The Online Citizen (TOC) is targeted to be gazetted by the government.
The Online Citizen to be listed as political association (straitstimes.com)
Blog told to register as political group (straitstimes.com)
The Online Citizen portal to be gazetted as political association (channelnewsasia.com)
Singapore moves to curb popular news website (reuters.com)
Here's my view on all these.
The gazetting will make it compulsory for TOC to disclose the source of their funding. In particular, there should not be any foreign funding. Transparency on financing is good, regardless of whether there's gazetting or not. This applies to all companies.
The gazetting doesn't affect TOC's activities. TOC can continue with their reporting. There really isn't any negative side to gazetting.
I find it funny that the Registry of Political Donations want TOC to name the president, treasurer and secretary. Why funny? Most of these political website are started by individuals who don't give themselves those titles. I figure TOC will have a difficult time filling up whatever forms they need to fill.
The challenges for TOC includes the following:
1. Since the PM has sent the letter to gazette TOC, the readership has increased tremendously. TOC must make sure that their reporting, their opinions are of quality - in other words based on facts. Many oppositions (not that I'm saying TOC is an opposition) think that laws don't apply to them and that's why they always get into trouble with the law.
2. Try to get readers to post more constructive comments. Currently, most of the comments are just complaints sprouted out mindlessly, based not on facts but whatever fancies the reader. Negativity has breeds easily.