WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (28 October – 3 November 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)

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
November 2: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)
A Step Backward in the Campaign to End Impunity

IFEX. “Blocked, banned and muzzled: Asia’s tough month


Southeast Asia

New Mandala. “Southeast Asian cyberspace: politics, censorship, polarisation

“In Southeast Asia, the liberating effects of the internet coexist in increasing tension with state anxiety about information control. Southeast Asian cyberspace is thus becoming more expansive, yet more restricted.”


Forbes: “Like Trump, These Southeast Asian Countries Are Using ‘Fake News’ To Devastating Effect

“In the midst of political turmoil, heads of state in Southeast Asia have borrowed the language of the most prominent and outspoken national leader, U.S. President Donald Trump. Fake news has become a convenient cover up for attacks on human rights, democracy and criticism of the government.”


General news

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): “Getting Away with Murder

“Impunity in the murders of journalists can be an intractable cycle stretching over a decade or more, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 10th annual Global Impunity Index, a ranking of countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free. Seven countries on this year’s index have been listed every year since the index launched a decade ago–including Somalia, which is the worst country for unsolved murders for the third year in a row.”



VOA: “Facebook Faceplants in Cambodia

“A trial change to the Facebook news feed in Cambodia and other small countries is stirring criticism of the U.S. tech giant, which champions interconnectivity and openness, but is famously opaque when it comes to how its own product makes critical decisions about information sharing…. Their rollout of dramatic trial changes to the news feed in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia in mid October has been handled no differently – with rattled content producers still unaware even of if or when it will end.”

See also:

BBC News: “What a Facebook experiment did to news in Cambodia


The Phnom Penh Post: “Student group suspended for ‘violating law on NGOs’

“A student group was suspended by the Ministry of Interior yesterday for a series of violations of the Law on Associations and Non-governmental Organisations (Lango), including the highly controversial Article 24, which requires organisations to remain ‘politically neutral’…. The suspension of the Federation of Cambodian Intellectuals and Students comes less than a week since the Phnom Penh Municipal Court summonsed group leader Leng Seng Hong for questioning after he called for peaceful protests in the event of the CNRP’s dissolution.”



The Jakarta Post: “Two decades after Udin’s murder, culture of impunity prevails

“Bernas journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin, commonly known as Udin, died in 1996 after sustaining severe injuries after being brutally beaten by unidentified persons who were allegedly angered by his report on a high-profile corruption case in Bantul, Yogyakarta…. More than two decades later, and long after the downfall of Soeharto in 1998, Udin’s case remains unsolved…”


EngageMedia: “EngageMedia Presents Results and Opens up the Dialogue on Digital Security

“Dozens of people from Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) gathered in Jakarta on 24th-25th September 2017 to discuss about journalism and security. In recent years, concern for journalist’s safety, especially in the digital sphere, has become an urgent need. Journalists with many different backgrounds in Indonesia felt the internet poses new threats to them, especially through intensified surveillance and the usage of internet for negative purposes. They are complaining that formal laws do not defend them online. The organizer from the headquarters of AJI Indonesia, had invited over twenty branches of AJI, from cities in Sumatera, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and Java to come together in Jakarta in order to formulate and share some of problems they are facing.”


Global Voices: “Indonesian Police Go After Social Media Users for Mocking House Speaker

“The Indonesian police briefly detained an internet user for spreading memes that mocked House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto…. Dyann Kemala Arrizqi now could face up to six years in jail for sharing on social media a photo of Setya in a hospital bed, which Setya’s lawyers say ‘defamed’ the House Speaker. Police warned that nine other individuals will be charged for violating the anti-defamation provision of the Information Technology Law (ITE) for sharing the photo and associated memes on social media.”

See also:

The Jakarta Post: “Police arrest woman accused of spreading Setya’s hospital photo


Beritasatu.com: “Pemprov DKI Jakarta Kini Mulai Tertutup pada Media (The local government of Jakarta closes itself to the media)”

Three weeks since the inauguration of the new DKI Jakarta governor, the local government of Indonesian capital starts to limit journalists’ access to information.



Coconuts KL: “Data breach that effects 46.2 million Malaysian user log-ins was known back in February

“Worryingly, after looking into the matter, CyberSecurity Malaysia concluded that MDA’s (Malaysian Dental Association) security was breached as far back as five years ago.”

See also:

malaysiandigest.com: “46 Million M’sian Phone Numbers Leaked In Massive Data Breach, Here’s How To Find Out If You Are Affected


The Malaysian Insight: “Why so secretive, civil society asks Selangor, Penang

“The Selangor and Penang administrations have come under fire for their lacklustre implementation of the freedom of information (FOI) law, with civil society groups saying that citizens’ access to state information remains largely unchanged since its introduction.”


The Malaysian Insight: “Anwar controlled the media when he was DPM, says former minister

“Jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim controlled the media while he was deputy prime minister, claims former information minister Zainuddin Maidin, who said that as such, Pakatan Harapan was unlikely to fulfil its promise of greater media freedom if it takes over Putrajaya.”



The Splice Newsroom. “Reporting on the Rohingya crisis? Here’s what you need to know.

“For journalists thinking about covering the largest refugee crisis in Asia for decades, there is a lot to consider before embarking on the story.”



GMA News Online: “‘Getting away with murder’ | PHL ranks 5th worst in impunity vs. journalists

“The Philippines ranked fifth in the world in terms of impunity when it comes to killings of journalists, the 2017 Global Impunity Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists showed.”

See also:

ABS-CBN News: “Duterte committed to protect media workers, Andanar says
The Philippine Star: “Impunity index: Phl 5th worst” ; “Government addressing impunity — Palace


Rappler.com: “DWIZ host incites violence against Rappler journalist

“On Friday, November 3, a pro-administration blogger known for propagating lies online, incited violence against Rappler’s Malacañang reporter Pia Ranada on his radio program…. RJ Nieto, a government consultant who claimed he had resigned, invited Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to his program and urged Roque to throw a hollow block at Ranada, who has been the subject of his online attacks for a year now.”


Rappler Blogs: “Pushing for transparency, keeping public officials in check

“We in Rappler, especially those in the Research Team, have experienced a mix of gladness and sadness over acquiring these files. Along the way, we also test the government’s commitment towards transparency.”


CNN Philippines. “Report: PH among lowest ranked countries in internet speed, availability

“The Philippines performed poorly on the speed and availability of long-term evolution (LTE) connection in the country, according to mobile network research firm OpenSignal…. The firm’s ‘State of the LTE Report’ for November 2017 revealed the country ranked 74th out of 77 countries in terms of 4G speed.”



Khaosod English: “Thai royalist group demands UK expel BBC correspondent

“A small number of protesters gathered Thursday (2 November 2017) in front of the British Embassy in Bangkok to demand a BBC regional correspondent be removed from Thailand following a recent report relating to King Bhumibol…. The demand to remove Jonathan Head came in response to an Oct. 27 news segment in which he quizzed royal descendant Narisa Chakrabongse. During the interview, Head asked about the affection Thai people felt for the late king, who had been cremated the day before in a spectacular rite.”



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

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