Dr Mumbo

Deep pockets: deconstructing mothership.sg’s press trip to Switzerland

Dr Mumbo is getting nostalgic about the good old days of traditional journalism; the bygone era when hacks used the local pub as an office and when ad spend was so high you could go on a trip to Brazil and back on company expenses.

But sigh, those times are a distant memory. For print is in steep decline and advertisers are not yet so willing to dig deep to bankroll online journalism. Expense accounts, not to mention job numbers and salaries, have taken a battering.

Therefore, given the this straitened economic climate on media street, Dr Mumbo was surprised when he came across mothership.sg’s video post about a press junket with the Singaporean education minister to Switzerland.

His first thought was that this was either sponsored content or a press trip paid for by a third party (the latter being a common occurrence during the halcyon days of yesteryear).

For those of you who think Singapore is expensive, just wait until you’ve tried to buy a jug of Erdinger beer and some fondue in Zurich.

However, when Dr Mumbo asked the mothership crew about the financials of said trip, he got an answer he did not expect. The website owners, whoever they are, apparently paid for the trip out of their own pockets.

And the result of this lavish spending? A 90-second video showing Ong Ye Kung’s thrilling diplomatic trip.

Of course, it was well worth the outlay on Swiss cheese, flights and hotels for the two-strong mothership.sg team. Dr Mumbo won’t have anyone saying otherwise. Never has the journalistic dollar been better spent.

And the exhausting hours of research and storyboarding that must have gone into the film are clear to see. Just take in the glorious millennial subtitles peppered with words like ‘bro’, ‘dudes’, ‘dudettes’ and ‘babes’. Come on, it’s bordering on art folks.

Dr M understands that mothership.sg is even funded by a social enterprise fund called Project Fisher-men. The mind boggles. Next stop Barbados. Fin.


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