In the latest quarterly result Q1, Singapore’s 154th ranking in credibility state media, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), saw a 43.8% drop in net profits to S$45.7 million. This follows a steady drop in newsprint circulation in recent years. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, propaganda papers Straits Times sold only 292,679 hardcopies in 2015, a 13.2% decline since 2012. Over at the digital front, Straits Times Digital performed worse at 72,475 subscription in 2015, a 52.3% decline from 2014’s figures.
The propaganda news media also saw its first retrenchment exercise in history in October 2015, with announcement to cut headcounts by 10% by 2018. The current headcount is now only 4,107, down from 4,273 a year ago. Tabloid paper SPH The New Paper was forced to shut down with rapidly falling circulation, and its writers have to merge with the daily free paper, MyPaper.
SPH is suffering credibility issues as it publishes pro-ruling party PAP news, in which it claims, to “align national interests”. More Singaporeans now refer to credible online news sites that are independent from government’s influence. Despite its poor financial performance, the Singapore government still see SPH as a major “nation-building” partner and are likely to bail out its propaganda mouthpiece should it go into insolvency.