The media of Singapore play an important role in Singapore, one of the key strategic media centres in the Asia-Pacific region. This is in line with the government’s aggressive push to establish Singapore as a media hub in the world under the Media 21 plan launched in 2002.
Comprising the publishing, print, broadcasting, film, music, digital, and IT media sectors, the media industry collectively employed about 38,000 people and contributed 1.56% to Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2001 with an annual turnover of S$10 billion. The industry grew at an average rate of 7.7% annually from 1990 to 2000, and the government seeks to increase its GDP contribution to 3% by 2012.
State-owned MediaCorp owns and operates all seven free-to-air terrestrial local television channels licensed to broadcast in Singapore, as well as 14 radio channels. Radio and television stations are all government-owned entities. The radio stations are mainly operated by MediaCorp with the exception of four stations, which are operated by SAFRA Radio (a part of the Singapore Armed Forces) and SPH UnionWorks. The only radio station in Singapore that is entirely outside government control is the BBC Far Eastern Relay station, which broadcasts the BBC World Service locally on FM.
The print media are largely controlled by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), publisher of the flagship English-language daily, The Straits Times. SPH publishes all daily newspapers with the exception of TODAY, which is owned by MediaCorp.
As of 2008, there are 16 newspapers in active circulation. Daily newspapers are published in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
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