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The ex-ST journalist’s claims of censorship by opposition politicians are recirculating online as elections loom

SINGAPORE: A former mainstream media journalist’s allegations of censorship when it comes to reporting on opposition politicians are circulating online, as speculation about the timing of the next election heats up.

Back in 2020, former Straits Times journalist Eliza Teoh said she and her colleagues “were not allowed to report on good opposition candidates or highlight anything good about them.” She added that “news about silly little things that made them look bad” was “played up”.

Claiming that the media helped perpetuate the image that “opposition candidates are no good”, Teoh said she once managed to get full-page coverage for an opposition party but there was “hell to pay the next day”, leaving her editors. “explain to the ‘higher corporates’ why opposition candidates got so much coverage.”

She claimed, “Editors later explained to us, in seemingly logical language, that ‘the parties’ coverage must be in proportion to the number of MPs they had in government’. This means that it is perfectly fair for opposition candidates to receive little or no coverage.”

Teoh revealed that this policy left her so disheartened that she moved from the policy desk and that many of her colleagues who tried to challenge the rules have since left the national broadsheet.

She added that voters should be careful about relying on what the mainstream media tells them to vote for, advising: “Vote for the party you believe will ensure your views are respected and represented in Parliament.”

While Teoh made these revelations ahead of the 2020 general election, her comments are circulating on internet forums such as Facebook and Reddit as the next election looms.

Singaporeans who responded to the comments as they circulated online noted that the comments are as relevant today as they were four years ago, while others echoed Teoh’s call for critical thinking and voting according to one’s conscience.

Some added that they were “not surprised” by the accusations of censorship and welcomed social media for giving them better access to opposition parties than voters did in the past.

TUE/




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