The Online Citizen breaks away from fund-raising arm The Opinion Collaborative

The Online Citizen logoThe Online Citizen, an independent English-language news website in Singapore, has separated from its fund-raising partner The Opinion Collaborative.

The Opinion Collaborative was set up in April last year as a social enterprise to promote a freer media environment, and to provide funds for The Online Citizen, but the former will no longer have financial oversight over the latter, and the two have effectively been delinked since September.

The move will give The Opinion Collaborative more freedom to fund other media properties, and The Online Citizen will now seek its own funding.

The Opinion Collaborative director Tan Tee Seng said in a press statement: “We understand from the editors of TOC that they would like to seek their own methods of sustainable funding, rather than use the business model outlined by The Opinion Collaborative for the website. We wish them all the best in this future effort.”

The parting comes just over a year after the Media Development Authority requested that The Opinion Collaborative to register for a broadcasting licence. The Online Citizen already had one.


“We have had a mostly responsible and responsive working relationship with MDA, and do not foresee that this decoupling of TOC and The Opinion Collaborative would raise any issues,” said Howard Lee, the former commentaries editor of The Online Citizen, who has moved into a new role as PR advisor for The Opinion Collaborative. He will also work on outreach projects.

Tan added: “We continue to welcome TOC as a media partner, but we are happy that we can now take on this engagement on a more commercial basis and as a separated entity, as much as we look forward to the possibility of other tie-ups and new ventures, given that the media scene in Singapore is continually growing.”


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