Weekly Media Roundup (14 – 20 April 2018)

Here are some of the press freedom- and free expression-related events and issues you might have missed last week:


Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)

Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality



Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR). “EDITORIAL | The DOT (Department of Tourism) Accreditation System: A Form of Prior Restraint” 


Southeast Asia

The Straits Times: “Asian push to crack down on ‘fake news’ sparks alarm” 

“Borrowing from US President Donald Trump’s political playbook, government heads with an authoritarian streak are using the mantra of ‘fake news’ to shield themselves from negative media coverage, and push legislation that critics say is aimed more at stifling dissent than punishing fabrication.”


The Daily Dot: “A swarm of Twitter bots is threatening to invade Southeast Asia” 

“There appears to be an army of Twitter bots enlisting in Southeast Asia, and the social network doesn’t seem too concerned about it … Their sketchy behavior has led to theories about covert government operations and third-parties attempting to gain influence over people.”

See also:

TechCrunch: “Twitter doesn’t care that someone is building a bot army in Southeast Asia” 


The ASEAN Post: “Data localisation in Southeast Asia” 

“The argument against data localisation laws is an economic and market driven one. Barriers towards exchange of data could possibly harm economic welfare in a similar manner that tariff and non-tariff measures have on the free flow of goods and services. As ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), under Singapore’s chairmanship this year aims to strengthen the regional digital economy, data localisation legislation could hamper such efforts.” 


Reuters: “Reuters wins Pulitzer Prizes for International Reporting and Feature Photography” 

“On Monday (16 April 2018), Reuters was named the winner of two 2018 Pulitzer Prizes – the first time in Reuters history that it has received two Pulitzer Prizes in one year.” 

See also:

ABS-CBN News. “Pulitzer-winning Filipino journalist tells colleagues: Stay with the fight” 

INQUIRER.net: “KUWENTO | Best of PH journalism vs. worst of Duterte’s fascism” 



Voice of America (VOA): “Cambodia’s Nice New TV Channel from China” 

“Staff enjoy generous benefits at the new Chinese network and their flashy building, directly inside Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior, boasts an elegant restaurant on the fifth floor with 360 degree views of the city’s political heartland … The news menu includes stories about preparations for the upcoming water festival and the types of stories NICE TV producers say are their standard fare: residential complaints about floods and traffic.” 



The Jakarta Post. “Censor board cuts seven minutes from ‘Avengers: Infinity War’” 

“The Film Censorship Board (LSF) has confirmed that moviegoers in Indonesia will see a shorter version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe film ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ after the agency cut seven minutes from the Marvel Studio release…. The LSF chairman Ahmad Yani Basuki said that he had signed off on the blockbuster movie being trimmed.”



The Star Online. “Ahmad Zahid: Curbing fake news not an assault on freedom” 

“Government measures to curb the spread of fake news are not an effort to curtail the freedom of Malaysians to use the Internet and social media, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic)…. The Deputy Prime Minister said this was done to ensure that the public was not fed with fake news and information.”


Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression (SAFEnet): “Hafiz Rayyan case” 

“Muhammad Hafiz Rayyan, is a 24-year-old, Malaysian netizen, who has been vocal about his criticism against PM Najib and the current government on his Twitter account @hafizrayyan. He has more than 40,000 followers and would periodically tweet his criticisms and opinions…. On April 8 around 11 am, about eight to nine police officers and people from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) went to his father’s house without informing him. They arrested him without a warrant and confiscated his iPhone 5S from him.” 



Reuters: “Myanmar police ‘set up’ Reuters reporters in sting-police witness” 

“A Myanmar police chief ordered officers to ‘trap’ a Reuters reporter arrested in December, telling them to meet the journalist at a restaurant and give him ‘secret documents’, prosecution witness Police Captain Moe Yan Naing told a court on Friday (20 April 2018)…. Moe Yan Naing gave details to the court of the hours leading up to the Dec. 12 arrest of Wa Lone, 32, and Reuters colleague Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, who had accompanied him to the meeting, and said the police had arranged a ‘set up’.” 

See also:

The Irrawaddy: “Police Officer Admits to ‘Setting Up’ Two Reuters Journalists” 

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “Prosecution witness: Myanmar police planned ‘trap’ for Reuters reporter” 


East Asia Forum: “Myanmar’s media landscape needs more than press freedom” 

“Threats to press freedom in Myanmar are seriously challenging the country’s democratic transition. Restrictions on media have been exacerbated by outbreaks of communal violence in Rakhine State since 2012 that have led to the exodus of nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees. But the focus on press freedoms, while vital, distracts from larger conversations about the type of media system being established in Myanmar.” 



Rappler.com: “DOT issues guidelines for media covering Boracay” 

“The Department of Tourism (DOT) has issued guidelines for media who will enter Boracay during its 6-month rehabilitation that will begin on April 26. (READ: Duterte orders 6-month closure of Boracay)” 


The Manila Times: “Poor PH tech infra gives print a future” 

“Print media is in no danger of disappearing in the Philippines due to the country’s ‘underdeveloped’ technology infrastructure…. This was view of UP College of Mass Communication professor Danilo Arao in light of Gokongwei-led Summit Media’s recent shutdown of its print business in a shift to fully digital operations.” 



The Week: “Singapore to test facial recognition on lampposts, stoking privacy fears” 

“In the not too distant future, surveillance cameras sitting atop over 100,000 lampposts in Singapore could help authorities pick out and recognize faces in crowds across the island-state…. The plan to install the cameras, which will be linked to facial recognition software, is raising privacy fears among security experts and rights groups. The government said the system would allow it to ‘perform crowd analytics’ and support anti-terror operations.” 



Please refer to this blog for other media, press freedom, and free expression stories not included in this roundup.

All information and materials in this roundup are for general information and use only and do not constitute any advice or recommendation.

All information and materials in this roundup are provided in good faith. Except for the information produced by SEAPA, we are not responsible for the contents or reliability of linked websites and do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. We have no control over availability of the linked websites.

x Logo: Shield Security
This Site Is Protected By
Shield Security