WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (21 – 27 January 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)


National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
NUJP decries harassment vs Digos broadcaster, radio station


Southeast Asia

The Diplomat: “Defending Free Speech in ASEAN

“Defending genuine free speech in Southeast Asia is more important than ever because it appears that those responsible for upholding this right are shirking the task.”


Rappler.com: “9 tips for surviving (and enjoying) reporting about ASEAN

“ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Journalists and editors might love it, hate it – or flee from covering it. But it is around to stay, so we might as well know the beast better, so to speak…. This year, 2017, offers more the usual amount of news pegs to covering issues and events related to ASEAN. ASEAN marks its 50th birthday this year.”



Myanmar Times: “Demonstrators take aim at section 66(d)

“Activists, lawyers and journalists gathered in Mahabandoola Park yesterday (22 January 2017) in a demonstration of solidarity against Myanmar’s notorious defamation laws.”

See also:
Human Rights Watch. “Burma: Don’t Prosecute Peaceful Speech



Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Duterte urges media to observe anti-drug operations

“President Duterte said on Wednesday (25 January 2017) members of the media should join anti-drug operations to quell persistent insinuations that policemen were behind the unexplained murders of drug suspects.”


Rappler.com: “Online libel tops cybercrime cases in the Philippines for 2016

“From 2013 to 2015, online scams consistently topped the list of most common cybercrimes reported to the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG)…. But in 2016 – a year of heated political debates that also took place in cyberspace – online libel emerged as the top complaint of Filipino internet users, with 494 complaints recorded compared to 311 recorded in 2015. It comprised 26.49% of the 1,865 cybercrime complaints for 2016.”


Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Pinoys top social media users, according to study

“Filipinos spend more time on social media sites than anyone else in the world, going online roughly four hours and 17 minutes a day, according to a report released on Tuesday (24 January 2017)…. Filipinos spend most of their online time on sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, said the report, called Digital in 2007, and prepared by social media platform Hootsuite and United Kingdom-based consultancy We Are Social Ltd.”



Bangkok Post: “Media groups renew ‘control’ bill battle

“Media organisations will step up efforts to oppose a bill governing rights protection, ethical promotion and professional standards of media professionals with the National Reform Steering Assembly.”

See also:
NLA bill ‘aims to gag criticism’” ; “Editorial: Reform yes, control no
Khaosod English: “Thailand’s media protests law to ‘license’ all journalists


Bangkok Post. “Opinion: Silence on Pai bodes ill for rule of law

“The question is: Have state power and the rule of law become so fragile they can be threatened merely by Facebook sarcasm? If so, will they be strong enough to protect the rest of us?… With his latest bid to secure bail rejected, Pai (Jatupat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa)will remain locked up until Feb 1. Amid the increasing silence befalling the country, his case and his continued incarceration speak volumes about the state of the law in this country.”

See also:
Human Rights Watch. “Thailand: Activist Unjustly Jailed for ‘Insulting Monarchy’


Reuters: “Thailand jails man for 11 years for royal defamation, cyber crime

“A Thai military court on Friday (27 January 2017) jailed a man for 11 years and four months on charges of royal defamation and computer crime over his Facebook social media posts last year…. The country’s strict lese-majeste law makes it a crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, heir to the throne or regent. Each offence is punishable with a jail term of up to 15 years.”

See also:
Khaosod English: “Activist jailed 11 years for online comments defaming monarchy


The Nation: “Govt denies digital surveillance as report alleges pressure on ISPs, snooping technology

“The government dismissed the allegation yesterday (26 January 2017) that it had violated people’s privacy by conducting surveillance of telephone and Internet communications…. Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the government was too busy and did not have time to spy on people…. He was responding to a report by the London-based organisation Privacy International (PI) regarding surveillance in Thailand.”

See also:
Privacy International: “Who’s That Knocking At My Door? Understanding Surveillance In Thailand
VICE News: “Online surveillance



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.

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