WEEKLY MEDIA ROUNDUP (9 – 15 April 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)


Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR)

Local Court Acquits Suspect in 2009 Broadcaster Killing
Mayoralty Candidate Sues Journalists for Libel


Southeast Asia

The Nation: “Media still disconnected from Asean Community

“But the official establishment of the Asean Community challenges media outlets to craft fresh news routines that concentrate on common endeavours to deepen the grouping’s integration. To do so, their reporting teams have to be updated and equipped with knowledge and critical understanding of the latest developments in Asean member countries as they implement action plans or ideas that would bring them closer to one another.”


The Diplomat: “Where Is Southeast Asia in the Panama Papers?

“Southeast Asia did not escape investigations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) into the offshore accounts that passed through the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.”



Radio Free Asia: “Cambodian Reporter Files Complaint Against Policeman Who Threatened His Life

“A reporter who works for a little known newspaper in a western Cambodian province filed a court complaint against a local police officer on Monday for threatening to kill him if he published stories about the official firing at villagers’ homes for fun while he was drunk…. Ouk Touch, who is based in Pailin province which borders Thailand, told RFA’s Khmer Service that he filed the complaint a day after officer Kear Sokhorn brandished an AK-47 rifle at the reporter’s home and warned him not to write articles about the shots he fired at villagers’ houses on April 4.”

See also:
The Cambodia Daily: “Police Officer Sued Over Alleged Threat to Shoot Journalist


Global Voices: “Cambodian Human Rights Group Criticizes Telecoms Law

“A human rights group is criticizing Cambodia’s Law on Telecommunications (Telecoms Law) for provisions that it says undermine free speech and violate the privacy of individuals. The government described the criticism as “unreal interpretations” of the law.”



Tempo.co: “Press Council to Conclude Journalist Murder Cases

“Press Council is aiming to conclude eight murder and violence cases against journalists before World Press Freedom Day next year.”

See also:

Tempo.co. “Yosep Adi Prasetyo: We have eight unsolved murder of journalists


The Jakarta Post: “Govt, House to revise defamation charges in ITE Law

“The government and the House of Representatives will focus on an article on defamation in the amendment of the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, as both have agreed to pass the bill in June.”


Asian Human Rights Commission. “INDONESIA: Police overlook vigilante dispersal and intimidation of public events

“The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is concerned by the Indonesian police’s failure to protect and ensure the right to freedom of expression and assembly of various groups over the past two months.”



Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Beacon of freedom in Southeast Asia

“Because it fears losing power as demonstrated by its loss of the popular vote during the last elections, and to suppress protests resulting from the current scandal, the Malaysian government has heightened restrictions on the press, and intensified the persecution of dissenters.”



Sun.Star Baguio. “Editorial: Safety of Journos

“In the season of election, safety of Journos all over the country is being monitored both by private organizations as well as government, knowing the value the third estate plays in the weave of the community.”


BBC: “Philippines elections hack ‘leaks voter data’

“The Philippines may have suffered its worst-ever government data breach barely a month before its elections…. Personal information, including fingerprint data and passport information, belonging to around 70 million people is said to have been compromised by hackers.”



Shanghai Daily. “Policy reviews on privacy, freedom of expression needed to fight terrorism: Singaporean official

“Terrorism has come to an age when countries need to review their policies on the right to privacy, the encryption of communications, and freedom of expression, said Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan during the 10th Asia-Pacific Program for Senior National Security Officers (APPSNO) on Monday (11 April 2016).”


Channel News Asia. “Singapore’s media sector will get boost to be future ready: Dr Yaacob

“The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) will expand on its efforts to help the media sector be future ready, Minister of Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said in Parliament on Monday (Apr 11) at the Committee of Supply debates…. He said that MDA will help enhance the capacity of Singapore’s media sector to create new content for new platforms.”


Channel News Asia. “How to strengthen Singapore’s public service broadcasting in digital age: MCI

“Amidst a challenging media environment with increased competition from online sources, the Government will strengthen local public service broadcasting (PSB) by focusing on content, capabilities and channels, said Minister of State for Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat on Monday (April 11).”



Press Gazette: “Thai libel actions brought against UK freelance are dropped after plaintiff’s extortion conviction

“Multiple libel cases against British freelance journalist Andrew Drummond under Thailand’s Computer Crime Act have been stopped after one of the principal plaintiffs was convicted for extortion.”


The Nation. “NBTC must provide an outline but then allow media to self-regulate: Supinya

“A recent high-profile media bribery scandal and the violation of privacy standards have stirred public discontent against current media practices…. In response, some prominent media figures and organisations have renewed their efforts to improve media ethics, while the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has announced that it plans to set up regulations to develop a new code of ethics to better regulate media practices in the future.”


Reuters: “Thailand bans old edition of Marie Claire for insulting monarchy

“Thailand banned imports and sales of a six-month-old edition of women’s magazine Marie Claire on Friday (8 April 2016) over an article it said carried content insulting to its royal family and offensive to its people.”

See also:
Khaosod English: “Police Ban ‘Marie Claire,’ Citing Lese Majeste



The Nation: “Referendum bill ‘no threat to freedom of expression’

“The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday (8 April 2016) called on people to abide by the referendum bill that was passed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) late on Thursday (7 April 2016), insisting that the bill would not pose threats to their freedom of expression or hurt them.”



Thanh Nien News: “Hanoi lecturer admits sending death threats to investigative journalist

“Nguyen Thi Thu Trang of Phu Nu TP.HCM (HCMC Women) newspaper told Tuoi Tre newspaper that the lecturer of the Military Technical Academy, whose name was withheld, called her on Thursday (14 April 2016)…. He admitting that he was the person who threatened her and her family members in text messages last week.”

See also:
Thanh Nien News: “Hanoi police investigate death threats against journalist




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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