Singapore teens' perceived ownership of online sources and credibility

Andrew Michael Duffy, Tan Liying, Larissa Ong


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.


Singapore; internet; teens; new media; information; Singapore

Full Text:



A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2020. ISSN 1396-0466.