Mothership posted an infographic with details of the GST hike, before Minister Lawrence Wong announced it in Parliament.
Their press accreditation has since been suspended. Here’s what this means for Mothership.
Posted Infographic on GST Hike Before It Was Officially Announced
Did you see media outlets updating you with infographics and content about Budget 2022 in real-time? Did you ever wonder how they managed to come up with them so quickly when the Minister just announced the news?
Well, it’s because the Government shares information on the Budget with selected media slightly ahead of announcements. This means that Mothership knew about the Budget details beforehand, and could prepare the infographics and articles accordingly.
Although this means that they can prepare content in advance, it also means they could accidentally publish it before it was officially announced.
That’s what happened when they published details about the delay of GST hike… before Minister Wong announced it.
Press Accreditation Suspended, Mothership Responds
Obviously, they weren’t supposed to post before the official announcement, and by doing so had broken an embargo. Even if the post was taken down under two minutes, the damage had already been done.
The punishment? Getting their press accreditation suspended, which means its reporters will not be able to attend briefings and press conferences by government agencies.
The Ministry of Communications and Information had informed Mothership of the suspension, and they have until 4 March to appeal.
Mothership’s Managing Editor Martino Tan had since released an apology statement, calling the incident a “genuine mistake”.
He apologised for the mistake, especially to the public servants who work tirelessly to ensure the accurate and timely communication of government information.
Here is Mr Tan’s statement in full:
“The breaking of the embargo was a genuine mistake made by prematurely publishing an infographic on Mothership’s Facebook page. We identified the mistake in under two minutes and immediately deleted the post.
While further investigations ensue, the staff involved have been issued a two-week suspension.
We take our role of providing timely and accurate news in the digital space seriously. We are therefore committed and resolved to draw the right lessons from this incident, strengthen our editorial processes, and rebuild trust with our stakeholders.
We are also cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigations into the matter.
We sincerely apologise for the egregious mistake, particularly to the public servants who have been working so hard to ensure the timely and accurate communication of government information.”
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Featured Images: Mothership and Facebook (Lawrence Wong)
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