WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (16 – 22 September 2017)

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)
TV Reporter Receives Hateful Threat




Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI, Alliance of Independent Journalists)
Menakar Fakta dan Etika Artikel Opini Dandhy Dwi Laksono (Measuring the facts and ethics of Dandhy Dwi Laksono’s opinion article)”



Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Press Solidarity: Responding to Restrictive Policies and Reclaiming Access to Vital Police Information




Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)
Can ‘privacy’ trump transparency? | SALNs to impeach CJ, other execs but Palace redacts Cabinet SALNs


Southeast Asia

Internews: “‘The Goal is to Intimidate Us’

“While threats to women reporters in Southeast Asia are as difficult to quantify as anywhere else in the world, women working in the region say they seem to come from everywhere, grim and terrifying.”


Xinhua: “ASEAN countries express support for developing cyber security norms

“Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states on Monday (18 September 2017) expressed their support for the development of basic, operational and voluntary norms of behavior to guide the use of ICTs in the bloc in a responsible manner.”



Borneo Bulletin: “His Majesty stresses on cybersecurity, vigilance

“The prevalence of security threats in multiple and complex forms in the face of a fast-paced technological evolution calls for greater vigilance and robustness from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the RBAF said yesterday (17 September 2017).”



POLITICO: “FOURTH ESTATE | An ode to The Cambodia Daily

“For Cambodia, the death of the Daily marks the opening of yet another chapter in a long history of government attempts to clamp down on freedom of expression and members of the opposition.”

See also:

The Nation. “Cambodia’s Crackdown: What Happens When an Autocrat Shutters a Newspaper


Al Jazeera. “Cambodia: Switching off independent radio stations

“Though smartphones and relatively inexpensive internet access have rapidly expanded the reach of Facebook, Cambodia’s poorest and most remote populations remain heavily reliant on radio…. With television almost entirely dominated by government affiliates (a Reporters Without Borders report found eight out the 10 main channels ‘belong to owners who are politically affiliated to the ruling party’), radio still plays a key role in providing independent news to many.”


The Phnom Penh Post: “Fresh arrest over Facebook criticism of Hun Sen

“A 20-year-old woman was charged in Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday (17 September 2017) with incitement and public insult for posts made on Facebook about Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Queen Mother.”



The Sydney Morning Herald: “Fake news about communism in Indonesia blamed for triggering riot in Jakarta

“Fake news about Indonesia’s omnipresent bogeyman – communism – has been blamed for a riot in Central Jakarta that injured five police officers and damaged vehicles in the early hours of Monday morning…. Police were forced to fire tear gas and water cannons to disperse anti-communist protesters who began to pelt police with water bottles and stones and attempted to force their way into the offices of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute…. A weekend seminar on the 1965 anti-communist purge – a dark chapter in Indonesia’s history that remains extremely sensitive today – had already been banned by police on the grounds the organisers had not applied for a permit.”

See also:

Global Voices: “Human Rights Group Prevented by Police and Anti-Communist Mob From Commemorating 1965 Massacre in Indonesia


The Straits Times: “Slow progress in verifying news sites

“…experts say the government must do more to tackle the issue of fake news because Indonesia has one of the fastest- growing groups of Internet users – almost three times the global average.”



Panos Pictures: “Photojournalists Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat released from prison

“Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat have been released from prison in Bangladesh. The two photographers, detained on September 7th in the town of Cox’s Bazar, are free on bail.”

See also:

The Myanmar Times: “Ministry intervenes to help arrested Myanmar journalists
Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT): “Statement on the detention in Bangladesh of two photojournalists from Myanmar


The Irrawaddy. “Analysis: Media, Misinformation and Misleading Photos in Rakhine Crisis

“Misinformation regarding the crisis in Rakhine State has attracted widespread criticism after being published in local and international media.”


