Freedom Of Media In Singapore

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In many countries, the right to freedom of media is affirmed in the country’s laws and constitutions. Freedom of media is commonly considered an important human right, as media is an important and significant source of information for most people, whether in the form of traditional print, television media, or the modern-day Internet and social media. Media helps shape the way people form their opinions by providing information, and gives people a platform on which to express their views. These views are invaluable as part of the check and balance system and thus, allows for citizen participation in a democratic society. One famous example is found in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty adopted…show more content…
Among the 22 countries who are not a party to the ICCPR, Singapore stands out as one of the few first-world countries in the list (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Underlying Data, 2017). Also, in the latest 2016 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, Singapore was ranked 154th among 180 countries, citing several examples of media regulation and censorship for the poor ranking (2016 World Press Freedom Index – Singapore, 2016). While traditional mass media in Singapore, such as Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp, are either related to or owned by the state (Singapore profile – Media, 2013), laws such as the Sedition Act, Broadcasting Act and Internal Security Act covers all forms of media, allowing the government to regulate or even censor any media that would potentially cause societal issues under the respective Acts. On more than one occasion, censorship of media in Singapore has raised a huge furor of discussions both domestically and internationally, such as in the case of Amos Yee (Watts, 2015). However, is such a strict media regulation and censorship necessarily a bad…show more content…
An example of such potentially harmful media is extremist content. In the past, while extremist groups radicalized new members through contact with its existing members (Gerwher and Daly, 2006), groups such as Islamic State utilize social media to radicalize members in a process called “self-radicalization”. This involves using both traditional media and social media to reach out and recruit potential members to their causes, as well as train these members to carry out acts of terrorism in their country of residence. This is especially significant for youths, whom have easier access to such social media platforms and are more susceptible to radicalization via such platforms. To minimize such self-radicalization from occurring in Singapore and preventing any potential acts of terrorism, Singapore has taken steps to monitor and censor both traditional media (Lim, 2016a) and social media (Lim, 2016b). 2.3 One more advantage from the regulation and censorship of media is to combat the rise in “fake

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