[Regional] Reclaiming civic space: Media, CSOs explore joint actions to reclaim media and civic spaces in Southeast Asia

SEAPA and ADN, with support from Bawaslu, organized a multi-stakeholder forum titled “Towards Building Regional Solidarity To Reclaim Civic Space In Southeast Asia” to discuss issues on shrinking civic space online and offline and sought to draw up actions to fight back.

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Source: Prabowo Subianto Twitter account.

[Indonesia] Disruption of social media access leads to control over flow of information

Authorities restricted social media access in Indonesia after post-election protests turned violent early this week. Supporters of retired military general Prabowo Subianto are challenging the results of the elections that confirmed incumbent President Joko Widodo.

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[Singapore] SEAPA appeals to Singapore government to recall anti-falsehood draft law

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) echoes the concerns raised by other press freedom and free expression advocates across the globe on this draconian bill that, inter alia, grants overarching powers to state authorities in combating disinformation, potentially leaving its citizens, particularly the media, in an even more precarious state once a new law of this kind comes into force.

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[Philippines] Well-known journalist forays into politics, denies the press is under attack

The Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places for journalists. To date there is no dearth of reports on the state of press freedom in the Philippines, and former journalist and now senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad should be well aware of this.

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World Press Freedom Day

Political freedom and civil liberties are in a downward spiral globally. Democracy is not only in retreat, but is under assault in Southeast Asia. State-sponsored threats and attacks, internet being weaponized with toxic discourse and false narratives, hate speech and identity politics have favored patrons, caused deep divisions, and targeted vulnerable sectors.

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[Philippines] NUJP: Dante Ang story laying the ground for more attacks

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines expresses alarm over The Manila Times article “Oust-Duterte plot bared,” penned by no less that its Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang, as dangerous as it lays the ground for more attacks against independent media.

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[Regional] Journalist safety declines as authoritarian regimes tighten grip on media —RSF

As authoritarian regimes continue their crackdown on the media, there are fewer countries where journalists can safely practice their profession. This stark reality is one of the findings that emerges from the newly released 2019 World Press Freedom Index of the Paris-based media group Reporters Without Borders (RSF). RSF said the Asia-Pacific region “continues to exhibit all of the problems that can beset journalism” which ranks third from last among the six main regions around the world.

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[Philippines] VIDEO: ‘We are the free press and we hold the line’

Journalists from the martial law period all the way to today’s campus reporters express their commitment to hold the line. Given the continuing threats to and attacks against media and journalists, the community is standing together to demonstrate their enduring commitment to the defense of press freedom.

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[Singapore] Anti-’fake news’ bill ‘frighteningly broad’, ‘dangerous’ as gov’t sets itself up as arbiter of truth and falsehood

Singapore is inching closer to passing a law fighting “fake news” as the “Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill” was tabled in Parliament on Monday, 1 April 2019. But human rights advocates view the draft legislation as a further threat to press freedom and freedom of expression in the city-state.

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[Philippines] Digital Reality Bites: Alternative Media in the Crosshairs of Cyber Attacks

Fiercely independent Bulatlat, Kodao Productions, Pinoy Weekly, AlterMidya, and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) have found themselves in this conundrum, with little, if any, prospect of an end to their digital woes.

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[Regional] On International Women’s Day, a Sobering Reality for Female Journalists

Threats, intimidation, harassment, and attacks comprise the often hostile (and at times deadly) menagerie of challenges that many journalists face every day. Yet in a world order where discrimination against women is de facto and where fundamental freedoms are more honored in the breach than in the observance, these challenges are all in a day’s work and can be more pervasive and daunting for women journalists.

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