The Daily Beast. “Exclusive: Facebook Silences Rohingya Reports of Ethnic Cleansing

“Rohingya activists—in Burma and in Western countries—tell The Daily Beast that Facebook has been removing their posts documenting the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people in Burma (also known as Myanmar). They said their accounts are frequently suspended or taken down.”

See also:

The Guardian: “Facebook bans Rohingya group’s posts as minority faces ‘ethnic cleansing’” ; “‘A lot of fake news’: Burmese back Aung San Suu Kyi on Rohingya crisis


The Myanmar Times. “Local CSOs: a work in progress

“While other CSOs are trying to fit in to ensure fruitful engagement, the media has been the most progressive. Since the political reforms started back in 2011, the media sector has been the most active in engaging policymakers with the aim of sustaining media freedom and other related laws that would provide free flow of information.”



Coconuts Manila: “Journalist covering the Trillanes bank story gets death threats

“Jam Sisante, a reporter for GMA News, was threatened for reporting on Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s trip to Singapore to disprove accusations that he was holding ill-gotten wealth in various bank accounts.”


philstar.com: “PCOO, PNA staff to undergo journalism training

“Officials and staff of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Philippine News Agency (PNA) and the News and Information Bureau will undergo public information and journalism training following recent blunders of the state-run news agency.”

See also:

GMA News Online: “PCOO wants additional P245M for activities vs. fake news
Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Fake news? Don’t look at us — Andanar


The Freeman: “Fighting fake news thru public vigilance, better journalism

“Better journalism among media practitioners and a conscious effort by the public to check the authenticity of information are two ways by which fake news can be fought.”

See also:

Cebu Daily News: “Countering fake news
SunStar Cebu: “Public advised to use tools on the internet to detect fake news



Channel News Asia: “Singapore’s Cybersecurity Bill delayed to 2018

“The Cybersecurity Bill, which was expected to have been tabled this year, will instead be introduced in Parliament in 2018, according to Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim on Monday (Sep 18).”

See also:

Bangkok Post: “Singapore, Japan to boost cybersecurity cooperation



Bangkok Post: “EDITORIAL | Unearth press case truth

“The accused and the Isra Institute must let the facts emerge. Similarly, the TJA (Thai Journalists Association)should speed up its fact-finding mission to unearth the truth and not protect the wrongdoer…. Isra is one of the most trusted names in the Thai media. It therefore should maintain its credibility by giving its full cooperation to the probe by the TJA…. Any cover-up will deal press credibility a body blow.”

See also:

Khaosod English: “Isra News defends director over harassment allegations
The Nation: “Committee to probe media boss sexual harassment allegation


iLaw. “Section 116: When ‘Sedition’ is used as the obstruction of freedom of expression

“After the coup on 22 May 2014 until 18 August 2017, the prosecutions under Section 116 are increasing. iLaw found that there are at least 66 people accused under this section by 26 cases. The offenses can be categorized by the content of expressions in 6 types: criticizing about 1) coup or NCPO, 2) Lèse-majesté, 3) former prime minister, 4) distorted draft of constitution, 5) rumor of counter-coup, and 6) separating country.”


Bangkok Post: “Lawyer forfeits rights to fight lese majeste case

“A lawyer charged with lese majeste and other offences has told the court he did not accept the Thai judicial system and forfeited his right to examine witnesses and evidence against him…. Prawet Prapanukul, 57, was charged with lese majeste and sedition, as well as breaking the computer crime law for posting and sharing Facebook. He was also charged with disobeying the junta’s order when he refused to give a fingerprint. The offences allegedly took place from Jan 25 to April 23 this year.”



Radio Free Asia (RFA): “Vietnam Jails Prominent Blogger For Five Years

“A court in northern-central Vietnam’s Nghe An province on Monday (18 September 2017) sentenced prominent blogger and former political prisoner Nguyen Van Oai to five years in prison and four years of house arrest for resisting police officers and leaving his home while on probation, his lawyer said.”

See also:

Daily Mail Online: “Vietnam jails dissident for five years



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

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