December 7, 2022

Mothership’s press accreditation suspended until August 18, news site promises to strengthen editorial processes

Mothership’s press accreditation suspended for 6 months

Everyone makes mistakes at work. However, what is important is the ability to accept responsibility for those mistakes and learn from them.

In February, local outlet Mothership had its press accreditation suspended after breaking an embargo on this year’s budget.

They had released an infographic containing details of the planned GST hike before Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced it in Parliament.

Mothership’s press accreditation suspended for violating embargo, publisher says it was planning error

On Thursday (March 24), the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said it was revoking Mothership’s press accreditation for six months.

The suspension will last until August 18.

Unable to attend government events without accreditation

According to The Straits Times, the MCI explained that the length of the suspension was decided after considering an appeal from Mothership.

MCI said the breach “involved information that was highly market-sensitive and injurious to the national interest.”

Without press accreditation, Mothership journalists cannot attend government briefings and press conferences.

Mothership accepts six-month suspension of its press accreditation

Martino Tan, editor of Mothership, responded to MCI’s decision with a statement on his website Thursday, March 24.

Tan called the six-month suspension “necessary given the nature of the flagrant violation on Budget Day.”

He also said the news site “will use this pre-reinstatement period to reinforce [their] internal processes and implement the necessary corrective actions”.

Acknowledging that accreditation is a major responsibility, he promised his team “will work hard to earn the right to that responsibility again next August”.

Important to respect press embargoes

Press embargoes are important because they give the media a level playing field when it comes to breaking news.

Mothership’s suspension demonstrates the seriousness of breaking an embargo, but at least they seem genuinely remorseful.

It should also serve as a reminder to other media to be careful when handling sensitive embargoed information.

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Featured image adapted from Mothership.