Friday, August 18, 2006

Freedom of Expression and The Media in Singapore

Media ownership and the regulatory environment define the way the media operates in Singapore. Political, regulatory and structural control over the local media restricts and discourages the development of an environment where views can be expressed freely. A culture of self-censorship can be observed, created by and enforced through lawsuits or the suspension of offending publications, or the threat of such action. Furthermore, foreign media activities are restricted and regulated closely in an effort to control the flow of information and free expression.

Although there are debates over the censorship of nudity, pornography and homosexuality in the media, the area that receives most active scrutiny by the government is the media space that allows opposition parties, civil society opponents and foreign journalists to comment on local issues. Censorship of political expression is achieved through a mixture of ownership, legislation, defamation suits, harassment and self-censorship on the part of the media.
The above abstract is from a report on Singapore’s media from Article 19 entitled Freedom of Expression and The Media. Article 19 is an international human rights NGO which defends and promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information. The report looks at the media in 7 Asian countries. The report on Singapore was written by James Gomez (left).

A related post: PAP takes aim at FEER after it publishes article on Chee Soon Juan & Singapore politics

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