WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (16 – 22 July 2016)

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)


Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
[Philippines] Blocktimer Survives Ambush


Southeast Asia

Malay Mail Online: “Don’t kill South-east Asia’s tech boom with kindness — Bloomberg Editors

“By most measures, South-east Asia is a thrilling frontier for the tech business. It’s the world’s fastest-growing online market. About 70 per cent of its population is under 40. Economic growth is brisk. Smartphone sales are surging. Even Eduardo Saverin, erstwhile Facebook impresario, is bullish.”



Asia Pacific Report: “UN Special Rapporteur speaks out against restrictions on free speech in Papua

“In addition to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur, the civil society groups which are concerned about the Papua issue also reported about the restriction of freedom of expression in Papua.”


The Jakarta Post: “Nine new broadcasting commissioners selected

“The House of Representatives elected nine new commissioners for the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), which has a total of 27 commissioners, in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday (19 July 2016) evening.”



Malaysiakini: “Penang CM sends demand letter to The Star for alleged defamation

“Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has sent English daily The Star a demand letter over a column today (17 July 2016) said to be defamatory towards him.”


New Straits Times Online: “MCMC blocked 27 websites, 54 URL links that spread Daesh ideology

“The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has blocked 27 websites and 54 URL links in the Malay and English languages that spread Daesh ideology, said Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.”



The Irrawaddy: “Nationalist Provocateur Let Free in Defamation Case

“After being detained for over two months for allegedly defaming the country’s top leaders on social media, ultra-nationalist provocateur Nay Myo Wai was discharged by a court in Irrawaddy Division on Friday (15 July 2016).”

See also:
Anadolu Agency: “Myanmar drops anti-Muslim activist defamation charges



The Philippine Star: “EDITORIAL – Task force vs impunity

“There is an existing interagency committee tasked to investigate extralegal killings, but its mandate covers not just journalist deaths. Malacañang officials said last week that the administrative order to be issued would create a task force that would deal exclusively with violent attacks on journalists.”


Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Final draft of FOI executive order submitted to Duterte

“The executive order on FOI (freedom of information) is expected to make the government more transparent and give the people easier access to public records.”

See also:
FOI executive order ready for Duterte’s signature—Palace exec” ; “EO on FOI ‘on President’s table’ for signature—Palace
INQUIRER.net: “Duterte to sign EO on FOI before Sona—Andanar
Sun.Star Manila: “Duterte ‘taking time’ to fine-tune FOI executive order



The Straits Times: “Newspapers here top survey in media satisfaction

“The MDA (Media Development Authority) highlighted how respondents generally reported an improvement in the quality and variety of media content…. When it came to the quality of content, the ranking of newspapers jumped from sixth to first.”

See also:
Warc.com: “Streaming is the norm in Singapore


The Straits Times. “Digital security: You are the weakest link

“A quarter of a century later, the spread of technology into every aspect of our lives makes security all the more important. At the same time, that ubiquity also means that we need to be able to access our data and interact with others seamlessly.”



Bangkok Post: “Media oppose NCPO broadcasting order

“Print, broadcast and online news organisations on Friday criticised an order by the National Council for Peace and Order order granting immunity to broadcast and telecom regulators, saying it violates freedom of expression and demanding a review.”

See also:
EDITORIAL: “Media gag needs rethink
Global Voices: “As Constitutional Referendum Nears, Thailand Intensifies Censorship


The Nation. “INTERVIEW: Difficulties in reporting under the junta

“The office of alternative news outlet Prachatai was raided recently by police over suspicion of it being involved in a campaign against the draft charter after one of its reporters was arrested. Prachatai director Chiranuch Premchaiporn tells Sunday Nation’s Juthathip Lucksanawong of the difficulties in working under the junta’s strict controls on critical media.”

See also:
‘Prachatai’ – still rubbing the powers-that-be the wrong way


Bangkok Post: “Media ethics in question as Naewna quits Press Council

“Naewna Newspaper Co, publisher of Naewna newspaper, has withdrawn from the National Press Council of Thailand, one of the country’s four major media associations, citing the NPCT’s inability to live up to the intentions declared when it was established in 1997.”


Bangkok Post: “Regime never suppresses free speech, says Prawit

“Speaking after his (Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon) return from Brunei, the deputy chief of the National Council for Peace and Order said channels were open for critics and supporters who could say what they wanted as long as it was not false or distorted.”

See also:
Thai Visa News: “Thai govt urged to allow more freedom of expression related to draft charter


Prachatai: “Activist’s mom indicted for lèse majesté

“On Friday, 22 July 2016, a military attorney decided to indict Patnaree Chankij, mother of the well-known anti-junta activist Sirawit Serithiwat, for breaching Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse-majesté law, and the Computer Crimes Act although the Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police previously decided not to press a charge on her.”

See also:
Khaosod English: “Police drop royal defamation case against activist’s mother” ; “Overruling Police, Military Indicts Activist’s Mother For Insulting Monarchy


New Mandala: “Thai authorities target critic’s wife

“Noppawan ‘Ploy’ Bunluesilp, the wife of journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall, has been detained by over 20 police in Thailand while visiting Bangkok with their three-year-old son…. The detention comes shortly after MacGregor Marshall shared photos of Thailand’s Crown Prince on social media.”

See also:
Khaosod English: “Wife of foreign critic of monarchy held incommunicado
Bangkok Post: “Journalist’s wife questioned, house searched
Channel News Asia: “Wife of British author, critic of Thai monarchy, taken into custody
Yahoo! News: “Thai cops question UK journalist’s wife over ‘royal insult’
Benar News. “Thailand: Police Question British Writer’s Spouse Over Photos of Royalty


Timor Leste

International Federation of Journalists: “Global media groups question Timor Leste PM commitment to press freedom

“The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the South East Asia Journalist Unions (SEAJU), along with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Freedom House, in reiterating its call for the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, to immediately drop the criminal charges against journalist Oki Raimundos and Lorenco Martins from the Timor Post. The IFJ, SEAJU, CPJ and Freedom House call on Prime Minister Araújo and his government to protect press freedom in Timor Leste.”



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

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