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The Straits Times


The Straits Times

The Straits Times
Front page of The Straits Times from 18 May 2012
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Singapore Press Holdings
Editor Warren Fernandez[1]
Founded 15 July 1845
Headquarters 1000 Toa Payoh North, News Centre, Singapore, 318994
Circulation 352,003 (As of July 2013)[2]
OCLC number 8572659
Website .comstraitstimes

The Straits Times is an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper based in Singapore currently owned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). It is the country's highest-selling paper, with a current Sunday Times circulation of nearly 365,800.[3]

Originally established on 15 July 1845 as the The Straits Times and Singapore Journal of Commerce,[4][5] in the early days of British colonial rule, and may be considered the successor to various other newspapers during the time such as the Singapore Chronicle. After Singapore became independent from Malaysia on 9 August 1965, the paper became more focused on the island leading to the creation of the New Straits Times for Malaysian readers.

SPH also publishes two other English-language dailies; the broadsheet The Business Times and The New Paper tabloid. The Straits Times is a member of the Asia News Network.


  • History 1
  • Coverage 2
  • Straits Times Online 3
  • Community programmes 4
    • The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund 4.1
    • The Straits Times Media Club 4.2
    • The Straits Times School of Rock Competition 4.3
    • The Straits Times National Youth Media Competition 4.4
  • Other incidents 5
  • Editors 6
  • Notable personalities 7
  • Criticism 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Notes 11
  • Further reading 12
  • External links 13


The Straits Times was started by an Armenian, Catchick Moses.[6] Moses's friend, Martyrose Apcar, had intended to start a local paper, but met with financial difficulties. To fulfil his friend's dream, Moses took over and appointed Robert Carr Woods as editor. On 15 July 1845, The Straits Times was launched as an eight-page weekly, published at 7 Commercial Square using a hand-operated press. The subscription fee then was Sp.$1.75 per month. In September 1846, he sold the paper to Robert Woods because the press proved unprofitable to run.

On 20 February 1942, five days after the British had surrendered to the Japanese, The Straits Times became known as The Shonan Times and The Syonan Shimbun. This name change lasted until 5 September 1945, when Singapore returned to British rule.[7]:240


The Straits Times functions with 16 bureaus and special correspondents in major cities worldwide. The paper itself is published in four segments: the main section focuses on Asian and international news, with sub-sections of columns and editorials and the "Forum Page" (letters to the press). The "Home" section focuses on local news, together with sports and finance pages, which sometimes may be separated into a different section themselves. There is a classified ads and job listing section, followed by a separate lifestyle, entertainment and the arts section that is titled "Life!". On Saturdays, there is a separate "Saturday" section, which includes a special report (feature), and a science section, which reports on latest scientific developments.

Currently the newspaper publishes three weekly pull-outs ("Digital Life", "Mind Your Body", and "Urban" on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively). All three pull-outs are printed in tabloid format.

The newspaper also publishes special editions for primary and secondary schools in Singapore. The primary-school version contains a special pull-out, titled "Little Red Dot" and the secondary-school version contains a pull-out titled "In".

The Straits Times is the only English language newspaper with an active Internet forum in Singapore. A separate edition The Sunday Times is published on Sundays.

Straits Times Online

Launched on 1 January 1994, The Straits Times' website was free of charge and granted access to all the sections and articles found in the print edition. On 1 January 2005, the online version began requiring registration and after a short period became a paid-access-only site. Currently, only people who subscribe to the online edition can read all the articles on the Internet, including the frequently updated "Latest News" section.

A free section, featuring a selection of news stories, is currently available at the site. Regular podcast, vodcast and twice-daily—mid-day and evening updates—radio-news bulletins are also available for free online.

The Straits Times's decision to make its online edition almost entirely subscription-funded is in contrast to other traditional newspapers online editions, which often charge only for certain sections, such as archives, or for digital editions.

Community programmes

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund was initiated on October 1, 1993 by The Straits Times, to heighten public awareness of the plight of children from low-income families who were attending school without proper breakfast, or pocket money to sustain their day in school.

The aim is to alleviate the financial burden faced by parents in providing for their children's education. At the same time the funds will help children who are already facing difficulties in remaining in school to stay on.

The Straits Times Media Club

The Straits Times Media Club is a youth programme to encourage youth readership and interest in news and current affairs. Schools will have to subscribe for at least 500 copies, and will receive their papers every Monday. A youth newspaper, IN, is slotted in together with the main paper for the students.

The Straits Times School of Rock Competition

The Straits Times School of Rock Competition was incepted in 2005. Budding young bands with members aged between 13 to 18 compete to be the ultimate youth band in Singapore. The finals of the competition was held at a local shopping mall in small town, Junction 8 Shopping Centre on 1 January 2005.

