The Online Citizen to be managed by company to facilitate fund-raising

The Online Citizen (TOC) will now be managed by a company set up by its editorial and business team, to make it easier to raise funds for the website. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WEBSITE
The Online Citizen (TOC) will now be managed by a company set up by its editorial and business team, to make it easier to raise funds for the website. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WEBSITE

SINGAPORE - Alternative media site The Online Citizen (TOC) will now be managed by a company set up by its editorial and business team, to make it easier to raise funds for the website.

In a press release on Wednesday, the TOC said the company, The Opinion Collaborative Ltd (TOC Ltd), will give the news site a "corporate entity with which to raise funds, generate, retain and disburse revenue".

"At present, this is difficult because of TOC's lack of corporate status," said the TOC.

It added that the company is a registered social enterprise with an interest in "(developing) the online media sphere in Singapore".

Records from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority show it was registered in April.

TOC Ltd will now manage all donations to the news site, and all funds raised in support of the website will continue to be subject to the Political Donations Act, said the press release.

In 2011, the website was gazetted a political association, which requires that all donations are declared. Even then, only Singaporeans may fund such an association.

The TOC said that its news site will "retain its full editorial independence, while ceding its administrative and management functions, including those of fund-raising and revenue generation to TOC Ltd".

The company will oversee the editorial team "only in instances where any member of the editorial team contravenes the website's editorial values and mission, as this affects public confidence in the website", said it's press release.

"The editorial team will be able to pursue the day-to-day editorial concerns independently."

TOC Ltd's board of directors mainly comprise members from the news site's editorial team. They are executive editor Terry Xu, commentaries editor Howard Lee and finance executive Lee Song Kwang.

Activist and former Internal Security Act detainee Tan Tee Seng rounds up the board of directors, while editor Andrew Loh and managing editor Choo Zheng Xi sit on the board as members.

The press release added that the site "hope(s) to increase (its) editorial capacity in the near future."