Wednesday, 1 October 2014

MDA tells The Online Citizen to register under Broadcasting Act

Singapore government asks prominent political news site TOC to get a license


The Singapore government stirred debate last year when it announced that influential news websites reporting local affairs must, if asked, register for a license to continue running. This falls in line with current requirements for traditional broadcasters. While critics condemn the move as another act of censorship, the Media Development Authority (MDA) has defended the move because it gives a more “consistent regulatory framework.”

Today, the government announced that The Online Citizen (TOC), an established political news site in Singapore, must also register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification.

“MDA has assessed that the TOC website engages in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore. As a corporate entity, TOC Ltd is susceptible to foreign influence through the receipt of foreign funding. MDA will therefore require that TOC Ltd undertake not to receive foreign funding for its provision, management and/or operation as part of the registration,” the government agency said in a statement.

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Company behind website TOC to register under Broadcasting Act: MDA


The corporate entity behind The Online Citizen has been notified by the Media Development Authority (MDA) to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification of the Broadcasting Act.

In a press release to the media on Tuesday (Sep 30), the MDA said it had “assessed that the TOC website engages in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore”.

It has notified the entity behind the site, The Opinion Collaborative Ltd (TOC Ltd).

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MDA notifies The Online Citizen to register



The Media Development Authority (MDA) has asked the company behind the local news website, The Online Citizen (TOC) to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification.

In a MDA statement on Sep 30, 2014, it said it notified The Opinion Collaborative Ltd (TOC Ltd), the corporate entity behind The Online Citizen (TOC), to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification, which was enacted under Section 9 of the Broadcasting Act.

The statement said "MDA has assessed that the TOC website engages in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore. As a corporate entity, TOC Ltd is susceptible to foreign influence through the receipt of foreign funding. MDA will therefore require that TOC Ltd undertake not to receive foreign funding for its provision, management and/or operation as part of the registration. MDA's registration requirement seeks to uphold the principle that politics must remain a matter for Singapore and Singaporeans alone."

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MDA tells The Online Citizen to register under Broadcasting Act

The Media Development Authority (MDA) said on Tuesday it has notified The Opinion Collaborative Ltd (TOC Ltd), the corporate entity behind socio-political website The Online Citizen (TOC), to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification.

MDA will require that TOC Ltd undertake not to receive foreign funding for its provision, management and/or operation as part of the registration.

"MDA has assessed that the TOC website engages in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore," the agency said.


MDA seeks to register TOC Ltd under the Broadcasting Act
The following is MDA’s statement in full, which is also available at MDA’s website.

  • The Media Development Authority (MDA) has, on 30 Sept 2014, notified The Opinion Collaborative Ltd (TOC Ltd), the corporate entity behind The Online Citizen (TOC), to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification, which was enacted under Section 9 of the Broadcasting Act.
  • MDA has assessed that the TOC website engages in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore. As a corporate entity, TOC Ltd is susceptible to foreign influence through the receipt of foreign funding. MDA will therefore require that TOC Ltd undertake not to receive foreign funding for its provision, management and/or operation as part of the registration. MDA’s registration requirement seeks to uphold the principle that politics must remain a matter for Singapore and Singaporeans alone.
  • As with other registered sites such as The Independent and Mothership.sg, the registration does not entail changes to the content standards and will not affect what TOC may publish on its website.
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Mothership.sg To Register Under Broadcasting Act
In short, we will comply

We refer to the statement by the Media Development Authority (MDA) on March 27 regarding Project Fisher-men Ltd, the social enterprise that operates Mothership.sg.

Mothership.sg is an independent news and lifestyle website with a sharp focus on local current affairs.

The concern that foreign funding or any form of foreign influence impinging on our site’s activities, integrity or operations has never been an issue. The core team behind Mothership.sg are Singaporeans who care deeply about issues that affect our country and Singaporeans. It is also our policy to post the identities of our editors and writers on our website.

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