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Author Archive | Yvonne Epps

VIETNAM: Hangover City

YVONNE EPPS WRITES— We all have our poisons: Japan sips sake, Korea loves its Soju, the Philippines drink Tanduay rum.  As for Vietnam, it would seem that they have finally reached their legal drinking age and the parental units are starting to feel uneasy. Out-of-state media sources have recently shown concern about Vietnam’s raging beer […]

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VIETNAM: Modernization Abomination

YVONNE EPPS WRITES— It seems that 2015 is beginning to look promising for the modernization of Vietnam’s regime. It’s true that you can’t ban social media, but you can always issue regulations that squeeze the life out of the industry. Mike Ives of the New York Times recently wrote about the suffocating regulations that beat […]

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VIETNAM: A Step in the Right Direction for Social Media Freedom

YVONNE EPPS WRITES— Today’s generation would find it hard to imagine life without social media. And at least some people in the government seem to have caught on. According to TuoiTreNews, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stated that authorities must provide “official and accurate information in a timely manner on social media” on the basis […]

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VIETNAM: Popping the Silence Bubble

YVONNE EPPS WRITES— Since the beginning of Fall, I’ve been bemoaning the lack of press freedom in Vietnam, beating this dead horse and watching talented journalists battle the nooses around their necks. However, this sad story is taking a turn. It’s about time someone with a powerful voice said something about this issue. Nguyen Cong Khe, founder […]

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VIETNAM: Free Media Doesn’t Require Lifeguards

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — In a perfect world, there would be depth to the concept of press freedom in Vietnam.  Unfortunately, all they have now is a shallow kiddy pool that is severely monitored by ‘helicopter’ parents. The issue is becoming much more complicated as the party is finding more ways to shrink the kiddy pool […]

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JAPAN: Rocking Through the Mainstream

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Imagine standing in the pit of the House of Blues, staring up at a four-man group that begins to sing in Japanese. It’s an indie Japanese music fan’s dream, and when you wake up, you realize that the American mainstream is being invaded. A trend is developing in which Japanese rock […]

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VIETNAM: Will Sell Site for Laughs

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — From the moment you open Tumblr, 4chan, or Reddit, you’re laughing up a storm. We’re lucky that this is all in English for the American audience, but Vietnam isn’t far behind with their own growing chuckle site. The popular start-up site HaiVL was allegedly acquired by 24h Online Advertising JSC for […]

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VIETNAM: Uncovering the Undercover

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Vietnam treating their journalists poorly isn’t even a punchline anymore. In the past year, we’ve seen them wage war against journalists and bloggers, detaining, silencing, and playing jail tetris with them. It’s about time someone went undercover. Shawn W. Crispin from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) wrote a four part […]

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JAPAN: Xbox Nope

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — The next generation console war is heating up in the West as Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One are neck and neck. In the East, however, Sony has had Microsoft on the ropes. According to Arcade Sushi, the Xbox One launched in Japan in September and was a big dud. About 23,000 […]

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VIETNAM: Soft Light Illuminates Faces Behind Bars

YVONNE EPPS WRITES—No one, it seems, can escape the far-reaching grasp of the Internet. Vietnamese authorities thought they could lock away dissidents, but their fingers keep tapping and a scene emerges that looks eerily similar to African Americans during the 1960s Civil Rights era. According to TuoiTreNews, it’s now apparent that prisoners have been finding ways to continue social […]

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VIETNAM: The News Rap Battle of the Century!

YVONNE EPPS WRITES —  Let’s face it; as someone who falls in the 13-25 age range, some of the only ways I stay informed about world events is through the Facebook trending tags and reblogs on Tumblr. A Vietnamese news venue has taken notice and approached the problem with a hip new solution. Vietnam Plus […]

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LOS ANGELES: Celebrating Japanese Pop-Culture in Cosplay

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – Earlier this July, Anime Expo, the biggest anime and manga convention in North America, was held. The event celebrated these pillars of Japanese pop-culture through industry guests, panels, and premieres. But, the main attraction was the thousands of attendees dressed as their favorite characters. Ladies and gentleman, cosplay has emerged! Created by […]

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VIETNAM: Potential ‘Senpai’ or Ally?

YVONNE EPPS WRITES— A month has passed since the fiasco in the South China Sea, but it seems that Vietnam has garnered the admiration of another East Asian country. Watch out Vietnam, it seems like ‘senpai’ has noticed you. Major Japanese TV stations like NHK, TBS and Fuji relayed their criticism of China’s ruthless sinking […]

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VIETNAM: The Biggest Bully of the South China Sea

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Tensions over the South China Sea reached its peak last week, but this kerfuffle between China and Vietnam is quite different than the tug of war over the Parcel Islands earlier this year. Everyone wants a piece of this pie, but who loses in the end? Anti-China riots erupted in Vietnam […]

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VIETNAM: The Silent, Fine Line

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Vietnam’s media has a track record for jailing every person it does not like, but what happens when it fines one of its own state-run newspapers? Looks like this double-edged sword has finally drawn blood. Recently, the Associated Press found that the government fined the state-run newspaper Law and Society for about […]

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