WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (5 – 11 November 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)

[Malaysia] Misguided and malicious attacks against Malaysiakini must stop

See also:
Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
Stop the intimidation against Malaysiakini and civil society organisations


[Burma] Perspective: the state of the ethnic media
Ethnic media share stories from the ground


Southeast Asia

Sydney Morning Herald: “Media freedom on back foot in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines

“A journalist has been sacked from a key Myanmar newspaper after writing about security forces allegedly mass raping villagers, as press freedom comes under increasing attack across south-east Asia.”



Radio Free Asia. “A Reporter Looks Back: Remembering the Best of the ‘Fixers’

“I agree with the British journalist Ruth Fowler, who wrote in October of last year, that fixers are ‘the true unsung heroes of conflict reporting….’ Then as now, fixers run risks equal to those of any war correspondent but in most cases without life insurance or an evacuation plan to get them out of trouble when battlefield conditions become dangerous enough to offer a choice between life and death.”



The Jakarta Post. “National scene: Journalists attacked at Jakarta rally

“The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has called on the police to investigate violence against journalists during the mass rally on Friday (4 November 2016) but at the same time urged journalists to respect their codes of ethics.”


The Jakarta Post: “Govt to block more websites, raising censorship specter

“The government says it will intensify its crackdown on websites accused of spreading hatred based on issues of ethnicity, religion and race (SARA) after receiving more requests to do so, raising the specter of online censorship.”


The Jakarta Post. “Leave students alone: Activists

“…Kristianto Galuwo from Gorontalo’s branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) also called for mass media to refrain from reporting news on the LGBT community based on hatred…. He regretted a news report by a local newspaper that called the LGBT community a virus spreading on campuses.”



Radio Free Asia: “Lao Lawmakers Approve Restrictive Amendment to Media Law

“Lawmakers in Laos have approved an amendment to the country’s media law that further tightens the government’s control of reporters, ensuing that they disseminate the policies of the ruling communist party in a country where press freedom is already nonexistent…. Members of parliament on Nov. 4 debated and approved the draft amendment to the Media Law of 2008 based on a change proposed by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.”



Malaysiakini: “MCMC raids M’kini, confiscates two computers

“The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) raided the Malaysiakini office in Petaling Jaya and confiscated two computers this afternoon (8 November 2016)…. This is to facilitate its investigations on two videos uploaded by KiniTV in July under Section 233 (1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) for alleged improper network use.”

See also:
MCMC probing OSF funding, says minister” ; “IGP: Special team formed to probe Malaysiakini” ; “Stop harassing Malaysiakini, CPJ and CIJ tell gov’t” ; “Lay off Malaysiakini and Bersih” ; “Amnesty: Malaysiakini raid an ‘insult to freedom of expression’
Free Malaysia Today: “Suaram demands end to ‘absurd’ practice of raiding offices
Malay Mail Online: “Stomping out freedom?
Bangkok Post: “Malaysian red shirts threaten media outlet



Eleven: “EMG CEO and Chief Editor appears at police station for questioning

“The Chief Executive Officer of Eleven Media Group and Chief Editor of Daily Eleven Newspaper went to Tamwe’s police station yesterday (November 11) afternoon to be questioned for a lawsuit against the Telecommunications Law 66 (d) being filed by the Yangon Region Government Committee.”

See also:
Yangon Region Chief Minister meets seven officials from journalism organizations
Mizzima: “Yangon Region Cabinet sues CEO of Eleven Media Group for libel
The Irrawaddy: “Eleven Media CEO a No-Show for Police Questioning
Frontier Myanmar: “Eleven Media CEO, chief editor taken to Insein on defamation charges
Radio Free Asia: “Myanmar Police Detain Media Officials Named in Defamation Lawsuit
Bangkok Post: “Myanmar jails top media chiefs
The Washington Post: “Myanmar official sues media mogul over bribery insinuation


Mizzima: “Media conference stresses need for an independent media

“As questions over media freedom come to the fore under Myanmar’s new government, government officials, analysts and media people are meeting in Yangon to discuss the challenges…. The fifth annual Myanmar Media Development Conference is being held at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon 7-8 November under the title of ‘Inclusive Independent Media in a New Democracy’.”

