The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) has informed Mothership that the suspension of its press accreditation will last until Aug. 18, 2022.
MCI's response comes after the local media outlet submitted an appeal to the suspension on Mar. 1.
MCI decided on the length of the suspension after reviewing the appeal, The Straits Times reported.
In response, managing editor Martino Tan said Mothership accepted that the temporary suspension was necessary given the nature of the egregious breach of embargo on Budget day.
"We will use this period before reinstatement to strengthen our internal processes and implement the necessary remedial actions," he said.
The suspension of Mothership’s press accreditation has meant that its reporters can not attend briefings and press conferences by government agencies.
Tan noted the "heavy responsibility" of press accreditation, adding that the media outlet would "work hard to earn the right to this responsibility again come August".
"In the meantime, our work continues. We will, as we always have, discharge our duty to the best of our abilities, and will continue to serve our audiences with our passion and our hearts."
Here is Tan's statement in full:
We thank MCI for reviewing our representations. We accept that the temporary suspension of our press accreditation till 18th Aug is necessary given the nature of the egregious breach on Budget Day.
We will use this period before the reinstatement to strengthen our internal processes and implement the necessary remedial actions.
This incident, while regrettable, is an important reminder to us of the standards required of a professional and credible media operation.
Press accreditation is a serious and heavy responsibility, and our team will work hard to earn the right to this responsibility again come August.
In the meantime, our work continues. We will, as we always have, discharge our duty to the best of our abilities, and will continue to serve our audiences with our passion and our hearts.
Mothership's press accreditation was suspended after it broke an embargo related to Finance Minister Lawrence Wong’s Budget 2022 speech on Feb. 18.
The embargoed information pertained to the news of the GST hike being delayed until 2023 which was presented in an infographic published before Wong announced it in his speech.
In a letter to Mothership, MCI said that the media outlet had failed to observe the strict embargo instructions on sensitive tax information in Budget 2022.
Such information on major announcements is often shared with accredited media ahead of time.
Speaking on Feb. 20 after MCI had informed Mothership of its suspension, Tan apologised for the mistake — “particularly to the public servants who have been working so hard to ensure the timely and accurate communication of government information.”
“The breaking of the embargo was a genuine mistake made by prematurely publishing an infographic on Mothership’s Facebook page,” said Tan at the time.
“We are therefore committed and resolved to draw the right lessons from this incident, strengthen our editorial processes, and rebuild trust with our stakeholders.”
Top image from Mothership