WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (27 August – 2 September 2016)

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 Human Rights (CCHR)
[Cambodia] Official Interference with Freedoms of Assembly and Expression


Southeast Asia

Techcrunch.com: “Smartphone sales jump 6.5% in Southeast Asia, but sub-$150 devices rule

“Sales growth may be slowing in the U.S., Europe and China where most consumers already own a smartphone, but the revolution is still very much underway in emerging markets. India is one such place — smartphone sales were up 17 percent year-on-year in the most recent quarter — and IDC reported this week that sales in Southeast Asia rose 6.5 percent year-on-year. That’s smaller than India, sure, but the movement is upwards.”



The Jakarta Post: “Airmen accused of breaking law in Sari Rejo unrest

“Komnas HAM (National Commission on Human Rights) also condemned the brutal attacks committed by Air Force personnel on two on-duty journalists, saying that the action was a violation of press freedom as stipulated in the 1999 Press Law.”


The Jakarta Post: “CSIS contributes to internet freedom debate

“An ongoing research project conducted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) found that the ITE (Electronic Information and Transactions) Law has strayed from its initial objective of facilitating the use of the internet for economic development.”


The Jakarta Post: “Defamation article highlighted in social media literacy campaign

“A controversial article on online defamation in the Internet and Electronic Transactions (ITE) Law has become one of the main points highlighted in a recently launched social media literacy campaign…. Initiated by youth development foundation Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB), the Think Before You Share campaign began from a widespread fear over the growing use of social media, which allows anybody to share unlimited content via the internet.”



Bangkok Post: “Laos leads region, but only in repression

“There is no space for free expression or association in Laos. Civil society groups are almost exclusively government-aligned, and no domestic organisations focus on human rights — an issue deemed too sensitive to discuss openly. Local actors are wary of interactions with international counterparts and practise extreme self-censorship. Many say they are under surveillance by state agencies.”



The Philippine Star: “Journalist to co-chair TF on media killings

“To make the Task Force on Media Killings more relevant to the working press, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has promised to offer the co-chairmanship to a media representative.”


Rappler.com: “ASEAN journalists express concern over PH’s extrajudicial killings

“In a gathering in Manila of Southeast Asian journalists, many expressed concern and worry for the growing number of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte came into power.”

See also:
philstar.com. “Duterte on negative reports in international media: I don’t care
Philippine Daily Inquirer: “‘See for yourself’ | Duterte dares media to cover antidrug raids


Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Draft FOI: 166 things you can’t ask for

“Malacañang’s draft freedom of information (FOI) manual lists 166 exceptions, including those involving national security, executive privilege and invasion of personal privacy.”

See also:
ABS-CBN News. “Chances slim for FOI law this year: Alvarez
Rappler.com: “Draft FOI manual includes list of 166 exceptions
CNN Philippines: “FOI restrictions a dangerous move – press freedom advocates
Manila Standard: “Palace defends FOI exceptions


Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Court orders PDI to pay Enrile P1.3M for libel

“The Court of Appeals has halved to P1.3 million the damages the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) has been ordered to pay former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with a 2001 news report that tagged him as among those who ‘plundered the coco levy fund.'”


INQUIRER.net: “Confessions of a troll

“William (not his real name) belongs to a relatively new species of media practitioner—the professional troll…. That is to say, he is a salaried employee of a legitimate public relations outfit whose job is to run social media campaigns for various clients.”

See also:
Rappler.com: “#NoPlaceForHate: Change comes to Rappler’s comments thread
BusinessMirror. “Editorial. Freedom of speech: Responsibility and accountability



Prachatai: “Authorities shut down Voice TV programme for 7 days

“The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on Monday, 29 August 2016, voted 3 to 1 to suspend transmission for seven days of Wake Up News, a popular morning news programme of Voice TV.”

See also:
Bangkok Post: “Voice TV programme banned for seven days
The Nation: “Voice TV news programme banned for a week


The Nation: “Proposed media council is ‘dodgy’

“Media organisations have opposed a draft law on press freedom protection written by the National Reform Steering Assembly’s media reform panel, saying the law’s proposed professional media council is ‘dodgy’.”

See also:
Matichon: “สปท.ถกร่างพ.ร.บ.คุ้มครองสิทธิเสรีภาพสื่อฯ ด้านสื่อหวั่นถูกทุน-การเมืองแทรก (NRSA discusses Protection Media Bill)”



Que Me: Action for Democracy in Vietnam. “39th Congress of the FIDH in Johannesburg, South Africa: Global human rights body condemns systematic violations of human rights in Vietnam

“‘The Resolution describes systematic and systematized oppression in Vietnam. Alongside the widespread arrests and harsh prison sentences of dissidents and human rights defenders, brutal repression of peaceful demonstrations and daily harassments of members of non-recognized religious communities, the Vietnamese authorities continue to adopt anti-human rights legislation which condones arbitrary practices and virtually legalizes the abuse of internationally-recognized human rights’, said Võ Trần Nhật, Executive Secretary of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR), who represented the VCHR in Johannesburg.”



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

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