ELIZABETH SOELISTIO WRITES – The freedom of the press in Myanmar is in a questionable state. Despite talk of a transitioning democracy, it is unclear whether human rights, such as freedom of the press, will receive the reform needed to become fully democratized. Lau Hon Meng and Mok Choy Lin,…Full Article MYANMAR: THE FUTURE OF THE FREEDOM OF PRESS
MICHELLE VARINATA WRITES – Given the fact that Indonesia is one of South Eastern Asia’s largest democracies, a core value in a democratic society is the freedom of speech. While social media provides a platform for people to vent their feelings and share their thoughts, it should not be treated…Full Article INDONESIA: When the Troll Takes a Toll
MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES– Is killing journalists an act of war? Associated Press president Gary Pruitt believes it is. Last week at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club, Pruitt suggested changes to international laws that would make killing journalists or taking them hostage a war crime, punishable under the 1948…Full Article PHILIPPINES: Justice for Journalists?
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Journalists need to grab the attention of their readers, and what better way is there than reporting on a possible scandal? Unfortunately, even in a so-called free media system, a simple rumor can get you into big trouble. Sankei Shimbun reporter Tatsuya Kato’s is now on…Full Article JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA: Rumor Has It…
ALEXANDRE GUIRAUD-COINTREAU WRITES – While the once-repressive Myanmar transitions to democratic rule with new freedoms being given, the country is discovering equally new ways to communicate and exchange ideas. One is a new website, also available as a smartphone application, called Squar. The website TechInAsia describes Squar as the first social media site…Full Article MYANMAR: SQUAR – The Next Facebook?
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – It’s time for an upgrade to China’s decades-old petitioning system. According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China’s website, the State Bureau of Letters and Calls announced new reform measures that would be put into effect following the investigation of…Full Article CHINA: The New Era of Petitioning
LAUREN CHEN WRITES – In a column in the South China Morning Post, International author Graeme Maxton lauds Hong Kong for its press freedom. His perspective is based on his experience over the years, writing hundreds of articles and making radio appearances in Hong Kong without being censored for tackling controversial…Full Article HONG KONG: More Free Than US?
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Amid the battering winds of Typhoon Wipha, the Japanese government has publicized a refreshing piece of legislature, hoping to broaden the media’s freedom of speech. The bill, referred to as the “Secrets Protection Bill,” aims at “protecting national security secrets to ensure freedom of the media…Full Article JAPAN: New Komeito Party Hopes to Safeguard Media Freedom
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – While much of the nation celebrates its 2020 Summer Olympics bid win, one celebrity has done something surprising: speak out against the government. Norika Fujiwara, a popular model and actress, recently revealed her distaste for a proposed bill on her website. Referred to as the state…Full Article JAPAN: Media Icon Defies Status Quo Amid Olympics Euphoria
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…Full Article PHILIPPINES: Freedom of Speech Gets a Criminal Record
The US often criticizes Singapore for restricting freedom of the press, especially on visceral topics. But after speculation that the assassination of Christopher Stephens, US Ambassador to Libya, was a result of the “Innocence of Muslims” trailer, based on a longer video made by radical (so-called) Christians to denigrate the…Full Article SINGAPORE: Singapore Says “Told You So”
How dangerous can a cartoon be? This seems to be the question many are asking themselves after Professor Ambikesh Mohapatra from the Jadavpur University was arrested for posting a political cartoon. The cartoon is a spoof in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Railway Minister Mukul Roy are featured talking about how…Full Article INDIA: Cartoon Version of Free Speech?
As the proposed ‘Freedom of Information’ (FOI) law is pending before the Philippine Congress, its hotly contested provision – the “Right of Reply” – is being openly opposed by GMA Network Inc., one the largest media networks in the country. GMA argued in a letter to the chairman of the…Full Article PHILLIPINES: Does Right of Reply LIMIT Freedom of the Press?