Singapore teens' perceived ownership of online sources and credibility

  • Andrew Michael Duffy
  • Tan Liying
  • Larissa Ong
Keywords: Singapore, internet, teens, new media, information


This study investigates teenage attitudes towards unofficial versus mainstream media as a source of information. It starts from three unproven premises. First, that young people place more trust in unofficial online news than in mainstream media, because they feel a greater ownership of the cyberworld. Second, due to a perception of authoritarian control over Singapore's mainstream media, truth and accuracy in unofficial sources are of secondary importance to a feeling of ownership. Third, teenagers' need for accuracy is secondary to their need for ownership and differentiation; and, unofficial information sources are a badge of identity worn by the young. The study found that perceived ownership of a medium is secondary to its utilitarian function. Content is more important than platform. Off-line media were preferred for current affairs and sports, where reliability and convenience were important. This went in tandem with greater interest in current affairs among academic high fliers, and a greater interest in entertainment among others. Online media were preferred for entertainment and leisure information, where accuracy and reliability were secondary to attitude.

Author Biographies

Andrew Michael Duffy
Lecturer, Department of Journalism, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Tan Liying
Raffles Girls School, Singapore
Larissa Ong
Raffles Girls School, Singapore
How to Cite
Duffy, A. M., Liying, T., & Ong, L. (2010). Singapore teens’ perceived ownership of online sources and credibility. First Monday, 15(4).