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Public Administration News  
Singapore: Govt Communications to Be Restructured Under New Ministry
Source: channelnewsasia.com
Source Date: Friday, October 26, 2012
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Singapore
Created: Nov 01, 2012

SINGAPORE: The government will restructure the way it communicates, taking into account the current media landscape, where people source information from various mediums.

Information, Communications and the Arts Minister Yaacob Ibrahim highlighted this as an area the new Communications and Information Ministry will focus on, from 1 November.

New media have been a game-changer in spreading information.

Singapore's Communications and Information Ministry will look at education -- how to make sense of what one reads on the web, said Dr Yaacob, the man helming the new ministry.

"At the end of the day, we also have to ensure that people who are surfing the internet, going online, also understand how to navigate and have the right cyber skills, so to speak, to ensure they have the info-literacy and media-literacy skills necessary for them to understand what is being purveyed," he added.

Going forward, the Infocomm Development Authority, Media Development Authority and the National Library Board will have a bigger role to play in cyber-education.

With more voices being amplified in the digital age, authorities now have to look more closely at the way government-to-people communications are being managed. It is in this area that efforts are being made to enhance the way things are done.

A Media Convergence Review Panel has been set up to assist with re-looking at Singapore's current media policies.

The panel is led by Koh Boon Hwee, former chairman of telco SingTel.

The authorities are paying special attention to how local content is driven with convergence, and what should be the right regulatory framework in this area, said Dr Yaacob.

"Having local content which is attractive will allow us to anchor our population, not only to the country but to our sense of history and our sense as a people and allow us to help in the continuing conversation of who we are and where we want to go," he said.

The government has been working closely with national broadcaster MediaCorp to enhance the slew of free-to-air entertainment and current affairs offerings.
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