Singapore media code of conduct rules ‘outdated’ for internet age, says MediaCorp DJ

Dee Kosh at YouTube Fan Fest

Dee Kosh at YouTube Fan Fest

A popular Singapore radio DJ and video blogger said today that the country’s code of conduct rules for media personalities are “out of date” for the digital age.

The outspoken Darryl Koshy, also known as Dee Kosh, is bound by the Media Development Authority’s code of conduct in his role as a radio presenter for Singaporean government-friendly broadcaster MediaCorp. But the rules do not apply to social media, where he is active on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Kosh grew to prominence on YouTube before being signed by MediaCorp as a radio show presenter on MediaCorp’s 98.7FM, where he has a late-night slot.

Talking to Mumbrella today at the YouTube Fan Fest event in Singapore, Kosh said that the code of conduct regulations were written before the days of social media, and are out of date.

“When I joined the company, I had to sign the MDA’s code of conduct rules, which apply to anything I say in MediaCorp channels, whether that is on TV, radio or in print,” he said. “But that doesn’t stop me from saying whatever I want to say in other media. I think the rules are outdated.”

Kosh said that he has two media personalities, one for national radio, which is “more politically correct”, and the other on social media, which is “more polarising”.

To make his point, he said: “On the radio, I say I like One Direction [a band Kosh has interview in the past]. On Twitter, I can slag then off.”

He added: “You have to be careful what you say in Singapore. I don’t talk about the government. You have to draw a line between what you say in the national media and what you say in free media.”

The radio show host has courted controversy in the past. In December last year, he apologised on 987FM’s Facebook page about a tweet he posted about ethnic Indians that some deemed to be racially insenstive.

In ethnically diverse Singapore, race is arguably the country’s most sensitive issue.

“There is a very fine line for what you can say in Singapore, and I like to play with that line,” he said. “As an entertainer, you have to walk that line, and there is always the risk that you’ll over step it.”

He added: “I think Singapore is moving on to a brighter place, where people can say what they want to, but we’re not completely free yet,” he said.

Kosh has around 47,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, 28,000 followers on Twitter and almost 50,000 fans on Facebook.

Kosh, who is mixed race, video blogged about racism and comedy in 2011. His video has been watched almost 43,00 times on YouTube.


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