How To Thrive and Survive with RICE Media in 2024
Top image: Tey Liang Jin / RICE file photo

2023, right? Whatever it felt like to you, that was last year’s news. It is now 2024, the year when the events of Highlander II: The Quickening are supposed to take place. Heads will roll.

Aside from forming the backdrop of one of the worst films ever made, it’s a weird time to be alive right now—and it’s bound to get weirder. Given all the increasing uncertainty in the country, the region, and the rest of the world today, it got us thinking about RICE Media’s place in it. 

What’s our role in the local media ecosystem, then? We don’t do hard news; we don’t aggregate viral social media affairs; we aren’t a hoity-toity magazine. Call it a hmm-should-we-remodel-our-kitchen moment. 

Post-everything everywhere all at once, everyone’s conscious that change moves at breakneck speed. Uncertainty and unpredictability is a constant, and the pace can be confusing for a lot of people. It’s a time filled with tough questions and tougher conversations.

What Singaporeans want right now is to know how to make sense of a society/country/world that’s being torn down and rebuilt and torn down and rebuilt again. We want to have the space to slow down, reflect, and figure things out. 

You’d be asking yourselves, too: Who am I in this vast multiverse?

So, in 2024, RICE Media has a renewed purpose. To be a clarifying voice that guides people through volatile change.

Image: Tey Liang Jin / RICE file photo

But What Does it Mean?

To be clear, it’s not an overhaul of what we do best. Since 2017, our mission has been set in stone: Deliver captivating Asia-centric stories that shine new light on people, issues and perspectives.

We’re still in the business of making an impact by telling engaging human interest features that make people think, engage, and empathise. People come to RICE for our take on storytelling and incisive insights they can’t find anywhere else. That won’t change.

Yes, there will always be more spicy scandals to investigate, and yes, we’ll still be doing cultural commentaries. And we’ll always put the human in human interest.

But what we want to do in 2024 is sharpen our focus to amplify two enduring themes amidst perpetual change: Jobs and Identity.

Jobs (Or How To Survive)

It’s a bummer, but the economy’s not looking too hot for us right now. We don’t know if we’re going to be out of a job anytime soon or if we even want to stick to the traditional definitions of a career anymore. For those who aren’t even in the workforce yet, how does one even begin to navigate the battleground of working life?

This year, we’d like to embrace content that unpacks the culture of work and employment, as well as the impact of emerging technologies and societal trends on careers. Broadly, though, it’s a wider exploration of the changing definitions of success and how to make a living as a Singaporean.

We’ll dive into career guidance, skills development, self-optimising, industry insights and entrepreneurship—thoughtful stories revolving around the professional realm.

Image: Tey Liang Jin / RICE file photo

Identity (Or How To Thrive)

More than ever before, we now navigate a time of hyper-focused self-consciousness and self-awareness. Social media makes everything we do feel like it’s under a microscope—our lives become like a carefully planned show for others to judge. That relentless pursuit of validation drives us to think a lot about ourselves.

At the end of the day, we all just want to be seen. To be understood, to be accepted, and to be valued by others. That’s the universal connection that ties everyone together despite differing backgrounds, beliefs and communities. 

In a time of frequently fractured conversations and unconscious bias, we’d like to unpack the foundation of the human condition: forming connections with the self and others through thick and thin. How does a millennial parent navigate raising socially conscious kids? What challenges does an immigrant teenager face when working through cultural biases among friends? When’s the right time to bring up your anarcho-punk ideals to your therapist?

We’ll dive into content that dwells on internal reflections on our place in the world—from ethnicity to citizenship, from community to individualism, from gender to mental health, from relationships with family to frivolity with friends.

Image: Stephanie Lee / RICE file photo

So What Now?

There’s another core part of RICE Media’s focus in 2024, and that, my friends, is you. 

One of the challenges we had to work through last year was the struggle between speedy relevance and quality output. It’s hard to put out thoughtful content while still worrying about the time we take to produce it. It doesn’t help that we’re an online publication—just one of the many vying for your eyeballs and attention. 

But cruising for clicks is normcore. What we want RICE to create is a space for difficult conversations and reflecting on things that are real. We want RICE stories to be things you talk about over dinner with your family, the stuff you debate over drinks with friends. Genuine engagement trumps everything else. 

That starts with dialogues with you, our audience. This year, expect RICE Media to be out and about doing events, panel discussions, and having contemplative conversations about the things that really matter today. Things like mental health, socioeconomic struggles, ethnic issues, etc—crucial discourse that deserves further unpacking beyond the online sphere.

That being said, what else would you like the media to cover? We want to turn the focus on you and what you think matters. If you have an interesting story to share, a fresh perspective to offer, or know someone who deserves a narrative portrayal, feel free to email us at community@ricemedia.co

2024’s set to be a year of colossal change (*cough* General Election *cough* PM handover *cough*), and our team can’t wait to tell even more stories that make sense. Happy New Year. 


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