After being banished to a free paper following it’s merger with MyPaper in 2016, state media Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) today (Dec 19) announced that The New Paper will terminate it’s weekend circulation starting 2018:
“The New Paper (TNP) will cease its Saturday edition at the end of this month and become a weekday-only publication from 2018.”
The move comes after SPH papers seen severe decline in readership due to it’s inaccurate reporting peppered with government-sanctioned propaganda.
Editor for TNP however stopped short of admitting a decline in readership despite it being a free newspaper:
“A large percentage of our readers are PMETs who work five-day work weeks. Furthermore, Saturday travel patterns of readers are getting more varied as people go about their weekend activities.”
The Singapore state media comprises of only 2 newspaper duopoly – SPH and Mediacorp – and they collectively ranked 154th in the world due to heavy government intervention in their editorial. There is no free media in Singapore, and Singaporeans who publish their own websites or even Facebook page are liable to place a S$50,000 bond with the government and comply take-down orders from the propaganda ministry, Ministry of Communications and Information.
In Dec, Human Rights Watch issued a statement calling for the Singapore dictatorship to stop clamping down on the internet and reinstate a free press in Singapore. The Singapore government often harass independent news reporters, and jail or fine citizens who criticise the dictatorship.