See also:
The Irrawaddy: “Media Conference Explores Continued Challenges to Burma’s Press Freedom” ; “Media Experts Push for Right-to-Know Law
Radio Free Asia: “Myanmar Media Say Access to Government Officials, Conflict Areas Must Improve
Myanmar Times. “A gauge for democracy: media freedoms under fire in the new Myanmar” ; “Fourth estate must abide by ‘code of ethics’: minister for information
Global Times: “Myanmar gov’t pledges more cooperation for media sector development


The Irrawaddy: “Freedom of Speech Remains Illusory in the New Burma

“Among the many hopes engendered by the November 2015 election of a National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government was that those who criticize or protest against the government would no longer need to fear being arrested and jailed…. Yet that hope has not come to fruition.”



Manila Bulletin: “125 media killings in PH since 2001, task force tally reveals

“About 125 journalists have been killed since 2001, based on an inventory of cases of violence against media workers submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security.”


Rappler.com: “Senate panel OKs protection of online, broadcast journalists

“The Senate committee on public information and mass media has approved the proposed bills seeking to include legitimate online and broadcast journalists in the list of media practitioners who cannot be compelled to reveal their news sources…. The bills, filed by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, breezed through the public hearing on Wednesday, November 9.”

See also:
CNN Philippines: “Revised Sotto Law to protect sources of online and broadcast journalists
Manila Standard: “Senate panel okays Sotto law expansion


Philippine Information Agency: “Andanar says FOI to take effect on Nov. 25

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s highly anticipated Freedom of Information initiative will take effect on November 25 and government agencies are busy preparing for its enforcement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar announced on November 10…. Executive Order No. 2, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 23, is a response to the call for transparency and full public disclosure of information.”

See also:
The Philippine Star: “Order on FOI to take effect Nov. 25 – Palace
Rappler.com. “Palace: Gov’t agencies ready to take FOI requests on November 25
GMA News Online: “Palace says EO on FOI to take effect on Nov. 25
ABS-CBN News. “Palace: FOI takes effect Nov. 25
Sun.Star Cebu: “Opinion of Cebu Citizens-Press Council on the proposed Freedom of Information Ordinance of the Cebu City Council” ; “Editorial: A more open Cebu City
Cebu Daily News: “Cebu press council backs proposed FOI ordinance


GMA News Online: “Tips from Malacañang to know when Duterte is joking

“Malacañang on Saturday (5 November 2016) urged the public to consider President Rodrigo Duterte’s two pieces of advice during the election campaign last year to determine if he is joking or being serious.”

See also:
INQUIRER.net. “NUJP twits Palace: Clear communication not a joke in governance
ABS-CBN News: “NUJP raps proposal for media briefing on Duterte jokes



Bangkok Post: “Military must be held accountable

“This is probably the reason for the military’s latest attempt to toughen regulations for media reporting from Government House…. Former Bangkok Post veteran reporter Yuwadee Tanyasiri was denied entry to Government House, where she has worked for three decades.”


Bangkok Post: “Cyber centres fighting on all fronts

“Ritthi Intharawut, director of the army’s cyber centre, said the main duty of the centre is to create a system to prevent hacking into the army’s websites and information databases, fight against other threats and develop the army’s computer and internet system…. The centre has also been training soldiers on cyber security, he said…. Information Operation is another area the centre has been overseeing, with the aim of improving public understanding via the dissemination of news and information, he said.”



First Post: “Vietnam police arrest anti-government blogger | Reuters

“Vietnamese police on Wednesday (2 November 2016) detained a prominent blogger for distributing anti-state information, the latest in a crackdown on critics of the country’s Communist rulers.Ho Van Hai, 52, was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City and accused of ‘spreading information and documents on the internet that are against the government of the Social Republic of Vietnam’, according to a statement by Ho Chi Minh City police on their website.Police will investigate and handle Hai’s violations in accordance with the law, the statement said. Hai’s Facebook page and blog were inaccessible as of Wednesday night.”

See also:

VOA: “Vietnam Police Arrest Anti-government Blogger
VN Express: “Vietnam arrests another Facebook blogger for anti-state propaganda
Vietnam Right Now: “Blogger arrested as government targets environmental critics
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): “Blogger detained amid escalating crackdown in Vietnam



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

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