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Project Eyeball Hits the Streets on August 12

August 8, 2000 - Its website, eyeball.asia1.com.sg, will transform itself into a full-fledged news/viewspaper site from the teaser site that it now is. Saturday’s edition is a special, bumper launch issue.

Project Eyeball is a five-day print paper - Mondays to Fridays. Its website will run 24 hours with a weekend special that gives a guide to weekend activities, showcases the hobbies of ordinary Singaporeans and an opportunity for readers to chat with newsmakers.

"After close to a year in the works, we’re ready to roll," says its editor Bertha Henson.

"We’re delivering a newspaper targeted at the young, wired generation - a generation that wants news they can use and relate to, plus a voice in affairs that affect them."

The paper, priced at 80 cents per copy, will run the gamut of local, foreign, finance, technology, sports and leisure news. It will showcase columns from its journalists as well as readers who have indicated their interest in writing about matters that affect them.

Its online version will be a window to the Internet, offering further information and roadmaps to the news of the day.

"It will be choc-a-bloc with multi-media elements. You can see and hear our reporters give their take on the news, and go behind the scenes with them," said Ms Henson.

"That’s what surfers to our site said they wanted, that’s what we’ll give them."

On Saturday and in the first week, 120,000 copies will be distributed free.


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited

For more information and media queries, please contact:

Ong Yuin Ling (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications
Tel 7401001, or email at ongyl@sph.com.sg

 

Annex

Project Eyeball went public with a teaser website on July 17, 2000 with the aim of getting feedback from surfers about the kind of newspaper they want.

This is a soft launch, low profile site intended as an introduction to people who are on the Net.

The site was also intended to introduce the staff members and this we did via videoclips of members. We also wanted to test some ’interactivity’ features that we would introduce in our paper.

We received more than 200 suggestions on shaping the paper.

Generally, the surfers wanted:

  1. More of their own voices in the paper.
  2. More opinions from the newspaper and from the people they perceived as non-mainstream groups.
  3. More exploration of issues that they perceived as off-limits, such as alternative lifestyles.
  4. A less hectoring, top down tone.

    While not all suggestions can be accommodated, Project Eyeball will see to implementing some of them.
  5. They were not interested in foreign news, but cannot get enough of local news, especially local views.

One example is a suggestion that surfers/readers be able to ask questions about the news and obtain answers.

Another example is for a readers’ column for readers to talk about the everyday issues that bug them.

We also wanted to test some ’interactivity’ features that we would introduce in our paper. We did this by putting selective stories on our site to elicit comments.
There were a total of 187 postings on our Forum site. Not surprisingly, our readers wanted to talk about local issues, which accounted for 133 postings.
The top posting which received 32 messages:

Our Perfect Society?
Lim Boon Heng, Minister without Portfolio, Secretary-General of the NTUC, recently said: "If you want to do investigative reporting, there must be something that is wrong which has not been attended to. So what is going wrong and hasn’t been attended to? I think there are not many issues in Singapore that falls under this category." Are there issues that require investigative reporting in Singapore? Have all your concerns been attended to?

Project Eyeball will be forming a Readers’ Council, with a group of people who will give us feedback on the direction of the paper on a regular basis.