WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (25 – 31 March 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)
CMFR’s Statement on the President’s Attack Against the Media: The Cheapest Form of Harassment and Intimidation

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
NUJP to Duterte: Curses and threats cannot and will not prevent us from informing the people


[Thailand] SEAPA condemns NBTC order against VOICE TV

See also:

Thai Journalists Association (TJA)
TJA and TBJA: Request for the National Broadcasting Commission to revoke its order to suspend for seven days the digital broadcasting license of Voice TV


Access to information:

Burma News International (BNI)
[Myanmar] “Second media junket tours northern Rakhine



[Thailand] ‘Dividing the line between proper scrutiny and interference’



The Jakarta Post: “Money, personal grudge thought to be behind murder of Medan journalist

“North Sumatra Police’s violent crime unit arrested the alleged murderer of journalist Amran Parulian Simanjuntak whose motive is suspected to be personal grudge and not a reaction to Amran’s articles…. A team of investigators arrested Timbul Sihombing, 39, on Wednesday (29 March 2017) evening, 10 hours after Amran was found dead at Jl. Medan-Binjai, Deli Serdang regency, earlier that day.”



The Star Online: “Telling real from fake news

“Traditional media remains relevant and trustworthy in the wake of fake news and inaccurate information flooding social media, according to media experts…. Readers still turn to print and credible electronic news agencies for verified information, they said when asked to comment on how shorter news cycles have made it harder to tell fact from fiction.”



Yahoo! News: “Philippines’ Duterte threatens top newspaper, broadcaster

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (30 March 2017) described two major media outlets as ‘sons of whores’ and warned them of karmic repercussions for their critical coverage of his deadly drug war…. Duterte’s verbal attacks on top television broadcaster ABS-CBN and the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper came in a pair of speeches in which he also lashed out at the European Union for criticising him over alleged human rights abuses.”

See also:

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Inquirer reacts to Duterte’s accusation of ‘slanted’ reports
INQUIRER.net. “Palace: Duterte’s speeches attacking unfairness, not journalism
Rappler.com. “Duterte tells ‘rude’ media: Beware of ‘karma’
CNN Philippines: “Duterte’s profanities vs. media ‘unprecedented’ – media expert
US News: “Philippine Media Groups Cry Foul Over Duterte’s Diatribes


INQUIRER.net: “Bato slams media for ‘sensationalizing, misinterpreting’ killings

“Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa has again castigated the media for ‘sensationalizing and misinterpreting’ the number of deaths since President Duterte declared war against drugs.”

See also:

Philippine Daily Inquirer: “PNP says media sensationalized figures of drug kills


Rappler.com. “Andanar asks Bacolod crowd: Who would you believe, cops or Western media

“What was intended as a roadshow of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit this year, however, turned into foreign-media bashing, as the Palace was still smarting from The New York Times’ piece on President Rodrigo Duterte.”

See also:

INQUIRER.net: “Palace decries demolition job by The New York Times
Philippine Daily Inquirer: “NYT report a well-paid hack job, says Abella
SunStar Bacolod: “Communications official hits New York Times for ‘fake news’
The New York Times: “Duterte Aide Bristles at Times Article, Calling It a ‘Hack Job’



The Straits Times: “US judge grants Amos Yee’s asylum request

“A United States (US) immigration judge in Chicago on Friday (March 24) granted asylum to Singaporean blogger Amos Yee, saying he was persecuted for his political opinions in the South-east Asian city-state…. Yee, 18, who had been jailed twice in Singapore, qualifies as a political refugee, according to a 13-page opinion by the US immigration judge, Reuters reported.”

See also:

The Independent. “Amos Yee’s asylum hearing: US judge’s damning judgment of Singapore gov’t



Bangkok Post: “VoiceTV vows to fight 7-day ban

“Voice TV, a news outlet owned by former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s children, has vowed to take legal action against regulators after its digital TV licence was suspended for seven days…. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on Monday (27 March 2017) suspended its licence for bias and unjustified criticisms on several occasions.”

See also:

Khaosod English: “Govt orders VOICE TV off air starting midnight
Benar News. “Thailand: Press Groups Call on Government to Drop TV Station Ban
Global Voices: “Thai Junta’s Media Regulator Suspends Voice TV for ‘Unreasonable Criticism’ and ‘Biased Content’


Bangkok Post: “Media reject regulation as unnecessary

“Five media organisations reaffirmed their opposition Tuesday (28 March 2017) to a bill aimed at setting up a new body to regulate the media, saying this is unnecessary as the mainstream media has refrained from taking sides in times of political conflict.”


Khaosod English: “Drop ‘retard’ and other harmful language, Thai-language news media urged

“In addition to wanting things such as lifts to BTS Skytrain stations, people with disabilities in Thailand are also pushing for something more abstract, however – the use of less harmful and derogatory language by the news media.”



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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