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17 May 2017 | 11:39 pm

ST: This story was first published on June 20, 2016, and updated on May 17, 2017.

SINGAPORE – You either love it or hate it. National Day Parade (NDP) theme songs often draw strong reactions – and robust debate in some cases.

Here’s a look back at NDP songs through the years.

2005: REACH OUT FOR THE SKIES

The catchy song was performed by Taufik Batisah, winner of the first season of Singapore Idol, and actress Rui En.

Source: Straits Times

Categorised in EN, NDP 2005, Reach Out For The Skies, The Straits Times.

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16 April 2017 | 11:04 pm

by Gwendolyn Ng

SINGAPORE – Veteran local television stars Zoe Tay, Chen Hanwei and Aileen Tan, alumni of the inaugural Star Search talent hunt in 1988, stole the limelight at Sunday (April 16) night’s Star Awards, which celebrates the best of homegrown Mandarin television programmes.

They won Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

Tay, dubbed queen of local television station Mediacorp perhaps more for her glamour than her acting chops, won only her second Best Actress honour at the Star Awards last night 21 years after her first.

Accepting her trophy, Tay playfully addressed it, saying: “Long time no see. I’ve already given birth to three kids.”

She won the prize for playing a cancer-stricken nurse manager in medical drama You Can Be An Angel 2 (2016). She was up against Rebecca Lim, who starred in the same show; Rui En, who played a dissatisfied housewife in If Only I Could; Jeannette Aw of The Dream Job; and Jesseca Liu, who played a lawyer in Hero.

Source: Straits Times

Categorised in EN, Social Media, Star Awards, Star Awards 2017, The Straits Times, Twitter.

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10 January 2017 | 07:15 pm

By Boon Chan

Local broadcaster Mediacorp’s deputy chief executive officer Chang Long Jong will be quitting the company after three decades to join Singapore-headquartered entertainment company mm2 Asia as its new group chief executive officer.

Mm2 Asia announced this on Tuesday (Jan 10) and Mr Chang will be taking up his new job from April 3.

He is currently the deputy chief executive officer and chief customer officer at Mediacorp, where he oversees its major media assets including television, radio, newspaper, magazines and streaming service Toggle. He also leads the company’s events business, Vizpro, and training business, Singapore Media Academy.

Mr Chang, 56, had joined the broadcaster, then called Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, in 1985.

Source: Straits Times

Categorised in EN, MediaCorp, The Straits Times.

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17 October 2016 | 05:54 pm

By Chew Hui Min

SINGAPORE – My Paper and The New Paper (TNP) will merge to form a revamped TNP that will be distributed free from December, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced on Monday (Oct 17).

The new TNP, which will combine the strengths of both products, will be available at existing distribution points including MRT stations. It will continue to be available online.

The new TNP will be launched on Dec 1, and available for free from Monday to Saturday at existing distribution points, including MRT stations, SPH said yesterday. The paper will also be available online.

Source: Straits Times 1 | 2

Categorised in EN, MyPaper, SPH, The New Paper, The Straits Times.

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29 September 2016 | 11:51 am

By Jessica Lim

6. Help shoppers hone their style

Shoppers these days want to make a statement.

“Retailers should help us do that,” says Ms Neo Lirong, 29.

The bachelorette, who styles Mediacorp artists such as Chen Liping and Rui En, hopes retailers here can help her hone her style.

Source: Straits Times

Categorised in EN, The Straits Times.

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26 September 2016 | 10:45 pm

Greater diversity, better quality, improved programme formats and audience engagement among positives highlighted by the committees in latest report.

Background

IMDA’s Programme Advisory Committees (PAC) have issued a report consolidating their observations and feedback on content standards and the quality of broadcast content in Singapore’s four official languages, particularly local Public Service Broadcast (PSB) productions. The committees comprise members of the public across various age groups, ethnicities, occupations, areas of interest and specialisation.

This report contains PAC observations for the period of August 2014 to March 2016.

Snapshot of Key Observations/ Feedback

1. Greater diversity and improvements in production quality in dramas, infotainment programmes

Dramas

The PAC observed that there were improvements in storytelling standards, cinematography and editing techniques for the dramas produced during the period in review. In addition, the committees observed that there was a wider range of themes and genres in the dramas they reviewed, including themes such as active aging and, courtroom issues and genres such as psychological thrillers, which were not attempted as much previously. Long-form dramas such as 118 (Channel 8) and Tanglin (Channel 5) were also a welcome addition as they provided platforms to present topical issues in a light-hearted manner.

While feedback on dramas produced during the period in review was largely positive, the PACs felt that some producers could imbue more depth and balance into their stories.

