Author: E.J. De Lara

NEW ZEALAND: Diving into an Ocean of Telecommunication

EJ DE LARA WRITES – New Zealand is taking the plunge into a deep sea of possibilities for research and telecommunication development with its new submarine cable plans. On October 26, the New Zealand Government signed a deal with Hawaiki submarine cable for 15 million. With this plan, Hawaiki plans to build a 12,000 kilometer cable system across New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and the United States to meet research and educational purposes. This deal signifies the government’s movement towards international and educational development. In an interview with the New Zealand Tribune, Hamish Fletcher, the Communications and Information Technology Minister, said, “In order to take part in global research projects, our research and education communities need dedicated capacity that can handle huge data volumes, and provide high levels of reliability. International, collaborative projects are characterized by intermittent, high-throughput, multi-terabit data flows that may last for days.” This project will open the door for any future international telecommunication links. Not only is the government meeting the interests of different companies, but it’s also setting the bar high for international Internet cable connections. With this new cable, the country’s educational and research institutions will have more access to global communication and media. If the New Zealand internet cable system can pull this amazing feat off, who knows how much its media and educational systems will grow! For more information please visit:

Read More

NEW ZEALAND: Threat to Net Privacy Appears

E.J. DE LARA WRITES – Imagine any phone conversation, text message or other form of communication people use daily. Now imagine a law that lets Big Brother monitor it all. Throughout June, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key pushed for a new bill that would essential do that — allowing the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to spy on citizens with a surveillance warrant. According to Dominion Post, the proposed bill would offer more protection by allowing the GCSB to spy on people for government purposes. Further, the Post assured that it will not be abused, but many Parliament representatives and critics see loopholes. NZ First Leader Winston Peters claims that the bill will give the PM the ability to call for any warrants and thinks a committee or procedure should be established for regulation. Even without the new bill, Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge reviewed the GCSB recently and found that in the past 10 years, the agency has spied on 88 New Zealanders. Knowing this, many critics fear the further invasion of privacy. InternetNZ acting CEO Jordan Carter believes that “The GCSB Bill lacks sufficient legal safeguards for Internet users’ right to privacy.”  So far, 60 members of Parliament are behind the bill, which may change with upcoming committee hearings. Throughout the next few weeks, PM John Key and the Intelligence Security Committee will hear submissions on the...

Read More

LAOS: Worries for Laos

E.J. DE LARA WRITES- Recently, the Laos National Assembly approved the construction of a $7 billion railroad that would extend to the China border in Luang Namntha province. The railroad was supposed to be a joint project between Laos and China until China dropped out last year fearing a lack of profit. Despite this, China is loaning Laos the full $7 billion in exchange for 5 million tons of minerals.   According to an official statement from the National Assembly, Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad says, “the railroad will attract more foreign investment and boost economic growth”. In addition to boosting the economy, The Vientiane Times Ekaphone Phouthonesy deputy editor believes that the people will be very pleased with the railroad and said “[they] consider the high-speed railway as a symbol of modernization”. Despite their high expectations, many other media sources have expressed concerns over the railroad.   The New York Times cites that the loan almost amounts to the country’s 8 million GDP and could put the country in national debt. As the project also needs 3000 meters of land, many of the farmlands will be affected and can turn into wastelands if not taken care of properly.   Tim Forsyth, a London economist and Time contributor says, “It sounds like an indirect form of land-grabbing because China gets access in return for its financial resources”. While China...

