Weekly Media Roundup (20 – 26 October 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) 

Reports: 

[Myanmar] From street protests to online campaigns, support continues for jailed Reuters reporters

 

[Philippines] 

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP): “Philippine Journalist Safety Guide” 

 

Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR): “Filipino Journalist Shortlisted in RSF Press Freedom Award” 

 

Activity: 

[Regional] Call for Proposals: Internews’ EJN & SEAPA Environmental Story Grants

 

General news 

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “(Opinion) Why the journalism cryptocurrency failed” 

“The cryptocurrency Civil was to save journalism. But chatter on its ‘initial coin offering’ scaled back from a $32-million target to an $8-million ‘soft cap’ or minimum target…. Only $1.3 million of Civil was sold when this closed last Oct. 15, tragically short especially after deducting $1.1 million sold to the seed investor.” 

 

Cambodia 

The Phnom Penh Post: “Harm King ‘over my dead body’” 

“Prime Minister Hun Sen reiterated on Wednesday (24 October 2018) his government’s support of the monarchy. In words welcomed by the royalist Funcinpec party, he said those wanting to harm the royal family would have to ‘walk over his dead body first’…. Speaking in Switzerland on Wednesday to 900 members of the Cambodian community in Europe, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) president defended the Kingdom’s lese majeste law, which came into force early this year and has been roundly condemned by human rights advocates and the UN.” 

 

Indonesia 

Voice of America (VOA): “Ahead of 2019 Election, Indonesia, Media Battle Fake News” 

“As the third largest democracy in the world with a young, mobile-first population and low levels of digital literacy, Indonesia is highly susceptible to the spread of fake news and hoaxes. Government and media-led initiatives have sought to combat fake news, however with much of the misinformation spread via social media and WhatsApp, many fear the problem will only get worse in the lead up to national elections in April 2019.” 

 

Malaysia 

Malay Mail: “CIJ condemns arrest under S233A — Centre for Independent Journalism” 

“The Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia, condemns the arrest of an unidentified man who posted apparently insensitive comments on the deaths of two police officers…. While the comments have not been made public, they have been labelled ‘offensive’ in news reports, and could apparently tarnish the image of the Malaysian police force.” 

 

Malay Mail: “Malaysia lauded for backing UN resolution to protect journalists” 

“The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) today (19 October 2018) praised Malaysia’s decision to co-sponsor a United Nations (UN) resolution to protect journalists’ safety, together with 100 other countries…. The group said the resolution number A/HRC/RES/39/6, which was adopted without a vote during the 39th meeting of the Human Rights Council on September 29, has put the country at the forefront of South-east Asian nations when it comes to the safety of journalists.” 

 

Malaysiakini: “(Comment) Gobind must widen scope of CMA review” 

“As activists and academics who have scrutinised developments on media freedom and media democratisation for over two decades, many of us welcome your announcements of amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), but we feel the scope of your review is too limited … we hope for a thorough review of licensing requirements, strengthening the introductory public interest preamble to the act in line with the important concept that the airwaves are a public asset and need to be regulated in the public interest (whether the broadcaster or internet service provider is commercial-, public- or community-owned), and strengthening of anti-competition practices.” 

 

Myanmar 

Myanmar Times: “Eleven Media journalists freed on bail” 

“Three journalists from Myanmar’s privately owned Eleven Media Group were freed on bail by a Myanmar judge on October 26…. In making her decision, Judge Tin War War Thein said that the journalists did not pose a flight risk, as the newspaper is based in Tamwe township…. Eleven Media’s chief reporter, Phyo Wai Win, and editors, Kyaw Zaw Lin and Nay Min were detained on incitement charges on October 10 following a complaint by the regional government about a story alleging fund mismanagement by government officials.” 

See also: 

Asia News Network (ANN): “MPC calls on Yangon Gov’t to drop charges against Eleven Media journalists” 

The Irrawaddy: “Yangon Gov’t Demands Apology from Eleven Media” 

Radio Free Asia (RFA): “Yangon Government Wants Published Apology From Jailed Eleven Media Journalists” 

Frontier Myanmar: “(Opinion) The Eleven Media case and the state counsellor’s views on media freedom” 

Reporters Without Borders (RSF): “Myanmar’s Eleven Media journalists freed on bail, RSF calls for charges to be dropped” 

 

Philippines 

Rappler.com: “Facebook removes pro-Duterte pages for violating policies” 

“Facebook has removed a network of 95 Pages and 39 accounts in the Philippines that violated its policies on spam as well as its authenticity policies, the company announced on its blog, Monday, October 22, US time (Tuesday, October 23, Manila time)…. The Pages published content ranging from politics to entertainment, but the common thread, according to Facebook, was that all the pages were ‘sharing links to the same advertising click farms off Facebook.'” 

See also: 

GMA News: “Pro-Duterte pages among those removed from Facebook due to spam behavior” 

philstar.com: “Pro-Duterte pages among those purged in Facebook’s crackdown on spam” 

INQUIRER.net: “Facebook shuts down ‘spammy’ pages linked to Duterte, Imee Marcos” 

 

Panay News: “CA affirms conviction of Drilon critic for libel” 

“The appellate court affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 118 of Pasay City which found former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel ‘Boy’ Mejorada guilty of four counts of libel…. Sen. Franklin Drilon hauled Mejorada to court in 2014 for four social media and blog posts accusing the legislator of irregularities in three construction projects: the circumferential road in Pavia, Iloilo; the Iloilo Convention Center in Mandurriao district; and the Guimaras-Iloilo Ferry Terminal.” 

See also: 

SunStar Cebu. “Seares: Do former journalists lose the edge when sued for libel?” 

 

Thailand 

TechCrunch. “Egypt and Thailand: When the military turns against free speech” 

“You wouldn’t normally mention Egypt and Thailand in the same breath. But both countries underwent military coups within the last five years, and even among the many oppressive regimes in the world, they are going to extra lengths today to prosecute free speech.”

See also: 

ASEAN Economist: “Thai junta eases censorship” 

 

Vietnam 

France 24: “Vietnam dissident Khoi urges Facebook to protect freedom of expression” 

“Mai Khoi, a dissident musician dubbed Vietnam’s Lady Gaga, has appealed to Facebook’s directors to safeguard freedom of expression as the government looks to bolster its control of the web…. With 53 million users, Facebook is extremely popular in Vietnam — where the internet has become a battleground for activists like Khoi.” 

See also: 

PEN America: “Self-Expression, Facebook, and the Fight for Freedom of Speech in Vietnam” 

 

NOTE 

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.

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