Singapore’s censorship board, Media Development Authority (MDA), conducted their own survey and revealed yesterday (July 14) that Singaporeans are highly satisfied of the local mainstream media.
According to MDA, their survey found that the state media monopoly news media, Singapore Press Holdings, rose six places “to top ranks in quality of media content”. 78.9% of the survey respondents were highly satisfied, it claims. State-controlled television media, Mediacorp, “topped rankings in terms of consumer satisfaction for reliability of media services (80.6 per cent) and standards of local content (79.1 per cent), compared to pay-TV and other platforms”, the government-controlled SPH paper Today wrote.
SPH paper Today also wrote:
“In general, the satisfaction level for the quality of all media content rose from 73.3 per cent in 2014 to 74.8 per cent last year. Overall, the media satisfaction index rose last year to 76.6 per cent, up from 75.7 per cent the year before. In particular, there was also greater satisfaction with the variety of media content, as the satisfaction level went up to 74.5 per cent last year compared to 73.3 per cent in 2014.”
Singapore’s mainstream media is ranked 153rd for independence and credibility. SPH and Mediacorp often promote government messages, defame government critics and censor content deemed to have put the government in a bad light. The two media monopolies are the only licensed media outlets allowed to break the Cooling Off day during elections, giving the ruling party an unfair advantage with complete media coverage. Local news media websites are heavily regulated and a S$50,000 bond is required even for individual bloggers. However, none of the MDA censorship laws apply for foreign websites covering Singapore news like States Times Review.
Readership of mainstream media has been falling consistently over the years due to exposure to more credible news alternatives on the internet. The revenue of Singapore Press Holdings steadily decline every year and have fallen 7.5% since 2012.