Thursday, September 05, 2013


It was reported that Teletext, an information service provided by Mediacorp for decades will go in the way of the Dodo. According to the report, Mediacorp has decided not to continue providing Teletext as there is a spectrum of avenues in this digital age via which the public can consume information versus the backdrop of a declining number of Teletext users.
I am not sure whether Mediacorp can provide the statistics on the decreasing number of Teletext users as I think currently, there are still many people using the service. Middle-aged to old folks use the Teletext to check the results of the TOTO and 4D and investors like me use the Teletext at times to check on the stock prices. And I believe a favourite page for many in the Teletext are the TV programmes listing pages. With the click of remote control buttons, the TV programmes of today and tomorrow can be listed conveniently for TV viewers to see. And there are also very good features of the Teletext providing information on properties, monies and recreation for other users.

I am actually quite disappointed that Mediacorp will not want to continue the provision of Teletext, which to me is a very convenient avenue of providing easily-navigable multi-faceted information to users at the click of buttons on the remote control. I do not like the argument that as we live in the internet age, every piece of information consumers will want to get must be obtained online. What about the many many middle-aged to old folks to whom internet is not a part of their lives? First, it was Rediffusion that Mediacorp aimed to phase out and now it is Teletext.

I am not sure whether this time round, there will be some “Robin Hood” who will come out and buy the rights to Teletext, repackage it, strengthen its offerings and recirculate to all of us … just like Rediffusion?

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