Read More

NEW ZEALAND: All In For The Media

E.J. DE LARA WRITES – After more than two years of study, a New Zealand commission says a single body should handle Kiwi media complaints, whether they target broadcast, print or online entities. Under the recommendation, three current media bodies would be replaced by a single “News Media Standards Authority” (NMSA), which would have the power to sanction newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, and websites as necessary. The organization would be made up of the very media outfits it monitors. And while it would be unable to issue fines, members would have to abide by its rulings to remain in good standing. As envisioned, the NMSA would be something like a hybrid between the U.S. National Press Club and the Federal Communications Commission, providing resources to member news outlets while cracking the whip when needed. Explaining the need for change, New Zealand Law Commission President Sir Grant Hammond said the current system is “inequitable for news producers, confusing for the public, and inconsistent with the realities of technological and content convergence. ” New Zealand’s three current media review bodies—New Zealand Press Council, the Broadcasting Standards Authority, and the Online Media Standards Authority – sometimes find themselves at cross-purposes. For example, when a print newspaper also has a web site, who’s in charge? As reported by TVNZ, the recommendation was prompted not by a lack of confidence in the media, but by...

Read More

LAOS: Not Even Faint Praise for the Dams

Resources and Environment has also entered a partnership with the International Finance Corporation to create more sustainable ways to promotes socio-economic development. With this new partnership, the Vientiane Times has reported that Laos has the potential to build more than 100 dams on the Mekong River. Vientiane Times also interviewed Deputy Minster of Finance Santiphab Promivhane about the bilateral arrangement who said, “The partnership with IFC marks our commitment to promoting integrated water resources management and best practice environmental and social standards in the hydro-power sector through revising laws and regulations as well as improving our capacity to enforce them”. Despite all the positive reviews from the Vientiane Times, a newspaper that portrays the government in a favorable light, other media outlets and locals have expressed concern about the partnership and the development of the new dams and hydro-power structures. According to Radio Free Asia, the government has disregarded the opinions of the people and is exploiting the community rather than helping them. The dams will be used to sell hydroelectric power to the surrounding communities. In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Ittiphon Khamsouk, a Thai representative of the eight provinces along the river, claims that the projects have not been fully evaluated and have not been fully approved by the community. In particular, a 3.5 billion U.S. dollar Xayaburi hydropower dam has received backlash from many locals...

Read More

5 Must See Asian Films on Netflix

Asia Media Podcasts

Asia Media International Staff

ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL is a student-driven publication of Loyola Marymount University’s Asia Media Center – a vital part of LMU’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS), in an alliance with the university's award-winning Dept.of Political Science, and with the influential Pacific Century Institute.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief:
Jay Seo

Aashna Malpani, Yi Ning Wong

Savannah Nunez

Katrina Crosby

Staff Writers [Beat]:
Nadia Aljojo
Kate Barkley [Australia]
Murad Basrawi
Alexis Cruz [Qatar]
Truman Daly
Jacqueline Dilanchyan
Bobby Fretz
Ephiphany Hulburd
Diana Jablonski [Malaysia]
Matthew Lange [Asian Profiles,Anime]
Frances Magsalin [Korea/Kpop]
Beth McLaughlin
Rachel Oakes
Hiromi Ochi [Singapore]
Dylan Ramos
Fassa Sar [Film]
Tiara Salvabilla
Gloria Santillan [Korea]
Sebastian Segura [Russia]
Elizabeth Soelistio [Indonesia]
Nicolas Swaya
C.J. Stone [Japan]

Andrea Plate

Clementine Todorov

Evan Sun

Video Team Editor:
Mariel Sosa

Emeritus Managing Editors:
Savannah Nunez
Sabrina Verduzco
Mary Grace Costa
Kelcey Lorenzo

Contribuing Editors Emeritus:

Robert Dylan Fields
Eriko Lee Katayama
Ryan Lippert
Adrian Narayan [India]
James Royce [Australia]
Miranda Pak [Hong Kong]
Lamiya Shabir [Pakistan & Islam]
Yunfei Suo [China]
Erisa Takeda [Japan Politics]
Ryan Urban [Singapore]

Emeritus Associate Publishers:
Jeremiah Fajardo
Brian Chris Canave
Peyton Cross

Emeritus Executive Editor:
Lexie Tucker

Emeritus Executive Senior Editor
Ben Sullivan

Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Prof Tom Plate


Gareth C.C. Chang, Tom Plate, Jennifer Ramos, Kal Raustiala, Jeremiah Fajardo, Ben Sullivan, Greg Treverton