2. PSB programmes with more innovative programming formats and better audience engagement

The period in review saw MDA supporting more than 20 programmes from MediaCorp and StarHub under its PSB Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS). The PACs commended these programmes for their originality and for injecting diversity into the PSB landscape. Some PCFS-supported programmes were also developed into transmedia content like comic books and these efforts paved the way for better audience engagement.

3. In-programme advertising should be clearly distinguishable, prevalence of health supplement advertisements on minority radio stations an area of concern

The PAC also reviewed public feedback relating to broadcast programmes that were brought to MDA’s attention. For example, some members of the public had highlighted that some advertising segments on Channel 5 and 8 were inserted just before a programme’s end credits. These segments featured the programme’s characters promoting products on the same sets as if they were part of the programme. While the PACs did not have objections to the use of a programme’s artistes or sets for advertorials, they felt that such advertising segments should be clearly distinguishable from the rest of the programme.

Source: MDA, Straits Times 1 | 2, Channelnewsasia.com, Channel 8 News

Categorised in Advisory Committee for Chinese Programmes (ACCESS), Channel 8 News, channelnewsasia.com, EN, Media Development Authority, Programme Advisory Committee, The Straits Times, Toggle SG.

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21 September 2016 | 02:07 pm

By Boon Chan

They have good-looking stars who can act, novel storylines and no sequels, which ensures compelling plots

Each time you think the Hallyu wave is about to peak, a new South Korean television series comes along and crests to another high.

In 2013, romance drama The Heirs, starring Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye, took South Korea and beyond by storm. Then sci-fi romance My Love From The Star, with Gianna Jun and Kim Soo Hyun, surged to new heights of popularity in 2014. Earlier this year, military romance Descendants Of The Sun blazed a different path and turned Song Joong Ki into a megawatt star.

What these three shows have in common are beautiful actors and actresses, but that is only half of the reason K-dramas are flourishing.

The fact that they all star different actors points to the depth of talent in the industry. There is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of actors and actresses who not only look gorgeous but can act as well.

This becomes even clearer when you go beyond the blockbusters – a star is seemingly born every few months on the small screen.

Nostalgia drama Reply 1997 (2012) was a cable show that came in under the radar, but grew to make a big splash as word of mouth spread. Singer Seo In Guk had a star turn as the high school hotshot with a sensitive side and Jung Eun Ji from girl group Apink had an auspicious acting debut as a feisty superfan of male idol popsters Sechs Kies.

The drama Incomplete Life (2014) heralded the arrival of Yim Si Wan as a new acting talent as he played the part of workplace greenhorn Jang Geu Rae to perfection. He picked up several accolades, including a Baeksang Arts Award for Best New Actor.

Interestingly, individuals who get lost within the confines of a boyband or girl group shine in the spotlight when they make the leap to television. Apart from Apink’s Jung and ZE:A’s Yim, there is also Lee Hyeri from Girl’s Day, who made a great impression in Reply 1988 (2015) as the bubbly high-schooler Sung Deok Sun. The ratings for the show’s final episode are the highest in Korean cable TV history.

The depth of talent in the acting pool extends to the creative pool.

A second reason for the thriving K-drama scene is the industry’s ability to come up with new concepts and to put a fresh spin on familiar ones.

The recently concluded W, written by Song Jae Jung and starring actor-model Lee Jong Suk and actress Han Hyo Joo, played mind games with its characters and viewers as the story unfolded across two parallel worlds – our world and the world of a hit webtoon, a comics title that is published online.

With a fresh and exciting premise, it kept viewers guessing throughout what was going to happen next.

You could say that it was an update of the concept Norwegian pop band A-ha used for their seminal music video for Take On Me in 1984, in which a woman enters the world of a comic strip she is reading.

Similarly, the crime thriller Signal (2016) borrowed a key idea from the American sci-fi thriller flick Frequency (2000) – two characters communicate with each other across time, using walkie-talkies in the former and a radio in the latter. To this it added an elaborate labyrinth of unsolved cases and personal connections. The result was gripping.

The ongoing period romance Love In The Moonlight is more than just a replay of the old chestnut of gender-bending – see Hong Kong rom-com He’s A Woman, She’s A Man (1994) or even the previous hit Korean series Coffee Prince (2007).

It’s a gender-pretzel as Kim Yoo Jung plays not just a girl in man’s clothing, but one who has to pretend to be a eunuch.

Moonlight is based on the Korean Web novel of the same name (in Korean) and it is proving to be popular enough that there are reports asking whether it could reach or even eclipse the ratings for Descendants Of The Sun.

Another reason shows from South Korea are thriving seems to boil down to a general tenet: no sequels.

Signal’s scriptwriter Kim Eun Hee has hinted at the possibility of a follow-up given the tantalisingly open-ended finale. But it would be an exception that proves the rule as none of the other titles mentioned above have yet had sequels.

