-indulgent, is that we’ve planted the DNA flag in Singapore, with our colleague Gabey Goh having moved there to establish a beachhead. (Am I mixing metaphors?)
This was a long time coming, as those of you who have followed us from Day One would know.
When Karamjit Singh, Edwin Yapp and I first started mucking about with this crazy idea of starting a news portal to cover the technology ecosystem, we always knew we had to expand beyond Malaysia’s borders, not only in terms of reportage – which we’ve always been doing to some extent – but also in terms of our operations.
Karam likes to think of it as going regional. I’ve always preferred describing DNA as ‘multi-market.’ While we shall be doing some stories from a South-East Asian perspective, I think DNA’s strengths lie in our team’s ability to dig in and dive deeper into the markets we’re covering. To unearth the local stories in the markets we go into, and unveil the local heroes.
But, because of our charter to operate as the Fourth Estate, to also uncover the bad if and when we find it. Supporting the ecosystem does not mean blindly acting as cheerleaders for its players.
It’s going to be tough, not only because we will all miss having Gabey around to bug and nag her ‘Three Old Men’ and ‘One Young Uncle’ (Goh Thean Eu), but because Singapore is the litmus test of our vision. It will be the crucible that will burn away the excesses and get us to the core of what DNA stands for. (Again, am I mixing metaphors, or just jumbling them up?)
It is also a test of the market. Perhaps we called it wrong and the ecosystem has not matured enough to need the kind of journalism we want to bring to it. Perhaps it is still at the stage where it needs rah-rah coverage, doused with dollops of syrup and washed down with Kool-Aid.
I guess we’re about to find out. It’s a bit scary, but very exciting too.
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