National Heritage Board CEO Michael Koh goes out in style with ST’s Deepika painting a glowing picture of his achievements (click here). I’ve never worked with him, but from what I’ve heard from those who have, he’s more of a ‘put-me-in-the-limelight’ kind of guy, more than the kind who cares about substance of whatever is putting him in the spotlight. But that’s another blog for another day.
In Deepika’s article, she must’ve made an error. She reported that “museum visitorship hit new highs, rising to a record of 5.2 million in 2007-2008″. Note she mentioned ‘museum visitorship’, i.e. people who actually stepped into a museum. Counting 8 NHB museums/galleries, that would work out to be an average of 650,000 per museum/gallery for 2007-2008. Hogwash.
In an earlier blog (click here), I reported that “NHB’s museums attracted a record 1.86 million visitors in FY2007... Another 4.36 million people participated in NHB’s outreach activities in FY2007″. So perhaps Deepika’s 5.2m ‘museum visitors’ for 2007-8 is referring to museum visitors PLUS all those who participated in outreach activities. But as we all know, NHB is very creative in counting those who have ‘taken part’ in outreach activities, such as the 700,000+ ‘visitors’ to the Singapore Biennale in 2011 who were actually ‘outdoor visitor figures’ of passers-by who had glanced at outdoor art (click here for the blog). Nevermind what NHB reports; this blog entry is about what ST’s arts/heritage reporter Deepika Shetty has reported…
So, dear Deepika, I am sure you are able to be more precise in your reporting, right? I’m pretty sure that museum visitorship DID NOT hit a new high of 5.2 million in 2007-8. So was Deepika sloppy with her facts, or was she trying to pander to NHB/Michael Koh? Whatever it is, some of us do read your articles, you know?