Mothership’s Press Accreditation Suspended For 6 Months After Breaking PUB Embargo

Mothership Gets Press Accreditation Suspended Till Mar 2024

UPDATE (27 Oct): According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Mothership’s press accreditation has been suspended for six months till Mar 2024 after breaching PUB’s embargo on water price hikes in late September.

Alternative news site Mothership had its press accreditation suspended for the second time on Friday (29 Sep) in about as many years.

This came after the local site broke an embargo earlier this week about PUB’s water price revision.

Source: Mothership

The editorial staff who committed the breach has been suspended from duty while investigations are underway.

Mothership gets press accreditation suspended again

In response to queries by Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) shared that Mothership had broken the embargo on the water price hikes that recently made the news.

Even though the embargo was due to end on Wednesday (27 Sep), the news site posted an article announcing the price hikes on its website on Tuesday (26 Sep). They also shared the article on their Facebook page on the same day.

In light of the breach, MCI has suspended Mothership’s press accreditation for an indefinite period.

During this period, Mothership staff will not be able to attend briefings and press conferences by government agencies.

CNA reported that Mothership’s representatives were not present at a press conference that Finance Minister Lawrence Wong chaired on Thursday (28 Sep).

Mothership had a similar run-in with the authorities last February, having breached the embargo on Budget 2022.

Mothership’s Press Accreditation Suspended For Breaking Embargo, Editor Explains It Was A Scheduling Error

Mothership suspends editorial staff who committed breach

On Friday (29 Sep), Mothership posted an article acknowledging the suspension.

They claimed that preliminary findings found that the editorial staff who committed the breach “failed to observe their (our) editorial protocols”.

The employee also allegedly broke additional safeguards that the news site had implemented after the previous breach.

Mothership revealed that they have thus suspended the employee while investigations are underway.

Managing Editor Martino Tan also issued an apology for the breach which he said caused “unnecessary trouble at a time when there are more pressing priorities to focus on”.

Here’s his statement in full:

This is our second breach of embargo in two years, in spite of our commitment and efforts to prevent such a situation from occurring again. While this may have been an error on the part of an individual colleague, as Managing Editor I assume personal responsibility for not adequately ensuring and enforcing the standards that we had set for ourselves. We are particularly devastated by this and are deeply disappointed with ourselves. Our spirits have hit rock bottom, but my colleagues and I vow to get to the core of these lapses and resolve these operating issues once and for all.

We unreservedly apologise to Singaporeans, our stakeholders — especially PUB and MCI — and our industry colleagues for this matter, and for causing such unnecessary trouble at a time when there are more pressing priorities to focus on. I hope our audiences and stakeholders will give us some time to improve, and to once again serve them and their best interests with all our hearts.

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Featured image adapted from Mothership

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