Real Asian News

Having worked in the publishing industry for some time, I became acutely aware of the shortage of genuinely Asian content, written from an Asian perspective on stories that may not make the front pages on most major international publications. It’s not that there was a lack of coverage, it’s just that living in Asia, you’d seldom get the feeling that what was being reported in large newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, while accurate, was reflective of the concerns and priorities of the populace.

Take for example the recent jail term and caning sentence imposed on a misguided Swiss gentlemen for his interpretation of artistic freedom on one of Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit trains. While it was a big issue in many of the international newspapers, with some people becoming exceptionally passionate about the issue, for most Singaporeans, it was a matter of course and the fuss around the entire episode was both surprising and considered largely unwarranted.

There have been some attempts to alleviate this situation, ChannelNewsAsia being one, however, a news programme seldom has the time to reveal the sort of in-depth, well considered opinion that one finds in a well written article. Also, there’s a lack of authenticity in mediums like ChannelNewsAsia that stems from trying too hard to emulate Western TV. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but if I wanted Western style reporting, I’d watch the BBC and get the real thing rather than a watered-down version of it. Even many of the local language papers in Asia, while being very original, resort to tabloid style sensationalism to woo readers. What’s really missing is a considered, intelligent insight from a distinctly Oriental point of view. More details please visit:-

It was then a pleasant surprise when I was approached by the publishers of a new magazine called Asia360. When they described what they had set out to do, it became immediately apparent that these folks were definitely on the right track. They had found a niche that had been unfilled for many years and were attempting to ensconce themselves firmly in it.

Looking through their articles, you’ll see really clever and original viewpoints on topics like why Philippine President Gloria Arroyo is planning to run for Congress after the Presidential elections and how the sport of Cricket in India is becoming tainted by it’s own popularity. It’s a really refreshing point of view on topics that many of the international papers have yet to pick up on, yet still mainstream enough that it makes involving reading for almost anyone.

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