Mothership's press accreditation suspended for breaking PUB embargo

The breach related to the announcement of water price revision.

Ilyda Chua | September 29, 2023, 05:22 PM

Mothership’s press accreditation has been suspended after it broke an embargo related to a PUB announcement on the revision of water prices in Singapore.

The article was prematurely published at around 5pm on Sep. 26, despite instructions that the information was to be embargoed till 5pm on Sep. 27.

This is a serious breach as the information impacts every person in Singapore.

When alerted of the breach, we removed the embargoed material and launched an investigation. Our immediate findings indicated that the breach was committed by a member of our editorial team who had failed to observe our editorial protocols, also breaching the additional safeguards that were put in place last year. The colleague has been suspended from duty while we conclude our investigations and make our representations to the regulators.

The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) informed Mothership about the suspension. In a Sep. 29 statement, MCI said Mothership has until Oct. 11, 2023 to make representations to MCI on the matter and the suspension.

In a statement, Mothership’s Managing Editor Martino Tan apologised for the mistake and for causing "unnecessary trouble" at a time when there are more pressing priorities to focus on.

The suspension of Mothership’s press accreditation means that its reporters will not be able to attend briefings and press conferences by government agencies.

This is Mothership's second breach of embargo in less than two years.

Here is Tan's 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."

Top image from Mothership