TOC’s statement on MDA licensing of online news sites

We refer to the new licensing requirements announced by the Media Development Agency today.

The new requirements have extended an additional layer of compliance to online news sites which do not have a media license like Yahoo!News.

In principle, this could mean that the requirements could be extended to not-for-profit websites like TOC, as the new regime makes no distinction between commercial news sites and volunteer run websites like TOC.

Based on publicly available data of visitorship statistics for TOC and the regularity of our posts on Singapore news and current affairs, it would appear that the licensing regime could apply to TOC.

It is unclear why the MDA has chosen not to include us under the new regime, and we hope the MDA can clarify if the new licensing rules are intended to apply to non-commercial websites like TOC.

In the event that the new licensing rules are extended to TOC, we will have to reassess the viability of continuing the website in light of the significant financial and legal liability the new rules impose.

For and on behalf of The Online Citizen:

Terry Xu: Executive Editor
Howard Lee: Deputy Chief Editor
Choo Zheng Xi: Consultant Editor
Lee Song Kwang: Core Team Member, Treasurer

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