[Indonesia] More of the Same Isn’t Good

Indonesian journalists are having a hard time remaining optimistic about the chances of improvement in media conditions. Data gathered by the Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI, Alliance of Independent Journalists) and other groups show little change from those reported in previous years — not exactly good news. After all, violence against journalists had been escalating in the last decade, and there is still no sign of it letting up.

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[Cambodia] Free Press on the Run

The media landscape in Cambodia has dramatically changed over the past two years. Today there is a shortage of independent, impartial, and rigorous news in Cambodia. Information mostly circulates either through media aligned with the government, or as unverified information on social media. This new media landscape severely curtails citizens’ right to access to independent and critical information. These developments also hinder the work of civil-society organizations, which have to devote a significant amount of resources in obtaining reliable and verifiable information.

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Radio Free Asia (RFA Khmer service) journalists Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin were released on bail on 21 August 2018.

[Cambodia] Suppression via Legislation

Journalists should be permitted to do their work, including exposing corruption, criticizing public policies, and shedding light on human rights violations, in an environment that promotes their safety, without fear of negative repercussions. But Cambodia’s dismal media climate in 2017 had only worsened in 2018 to 2019. One of the serious challenges faced by journalists in Cambodia during this period has been the tightening of legal screws on the media, which only make it all too easy for journalists to be subjected to legal actions as a result of their work.

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© Ann Wang / courtesy of Reuters

WPFD2019: UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize honors Reuters journalists

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo (Myanmar), who are serving a seven-year prison sentence, share this year’s United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. The award ceremony will take place today, 2 May 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, host of this year’s celebration of the World Press Freedom Day.

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WPFD2019: SEAPA to hold forum on World Press Freedom Day in Addis Ababa

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) is joining the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebration in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. The theme of the SEAPA forum, to be held on May 3, is “Toward Constructive Dialogue and Shared Narratives: Exploring Media’s Role in Conflict-Prone Societies.”

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[Thailand] Lack of information, voter confusion marred polls —expert panel says

Inadequate voter education and confusion over the new ballot system and assigned polling stations marred the recently concluded Thai election. These were on top of election-related regulations that were stacked against the opposition parties and, among others, heavily curtailed fundamental freedoms such as access to information.

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Court order lifts temporary ban against Voice TV

[Thailand] SEAPA lauds court’s decision lifting Voice TV ban; says it ‘gives grounds for hope’

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) welcomes the decision of the Thai court allowing Voice TV to resume its broadcast operations after initially being suspended for 15 days.

The Central Administrative Court handed down the decision on Friday, 15 February 2019, effectively lifting the temporary ban imposed by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on the digital TV broadcaster on 12 February 2019.

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