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Author Archive | Selina Swatek

INDONESIA: Fair to Call Them the ‘Dirty Dozen’?

Indonesia’s media will be busy this year covering the approaching 2014 presidential elections, as well as several local elections that will take place before then. However, the media’s role in these elections is now under scrutiny, both from Indonesian citizens and free press supporters worldwide. With the removal of the central government’s control at the […]

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INDONESIA: Overcoming the Media Conglomerate Wall

Since the 1998 Asian financial and political crisis, the media industry in Indonesia has been opened up fully, and is now freer from government control than ever. The media inarguably plays a crucial role in Indonesian democracy by educating its citizens and informing them of government activity. However, Indonesia’s media still has many obstacles to […]

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INDONESIA: Indonesians Take A Stand

Selina Swatek writes – In a storyline that is all too reminiscent of last year’s US elections, a candidate for the Indonesian Supreme Court, Daming Sanusi, has fueled media outrage after making an offensive comment regarding rape. During a parliamentary commission hearing to determine if he was a fit for the top court, Daming was […]

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PHILIPPINES: Justice for Journalists in Maguindanao Massacre

The Supreme Court stood by its June 2012 ruling that affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision to include former Governor Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the list of those accused in the Maguindanao massacre. He is charged with plotting what would turn out to be the worst election-related violence […]

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PHILIPPINES: A Revered Lady Journalist Dies

After a six-month battle with cancer the renowned Filipino journalist Zenaida Silva has died. Silva was instrumental in covering the famous “people power” revolt, as well as many other important political events in the Philippines. Journalism is in the family for Silva – she and her late husband, newspaper writer and TV journalist Manuel Silva, […]

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PHILIPPINES: Hey Obama- Call Us Collect, If You Want!

Almost immediately after the reelection of President Barack Obama, the White House announced that he would visit Myanmar (Burma) as his first foreign policy initiative at the start of a three-stop tour of Southeast Asia that will also cover Thailand and Cambodia. The tour excludes the Philippines, a longtime strategic security ally of the United […]

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PHILIPPINES: Arrest Sparks Heated Debate Over Cybercrime Law

You want to hear ridiculous?! Filipino environmentalists and Internet users have rallied behind Esperlita Garcia, an anti-mining advocate who was arrested on libel charges for a critical post on her Facebook. She was arrested despite the Supreme Court’s suspension of the law that was used against her, which was actually enacted 18 months after the […]

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PHILIPPINES: Freedom of Speech Gets a Criminal Record

The Philippines has introduced yet another law restricting freedom of speech, causing the Human Right Watch (HRW) to call for an appeal. The Cybercrime Prevention Act, which was signed into law by President Aquino earlier this September, drastically increases punishment for criminal libel, raising the minimum sentence twelve-fold, from six months to six years in […]

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PHILIPPINES: Filipino Radicals Try to Play Nice

Surprise, surprise! The Philippines’ largest Muslim insurgent group, the pro-violence Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), rejected the call from Al-Qaeda to attack US targets over an anti-Islam film that originated in the states. Is this a new extremist morality? No, just a temporary tactic in the extremist war, it seems. The film in question of […]

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PHILIPPINES: A Country Less Open Than It Seems

For a country touted as a free-wheeling democracy offering a vast array of non-governmental media, the endless debate over how much press and information it needs is profoundly depressing. It has been two and a half decades since the last dictatorship and yet some fundamental media issues remain to be sorted out. Consider the back-and-forth […]

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TAIWAN: Media Coverage Lacking in Bo Xilai Scandal

Reports of the Bo Xilai political scandal that is currently unfolding in China have been intentionally incomplete and superficial. Taiwanese media has focused solely on sex scandals and individual corruption, instead of addressing the serious political crisis that is afflicting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). At the heart of the scandal is the death of […]

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INDONESIA: For Love or For Politics?

Politics can make strange bedfellows, as the famous saying goes. Witness the brewing brouhaha in Indonesia, where a high-profile marital union is drawing almost as much attention as a presidential campaign. The upscale marriage is between the son of the country’s president (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) and the daughter of a top government minister (Hatta Rajasa). […]

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