Yahoo Singapore seeks media accreditation from Government

Yahoo Singapore has applied for media accreditation from the Government, which is now looking at its request, said Ministry of Communications and Information Permanent Secretary Aubeck Kam.

"Yahoo has put forward a request to the government (communications) department for it to be accredited... That is something which the government departments are looking at and assessing," he said at a forum last night.

Accreditation will mean Yahoo Singapore will receive official press statements and be invited to government press conferences. Yahoo is the only news website of the 10 identified by the Media Development Authority (MDA) for its new licensing scheme which is not run by a traditional media outlet.

However, Yahoo is also part of the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), an industry association that wrote a strongly worded letter to the ministry last month to express concern over the MDA rules and ask for them to be changed.

The AIC letter, dated June 14, has raised questions over Yahoo Singapore's stance on the MDA scheme. On June 5, Yahoo South-east Asia managing editor Alan Soon posted on its website that the new licensing framework would pave the way for its reporters to gain accreditation. But Mr Soon also noted that Yahoo was already bound by existing guidelines and "further regulation is redundant".

Yesterday, a Yahoo spokesman said the "AIC views represent those of (the) industry" and are "broadly consistent with Yahoo's stance on the issue". On whether the new rules were targeted at Yahoo Singapore, Mr Kam said "there has never been any issue or concern about Yahoo's reporting".

andreao@sph.com.sg