ROBERT BORN WRITES– Sunday, March 24, marked the first time in five years that the Thai government allowed an election years after promising one. In 2014, a military coup removed the government of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s party–then headed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Since then, the military junta…Full Article THAILAND: Free and Fair Elections? Not So Fast – OR TOO SLOW?
MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES – Strong-armed President Rodrigo Duterte might be fresh from victory after the Philippine Senate voted to demote a vocal critic, but on her way out the door Sen. Leila De Lima warned Duterte to not rest on his laurels. On September 19, the Philippine Senate voted…Full Article PHILIPPINES: STRONGMAN VS. STRONG WOMAN
SABRINA VERDUZCO WRITES – On Nov. 3rd, the South Korean government made the controversial, yet entirely legal decision to rewrite history textbooks. Many scholars and political opponents of the Park administration immediately condemned this move. Two weeks later, 70,000 protesters congregated in Seoul in an attempt to confront the South Korean government’s move…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: How ‘Democratic’ Is It, Really?
EMILY ROCHA WRITES – Media coverage of the recent monumental meeting between Chinese and Taiwanese presidents differs between the two states, as each attempts to push their own agenda. On November 7, in Singapore, a historic handshake between the Beijing and Taipai leaders occurred, the first since the declaration of…Full Article THE MAINLAND VS. TAIWAN: Good News, or Bad?
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Since the end of World War II, Japan has successfully avoided war as a way to settle international conflicts. The country’s constitution intentionally promotes peace by de-emphasizing its military. That may no longer work. Early Saturday morning, September 19, the upper house of Japan’s parliament passed…Full Article JAPAN: War! What is it Good For?
ARACELI PALAFOX WRITES- In September, there was a turn in media in Cambodia when Cambodia’s Center for Independent Media (CCIM) applied for radio and television licenses. If granted, CCIM would operate it’s Voice of Democracy (VOD) program through the Ministry of Information. VOD was established in 2003 under Cambodia’s Center for Human…Full Article CAMBODIA: Democracy in (Radio) Waves
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The world’s largest democracy may finally be set to host the world’s most expensive elections. In the months leading to India’s April-May congressional election, the competing Congress and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, or the People’s Party) will spend upwards of $5 billion on TV, print, radio, and…Full Article INDIA: Elections Could be the Costliest Ever
ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – Thailand’s Democrat Party leaders are using momentum from the country’s current protests to further their own, longstanding cause: The overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinowatra and the dominant Pheu Thai Party. Protests first erupted between royalists (locally coined as “yellow shirts”) and those loyal to Thaksin (the…Full Article THAILAND: Might Equals Right?
ARACELI PALAFOX WRITES – Want to figure out how democratic a country really is? You don’t have to go far. The freedom of its press goes a long way toward revealing its overall democratic values and practices. And in Cambodia, the lack of democracy has been revealed both at home…Full Article CAMBODIA: A Call on the Political Elite for the Rights to Media Freedom
To me, the Hobbesian state of nature unfolding now in Egypt is the colossal story of the current epoch. In our idealistic quest for political perfection, what sometimes happens? We create darkness. When we agree to see a regime deposed (or help push it over the cliff), it night well…Full Article GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Egypt as Iconic Tragedy
The Korea Times appears to be taking a very unbiased approach when reporting current events. In an article discussing a North Korean soldier’s desertion and a recent leak of military secrets, South Korea’s newspaper maintained a very neutral stance, focusing on stating concrete facts instead of relying on opinion-based writing…Full Article SOUTH KOREA: Telling It Like It Is
It seems that Taiwan’s journalists are not in agreement about how “free” their island democracy really is.In fact, there is a trend surfacing in Taiwanese newspapers with many articles implicitly asking the same question of its readership: Are we a democracy? Certain journalists argue that Taiwan is far too influenced…Full Article TAIWAN: Free At Last?
It looks as if the military is still firmly in control of Pakistan, judging from one nuanced assessment on the website of The Dawn, one of the two dominant English-language newspapers in Pakistan. Written by well-regarded feature writer Waris Husain, the analysis suggests that the nation’ highest court, in its…Full Article PAKISTAN: Beyond Memogate
Taiwanese journalists are almost up in arms over the increase in corporate involvement in its media system. They argue that corporate monopolization and political appetite are putting at risk the ability of Taiwan’s news media to support democracy via ethical and professional journalism.Full Article TAIWAN: The Taiwan Critique