The Straits Times National Youth Media Competition

The Straits Times National Youth Media Competition started its inaugural year in 2005. 20 schools will qualify for the semi-finals based on their school newsletters, and 10 schools will make it to the finals. Teams of six, whose members ranged in age from 13 to 17 years, represent their local secondary and international schools. These 10 schools then participate in the finals at the SPH News Centre, where students gleaned tips from ST journalist mentors and get to quiz a cabinet minister in a mock press conference. In the 2013 edition, the winning team will win a $3,000 cash prize, Canon Pixma printers and a three-week internship in The Straits Times newsroom. Prior to the 2013 edition of this event, it was called the "Straits Times National Schools Newspaper Competition".

Other incidents

Owing to political sensitivities, The Straits Times is not sold in neighboring Malaysia, and the Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times is not sold in Singapore. The ban was imposed before the 31 August 1957 general election in Malaysia. On 1 January 2005, the governments of both countries discussed lifting the ban with Singapore's former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew speaking in favour of such a move, although Malaysian politicians were more wary. At one point during a dispute over the sale of water, the newspaper was banned in Malaysia.


Name Appointment Notes
Warren Fernandez Editor
Zuraidah Ibrahim Deputy Editor (Singapore Coverage: Home, Political and Money)
Alan John Deputy Editor (Sunday Times, Enterprise, Foreign and Sports)
Ivan Fernandez Associate Editor (Chief Leader Writer)
Janadas Devan Associate Editor
Felix Soh Digital Media Editor
Sumiko Tan News Editor & Supervising Editor (Digital Life, Mind Your Body & IN)
Ignatius Low News Editor & Supervising Editor, (Money)
Lim Chuan Huat Night Editor
Ravi Velloor Foreign Editor
Helen Chia Life! & Lifestyle Editor
Lee Su Shyan Money Editor
Chua Mui Hoong Review Editor
Stephanie Yeow Picture Editor
Marc Lim Sports Editor
Yap Koon Hong Forum Editor
Eugene Leow Online Editor (
Tan Hsueh Yun Food Editor
Angelina Choy Community Editor
Mathew Pereira Health Editor

Notable personalities


The newspaper has been attacked as "the mouthpiece of the ruling party,".[11] The Newspaper and Printing Presses Act of 1974 requires all newspapers to be publicly listed into both ordinary and management shares, with management shares having 200 times the voting rights of ordinary shares and approval from the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts needed for any management share transfers. Past chairpersons of Singapore Press Holdings have been civil servants. SPH's former executive president, Tjong Yik Min, served as the head of the Internal Security Department from 1986 to 1993.

In his memoir OB Markers: My Straits Times Story, former editor-in-chief Cheong Yip Seng recounts how, since 1986, there has been a government-appointed "monitor" at the newspaper, "someone who could watch to see if indeed the newsroom was beyond control", and that disapproval of the "monitor" could cost a reporter or editor their job.[12] Cheong identifies the first monitor as S. R. Nathan, director of the Ministry of Defence's Security and Intelligence Division and later president of Singapore.[12]

See also


  • Thio, HR and the Media in Singapore in HR and the Media, Robert Haas ed, Malaysia: AIDCOM 1996 69 at 72-5.
  • 141st Media : Refers to the Singapore Mass Media. Singapore was ranked 141 out of 169 in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007 by Reporters Without Borders.[13]
  • 146th Media : (obsolete) Refers to the Singapore Mass Media. Singapore was ranked 146 out of 168 in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2006 by Reporters Without Borders.[13]
  • 154th Media : Refers to the Singapore Mass Media. Singapore was ranked 154 out of 195 in the 2007 Freedom of the Press World Ranking by Freedom House.[13]


  1. ^ "Leadership change at The Straits Times". AsiaOne News. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "ABC Audited Publications as of July 2013". Audit Bureau of Circulations Singapore. July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Customer Care". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
  4. ^ "Newspaper Article - Straits Times And Singapore Journal Of Commerce". Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ "The History of Armenians in Singapore and Malaysia". Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
  7. ^ Giese, O., 1994, Shooting the War, Annapolis: United States Naval Institute, ISBN 1557503079
  8. ^ [5] Archived July 14, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Tessa Wong is the worst Straits Times journalist ever!". The Real Singapore. 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
  10. ^ "Zero tolerance for intolerance? Try STOMP". Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Cooper, Paul. "Singapore’s biggest newspaper hit by Anonymous hackers". itproportal. Miles Bulloch. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b [6]
  13. ^ a b c "Acronyms and Lingo peculiar to EDMW - Page 13 -". Retrieved 2015-02-28. 

Further reading

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 305–7

External links

  • Official website
  • front pageThe Straits TimesToday's at the Newseum website
  • SPH NewsLink—Archive of Straits Times Articles
  • Search digitised Singapore newspapers from 1831-2013
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