Season 2 for Descendants Of The Sun is reportedly in the works, but it has also been said that stars Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo will not be returning and neither will director Lee Eung Bok and writer Kim Eun Sook. For fans of the show, that would be like getting a beautifully packaged gift, only to find that it does not contain what they want inside.

While the titling of Reply 1997, Reply 1994 (2013) and Reply 1988 suggests a continuity, they are best thought of as sibling series – recognisably part of the same family, but each with its own traits and quirks.

They share the same attention to period detail as well as a similar set-up – who will the female lead end up with among a large group of potential suitors. Yet each show is about different characters and stands alone on its own.

Keeping things contained to a single season forces a show to be compelling and complete in that timeframe.

And if a show fails to pique viewers’ interest, not to worry, the next one could well be the one to sweep you off your feet.

Source: Straits Times

Categorised in EN, The Straits Times.

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06 September 2016 | 05:59 pm

Television Page D15

C.L.I.F. 4 (PG)

Channel 8, 9pm

Get ready for movie adrenaline-packed action as the police force cracks down on crime. Stars Rui En and Ya Hui.

C.L.I.F. 4 警徽天职 4 is now airing on Channel 8 at 9pm from Mondays to Fridays.

Categorised in C.L.I.F. 4 警徽天职 4, EN, The Straits Times.

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14 July 2016 | 07:17 pm

Background

1. The Media Development Authority conducts the annual Media Consumer Experience Study and Zero-to-Fourteen Consumer Experience Study to keep its finger on the pulse of local consumers’ media consumption habits and preferences, and to assess their satisfaction with the media services and content standards. With the growth in online content services, MDA also launched its inaugural Over-The-Top Video Consumer Study this year to measure viewing habits and usage of such platforms.

Key findings from Media Consumer Experience Study

2. The fourth edition of the Media Consumer Experience Study (MCES) was conducted between October and December 2015 with a sample size of 2,000 Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 15 to 65. The summarised key findings were:

a. Consumers were generally satisfied with local media services and content classification standards

– Satisfaction with media services scored 76.6% in 2015, up from 75.7% in 2014. In particular, respondents recorded an improvement in satisfaction with the quality and variety of media content, and customer service standards.
– There was also an improvement in satisfaction levels with content standards, rising to 74.1% in 2015 from 72.4% a year earlier.

b. Media consumption habits remained consistent over the last few years

– Watching Mediacorp channels remained as the top media activity in terms of time spent at 17.4 hours per week. This was followed closely by viewing media via websites and apps at 17.3 hours per week.
– Respondents generally relied on traditional media to discover TV shows, and digital media for online content.
– Most respondents (99.1%) who watch Mediacorp TV watched the platform ​at least monthly.
– The subscription rate of Pay TV services recorded a marginal decline to 68.2% in 2015, from 69.3% in 2014.

Key findings from Over-The-Top (OTT)1 Video Consumer Study

4. MDA’s OTT Video Study is aimed at providing insights into OTT video usage patterns, viewing preferences and habits among consumers. A total of 2,585 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents aged 65 and below were interviewed between October and November 2015.

a. More than half of those polled accessed online content

– More than half of consumers (54%) have watched online videos. This number was the highest among millennials (aged 15 to 34) at 89%.
– The most used online video services were YouTube (96%) and social networks such as Facebook and Instagram (59%).
Younger OTT viewers spent a greater proportion of their viewing time on online videos compared to traditional TV (Children – 65%, Millennials – 61%, Adults aged 35 to 54 – 48%, Adults aged 55 to 65 – 43% of their total viewing time​).

b. Viewing preferences & habits

– The top genres of online videos were Drama (40%), Movies (25%), Sports (10%), and Entertainment & Variety (8%) for adults; and Animation & Cartoons (59%) for children.
– Online videos were most frequently consumed on mobile phones for adults (41%), while the most frequently used device varied for children according to their age. For example, children below 6 years old preferred watching videos on the tablet while those between 11 and 14 years old preferred the smartphone and the computer.
– Multitasking on a second screen was a more common behaviour in millennial OTT viewers (60%), and OTT viewers aged 11 to 14 (58%).
– Only 11% of adult OTT viewers were paying for online videos. Majority of those paying (67%), were doing so on top of their existing pay TV subscription and made no changes to their pay TV subscription. ost used online video services were YouTube (96%) and social networks such as Facebook and Instagram (59%).

1 Over-The-Top refers to the delivery of content to local consumers via the Internet onto Internet-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs.

Source: MDA, Channelnewsasia, Straits Times

Categorised in channelnewsasia.com, EN, Facebook, Instagram, Media Development Authority, Social Media, The Straits Times.

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