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Singapore radio personality in "hot soup" for reporting train delays based on Tweets?

Update - Hossan Leong has commented on this post to say "I'm not in trouble pls don't blow this out of proportion. Let it rest. It's getting silly. Thank you for your love and concern and I apologize for any misunderstanding." ~ Hossan Leong.

Hossan Leong, a Singapore radio personality for The Gold Breakfast Show on Gold 90.5, was censured today for reporting on train delays on the Circle Line because he based the information on Tweets, rather than waiting for the official reports from the Circle Line operator, SMRT. 

It is, however, unknown if the "warning" came from Mediacorp producers or SMRT.

Tweeted Hossan Leong
OK...I reported it on air and now I'm getting into trouble for it?? The CC line is DOWN rite? I did nothing wrong rite?
The SMRT Circle Line was reported to be down this morning during peak hours and started as early as 7am. However, local news only received official statement was received by the mainstream media at about 9am. It seem like the fault started as early as 6.40am.

One of the biggest problem with SMRT in communicating delays is that they seem to prefer official statements which requires time for approval. By the time, it is disseminated, passengers will be already by stuck at the stations.

There are also no warning signs to inform passengers that the Circle Line is down or experiencing delays before they enter the station or decide to make the transfer.

One tweet wrote that he was given wrong information by the control station staff that the Circle Line was working only to be stuck in the station with announcements that it was down and delay was expected. 

Singaporeans also have given the Circle Line a new definition - CIRCLE LINE = Constantly In Repair & Construction, Leaving Everyone Late, Irritated, N Enraged.

With the advent of 3G and cheap mobile smartphone, can't SMRT invest in a few hundred dollars and creatw a team to inform passengers via social networks to reduce frustration? Furthermore, with share buttons, the social media space can help spread the message faster than mass media.


m@oZ said…
If they want to make sure they clear the station crowds, what best to ensure people don't keep coming in! By reporting fast and spreading the information! So what's really wrong with Hossan tweeting about it? Grow up whoever started the censure! The Internet is here to stay! Learn to work with it!
JC said…
Did he report it in a news section or did he just share on air that he received tweets about the breakdown? Very different right?
Aaron Koh said…
JC, I didn't listen to the original audio clip. But I believed Hossan is smart enough to just shared it outside of news segment.

That's why this is ridiculous.
DK said…
Question is: did he get in trouble from SMRT or the radio station?

And there's no need for SMRT to hire a team for social media to inform passengers that there is a disruption. Crowd sourcing is already doing that for them.
Kenneth Koh said…
8:30am, other stations not reporting the delay till I arrive at Serangoon via the NE line. No reports, no staff telling me of the delay, no signs reporting of the delay. Only the unusual amount of lost and confused people.

Twitter was my only news source to inform me that the trains were indeed delayed and ONLY at nearly 9am Twitter reports that SMRT has responded with shuttle buses, 2 hours after initial reporting of a problem on the circle line.

Mr. Leong should not be punished for reporting news that is true. He should actually be rewarded and praised for telling news before other news sources could produce actual informative news.
Anonymous said…
Hi guys, circle line is down now, but hey officially nothing's wrong -everything's honkey dory ok? It's official yah?
Anonymous said…
WEll if the government utilized such online discursive spaces for disseminating information quickly, alot of the flaws in the system would be exposed too quickly; furthermore, bureaucrats would love to verify, clarify, and deliberate if the news of situational changes are valid and reliable. This is the crux of the bureaucracy, this is how the system works. All information must be 'credible' and must be 'reliable', hence they will keep on checking the sources of information before publishing to the public.

however, they do so out of goodwill, because the government would like to prevent issues of false news, inaccuracy and inappropriate information from leaking out (officially) from the mainstream media, towards the citizenry. Its a good thing, it shows there is some credibility to the news that is published.

But again, there are trade-offs. Citizen-powered journalism is curbed, and kept only at online spaces and not mainstream. So I'm guessing (in my OWN opinion), I would rely upon discursive online spaces for timely information, but at my own risk. However, mainstream ones, are definitely valid and reliable, however, the extent of 'truth' published, is still, debatable. That I leave it to your own opinion.
Anonymous said…
Sad state of affair...breakdown also cannot say until "its official". I thought it's about the commuters - isn't it good to get the info out asap so commuters can avoid going to the stations and find alternative mode of transport. It's not just about profits and your corporate face, you know. Or is it?
Anonymous said…
Poor Hossan, this smrt alittle childish. If it happen, it happens right ( their circle line break down news). I find Mr Hossan is doing them a big favour by informing commuters about it early and in turn avoid taxing their already faulty system. Crazy.. Go Hossan!
Hossan Leong said…
I'm not in trouble pls don't blow this out of proportion. Let it rest. It's getting silly. Thank you for your love and concern and I apologize for any misunderstanding.
Hossan Leong.
Anonymous said…
That's why they are called SMRT not SMART.
Anonymous said…
breakdown cannot say till "official"...white elephant cannot hang...uniquely SingaPAPore
Anonymous said…

After so many mishaps and accidents, they still have not learn how to communicate effectively with the commutators and response quick enough to clear the masses.

As the MRT is the main and chief mode of transport in SG, the gahmen must ensure SMRT are up to the standard and task of providing cheap and fast transport and response effectively in all scenarios.

At present they do not pass the grade. I give them a 3/10.

I guess the people must do it for SMRT. When there is such a scenario again in the future, all of us must call and sms their friends about it so as to avoid any jam.

Anonymous said…
I support you Hossan !

SMRT should wake up their idea !

This is call NEWS REPORTING !

Is SMRT telling us to cover up the incident and wait for them to take their sweet time perhaps the next day to report the BREAKDOWN they have !


SMRT STINKS ! ! ! ! ! !

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