WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (23 – 29 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)



Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM)
Challenges for Independent Media Report 2016



Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
Raffy Lerma Receives Award of Distinction from CMFR and Reuters’ Manny Mogato named Marshall McLuhan Fellow of 2017


General news

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): International Day for Universal Access to Information

“2017 is the second year of UNESCO marking 28 September as the ‘International Day for Universal Access to Information’ (IDUAI). On 17 November 2015, UNESCO adopted a resolution (38 C/70) declaring 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI)…. IDUAI has particular relevance with the new 2030 Development Agenda, and in particular with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 16.10 which calls for ensuring public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms.”



International Policy Digest: “The Beginning and End of Press Freedom in Cambodia

“…the Daily met its end following legal threats over an AU$7.9 million tax bill concocted by the government to silence its most vocal and intelligent critic. And it coincided with the recent closure of 19 radio stations, including US-backed Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.”


VOA Khmer. “Q&A: Mike Godwin, Internet Freedom Expert

“Editor’s Note: Mike Godwin is an American lawyer working on Internet freedom and Internet laws and policy for over two decades in various parts of the world, including Cambodia. Currently a distinguished senior fellow with the R Street Institute and a freelance consultant, he recently sat down for an interview with VOA Khmer’s Say Mony in Washington D.C. about the current state of Internet freedom in Cambodia following the government’s crackdowns on political speech on the Internet and on independent and critical media and opposition voices.”


The Phnom Penh Post: “Interior Ministry launches its own China-backed TV station

“The Interior Ministry yesterday launched its own television station, Nice TV, which will broadcast ‘homeland security news’ – another player in a media landscape tilting ever more heavily in the government’s favour…. The station was originally announced in 2015 with backing from the China Fujian Zhongya Culture Media company. At the time, the ministry said it would cost $30 million, though the details of funding and how much was contributed by the company have not been divulged.”


The Phnom Penh Post: “Man charged over song criticising Hun Sen

“A Kampong Speu resident was charged with ‘incitement’ on Saturday (23 September 2017) by the Kratie Provincial Court over a video from 2013 of him singing a song criticising Prime Minister Hun Sen’s policies…. In the video, Huy Oudom, 29, accuses Hun Sen in song of giving away Cambodian land to the yuon – an often derogatory term used for people of Vietnamese descent – and for exploiting the natural resources of the country.”



The Jakarta Post: “Police to question Kompas TV anchor in libel case

“Kompas TV news anchor Aiman Witjaksono is scheduled to be question by the Jakarta Police as witness in a libel case filed by senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Brig. Gen. Aris Budiman. … Aris also filed a defamation report against Tempo weekly and news website inilah.com.”

See also:

Tempo: “Aris Budiman Gemar Lapor Polisi, Inilah Para Terlapornya (Aris Budiman likes to report to the police: these are the parties)”




WIRED: “Myanmar’s internet disrupted society—and fueled extremists

“Myanmar’s citizens have, over the years, expressed their frustrations through a number of attempts at peaceful revolution, which the military leaders generally quashed with tanks and bayonets. But six years ago the government realized that modernity was allowing once-poorer neighboring countries to surge ahead, so it began to democratize. Aung San Suu Kyi, a founder of the National League for Democracy, was freed from house arrest in 2010. And in 2014, officials granted licenses to two foreign cell phone companies. Within a year, the price of a SIM card dropped from $250 to $1.50, leading to the fastest rise in mobile phone usage of any country in the last 10 years. Today more than three-quarters of the population have a cell phone, most of them smartphones.”


Frontier Myanmar: “Frontier statement on defamatory claims by A Chit Lwin Pyin

“On Wednesday (27 September 2017), the news website A Chit Lwin Pyin published an interview it claimed was originally published by Frontier. This ‘interview’, supposedly between Frontier’s Nay Pyi Taw correspondent Ko Nyan Hlaing Lynn and local celebrity Pan Cel Lo, was neither conducted nor published by Frontier.”



Northbound Philippines News Online: “Siargao town VM accused of assaulting mediaman

“SIARGAO ISLAND, Surigao del Norte—The vice mayor of Dapa town on this island has been accused of mauling a media practitioner Saturday (23 September 2017) morning…. Edito Mapayo, editor-in-chief of Pinas Balita, a Surigao City-based weekly newspaper, claimed he was physically assualted by Dapa Vice Mayor Francisco ‘Junjun’ Gonzales.”


GMA News Online: “Piñol sues newsman over ‘libelous’ FB post

“Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has filed a cyber-libel complaint against a Baguio City-based journalist for alleging in a Facebook post that the official got richer by P21 million.”

See also:

The Manila Times: “Piñol to sue Baguio newsman for libel


Rappler.com: “Manila Times columnist falls for fake news

“Manila Times columnist Yen Makabenta’s opinion piece used a quote from a fake news website, and it goes viral among pro-government supporters. The US embassy, however, denies Ambassador Nikki Haley made the remarks before the UN.”


InterAksyon: “WATCH | Senators hit ‘silly’ blog for tagging them as Malacañang dogs; Sotto to file libel case vs Silent No More PH

“Senators from the majority bloc, who said a copy of a Senate resolution calling on the government to stop killing minors did not reach their offices, on Wednesday (27 September 2017) complained about a blog that called them ‘Malacañang dogs’ for not signing the said document…. Among the lawmakers is Sen. Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III, who said he would file a cyber-libel case against those behind the ‘stupid and silly’ blog published by Silent No More PH.”

See also:

Northbound Philippines News Online: “Sotto to file cyber libel case vs writers of ‘silly, stupid’ blog



Channel News Asia: “Amos Yee granted asylum in the US after Department of Homeland Security appeal dismissed

“Teen blogger Amos Yee has been granted asylum by a US immigration court despite opposition from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), his attorney announced on Tuesday (Sep 26).”

See also:

Asian Correspondent: “Singapore teen blogger Amos Yee is a free man after US court grants asylum
Reuters: “Singaporean blogger released after winning U.S. ruling for asylum



Khaosod English: “Told to tone it down, media will shoulder losses for Royal Funeral

“There will be no entertainment and a lot less advertising online and over the airwaves next month as websites and broadcasts go monochrome and things are toned down on all platforms to show respect for His Majesty, the late King Bhumibol.”



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

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