Saturday, June 21, 2008

Errata in Straits Times, 21 Jun 08

On 18 June 2008, I published on this blog the email interview I had with a reporter from Straits Times who wanted to feature some "green champions". Today, the article appeared and I am sad to say that there are some serious errata in the small section about me. The writer actually emailed me the draft on Thursday night but I was on my way at 2am to Kuala Lumpur to do vegetable delivery with a farmer. Thus, I did not see the draft nor had the opportunity to send in corrections until it was already published in today's newspaper.

Here's what was published on 21 June 2008 in Life!

Ms November Tan, 26, winner of the Bayer Young Environmentalist Award and HSBC National Youth Achievement Award

Ms November Tan began her love affair with nature when she was a child. She went for hikes with her parents and learnt about the environment she lives in.

Now 26, she is a nature guide on Pulau Ubin, taking groups around the island and teaching them about environmental conservation. She also trains new guides, and authors a blog about the island and its history.

The environmental warrior in her also initiated Toddycats Engage, a group of over 100 volunteers from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, which provides feedback to various government agencies and organisations on environmental issues.

'Every time I hear somebody come up to me saying that they felt inspired to do something for the environment, even if it's as simple as to stop using straws, I feel a sense of fulfilment.'


First of all, Toddycats Engage only has about 10-20 members and was defunct after 4 meetings. Yes, Toddycats had over 100 volunteersToddycats has only 35 volunteers and 20 alumni today. Toddycats Engage was just a small project within the entire volunteer group! Apologies to all Toddycats for this. I am deeply embarrassed by this.

If you read my original interview, I by no means implied this at all! I do not know where he got his information from. Furthermore, Toddycats Engage was a project from 2005 - 3 years ago! There is no mention of anything I do after 2005 which is even more disappointing! Thus, I also have to apologize to the Naked Hermit Crabs for this.

Finally, the Bayer award was called "Bayer Young Environmental Envoy" and not "Bayer Young Environmentalist". Again, sorry to the BYEE Alumni as well. Furthermore it's the HSBC / NYAA Youth Environment (Merit) Award.

I seem to have done no right to any of my groups. I'm sorry. :( Sorry for the melodrama. I was rather upset when I wrote this. Thanks for all the comments!

See my original email interview responses.


pinto said...

No need to be so apologetic, November. =) It's not your fault that journalists can't get their facts straight even when presented to them on a platter.

Ivan Chew said...

Hey Nov, in the larger context, the errors are minor. At least from my viewpoint. What's important is that awareness about those groups and awards, and hence the efforts, are being publicised.

Kevin said...

Agree with Ivan and Kenneth. Least people get to know about Toddycats and might be interested to join in for volunteer work :)

vantan said...

Agree with Ivan. Awareness has been raised, which is the most important thing, and you are being recognised for your work.

Also, having worked in the newsroom before, I know journalists can have pretty tight deadlines. At least this journalist tried to verify the facts with you before the article went to press.

And before we lose sight of the whole picture ... CONGRATULATIONS for being in the news!

Sivasothi said...

Never mind, this sort of thing is typical. Most readers will just get a feel of things. Heh-heh, there are 35 Todddycats; wonder what we'd do if we had 100 volunteers!