[Myanmar] Press Freedom in More Peril Than Ever

“Media freedom is clearly not one of (its) priorities,” said the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which monitors freedom of information and press freedom across the globe. This is even though Daw Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), the current ruling party, had press freedom among its targets for reform in its election manifesto.

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[Myanmar] Broken Promises Put the Press in Peril

It has just a little more than a year before its five-year term ends, but Myanmar’s ruling National League of Democracy (NLD) still has a lot of promises left unfulfilled. Among these are reforming the country’s media and ensuring freedom of the press and freedom of expression — but no one now believes NLD will ever make good on those.

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[Malaysia] Still Waiting for Reforms

There is, however, concern that the reform agenda has been stalled. Malaysia’s freedom of expression regime is in limbo, caught between the PH coalition’s promises made prior to the elections and the reality of a government attempting to consolidate its grip on power. Reform is also being met with resistance not only from bureaucrats, but also from politicians at the centre of power. As a result, the coalition government has underdelivered on expectations, and has even been showing a disconcerting lack of commitment to the human-rights principles it had pledged to uphold in its election manifesto.

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[Malaysia] No Class Act

In April 2018, during its last Parliamentary sitting as Government, the Barisan Nasional rushed through a law designed, according to its supporters, to curb the spread of “fake news:” the Anti-Fake News Act. As initially presented to Parliament, the bill encompassed anyone, Malaysian or non-Malaysian, who discussed Malaysia at home or abroad. Those found guilty under the bill faced a fine of up to half a million ringgit (USD 121,000) and up to 10 years in prison. The penalties were eventually watered down, but they still remained severe, with up to six years in prison, and fines that could accumulate over time.

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[Indonesia] Political Reporting Can Do With Female Touch

Through the survey, Forum Jurnalis Perempuan Indonesia (FJPI, Indonesian Women Journalists Forum) sought primarily to determine whether there is gender discrimination in the newsroom when it comes to political coverage. It also wanted to see how media companies were treating their female employees, as well as how women in management positions in such companies have been handling issues concerning women in the newsroom and elsewhere.

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[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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[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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[Myanmar] 20 expert organizations urge the gov’t to fully guarantee the internationally protected right to freedom of expression in the Constitution

A new parliamentary committee tasked with reviewing Myanmar’s constitution is an opportunity for the government to guarantee the democratic rights to free expression, media freedom, and access to information.

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A story from Jurnalis Perempuan Meliput Indonesia: 50 Kisah di Balik Berita (Women Journalists Cover Indonesia: 50 Stories Behind the News)

[Indonesia] The Power of Compassion in Disaster Reporting

Alongside children, women are especially vulnerable to disasters. This does not mean they are weak. Women are in fact strong given their varied roles, especially in times of calamity.

As a journalist, I make it a priority to focus on these two sectors when covering disasters to shine a light on their plight while showing their fortitude.

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Facebook photo: Bird Sanctuary sues Siem Reap journalist over allegedly false information

[Cambodia] Siem Reap tourism association sues journalist over ‘false information’

A Siem Reap tourism association has filed a court complaint against the publisher of a one-man digital news outlet, claiming it was spreading false information about the Boeng Pearaing bird sanctuary.

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[Philippines] Gov’t, media can’t play fast, loose with due process and rule of law

Several journalists and media organizations express grave concern about the likely breach of professional ethics and adverse legal implications of the publication and broadcast of the Duterte Administration’s list of public officials allegedly involved in the illegal-drugs trade.

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[Malaysia] National consultation for a media council concludes in Kuala Lumpur

Organized jointly by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR), the national consultation on the formation of a national media council tackled the whys and wherefores of setting up a media council in Malaysia, including relevant media issues, and aimed to carve out a road map for its establishment.

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Statement of the Myanmar Press Council on the incident

[Myanmar] Journalist community condemns attack against Myitkyina Journal reporters, calls to hold perpetrators accountable

On 26 February, two journalists from Myitkyina Journal – based on Myitkyina Kachin State – were forcibly taken by the personnel of the Tha Khin Sit company at its premises. Then, a female journalist was slapped and her male colleague was forced to do sit-ups several times; they also threatened both journalists not to write anything about the mining company. 

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[Philippines] Presidential Communications Undersecretary Egco and “Irresponsible Journalism”

All reports issued by the three groups go through the verification process that is at the heart of all true journalism, and in addition are subjected to the gate-keeping processes of the publications it serves.

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[Philippines] RED TAGGING: Hands off NUJP-Cagayan de Oro member Cong Corrales and family

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines deplores the inclusion of our member and former director Cong Corrales, his wife and son in an anonymous list naming alleged members of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Cagayan de Oro.

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Photo by AJI

[Indonesia] AJI Jakarta Condemns Violent Treatment of Journalists at Munajat 212

A number journalists had been assaulted, intimidated and persecuted by a crowd wearing the attributes of the the Islamic Defense Front (FPI) in the National Monument area during the Munajat 212 gathering held Thursday (2/21) night in Jakarta.

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