S'pore sets up council for media literacy, cyberwellness

Country sets up Media Literacy Council to raise awareness of media literacy issues and advise government on related policies but Internet users doubtful of its role.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Singapore has set up a council to lead public education on media literacy and cyberwellness as well as advise the government on policies related to the media.

In a statement Monday, Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) announced the setting up of the Media Literacy Council (MLC). The council will be led by chairman Tan Cheng Han from the faculty of law of the National University of Singapore while the role of vice chairman is taken by Carmee Lim, a mentor principal of education institute MindChamps.

Nineteen other council members from various industries (PDF) have been appointed by the minister for information, communications and the arts, Yaacob Ibrahim, and will serve a two-year term starting Wednesday.

According to MDA, the council will partner government bodies, private sector organizations, community groups and social media influencers to raise the awareness of media literacy issues for both the online and offline media platforms and "promote a safe, secure and civil media environment for all".

In the statement, Tan said: "In cyberspace and the real world where people are constantly interacting and sharing information, appropriate social norms and discernment are important. The MLC hopes to raise the media literacy level of Singaporeans so that everyone can benefit even more from the Internet, and traditional and new media."

However, Internet users in Singapore are express doubt about the role of the council.

Twitter user @neekchan said the council needs to be clear on their objectives. "Censoring the internet is futile so what is the council for?" he asked.

@kixes also questioned whether it is appropriate for a lawyer to lead the council. "If it's a MEDIA Literacy Council, why is the chairman a lawyer and not a media professional? You don't see a journalist heading Law Soc," she said in a tweet.

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