ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES – The Al Jazeera journalists who were jailed in Egypt are now free and out of the country. Australian Peter Greste was deported in February 2015 and in September his colleagues Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy were finally pardoned by the Egyptian government and released from prison.…Full Article Qatar: Al Jazeera’s Small Plea for Media Freedom
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – In a piece from The Japan Times, Columbia University’s Gerald Curtis states that, “the [Japanese] government doesn’t have to muzzle the press if the press takes it upon itself to do the muzzling.” Shigeaki Koga, an ex-bureaucrat at Japan’s Ministry of the Economy, wants to tear…Full Article JAPAN: Committing Journalistic Seppuku
ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES- Good PR is hard to obtain for Qatar, and last week it became even more difficult when Qatari security officers arrested a BBC crew reporting on migrant workers. The Prime Minister’s office had invited several media outlets, including the BBC, on an official tour of the new…Full Article Qatar: Arrested for Trespassing, or Revealing?
YVONNE EPPS WRITES— Vietnam has come a long way since the start of the year. We’ve seen major progress with the acceptance of social media and dips with press freedom, but the road is still jagged and, if they don’t watch their step, they might end up hurt. The Economist reported…Full Article VIETNAM: Of Progressive Leaps and Jagged Passes
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…Full Article VIETNAM: A Step in the Right Direction for Social Media Freedom
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…Full Article VIETNAM: Popping the Silence Bubble
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…Full Article VIETNAM: Free Media Doesn’t Require Lifeguards
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…Full Article VIETNAM: Uncovering the Undercover
LAUREN CHEN WRITES – Hong Kongers mourn yet another shameless assault on two media executives just as the Hong Kong Film and Television Market (FILMART) and the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) kick off. Business executives from over 760 companies and 30 countries gathered to attend FILMART, Asia’s largest film market, which promotes Hong…Full Article HONG KONG: Asia’s Largest Film Market in the Midst of Media Turmoil
LAUREN CHEN WRITES – Media censorship in Hong Kong is on the rise, but it’s not just press freedom that’s at stake. Instead, say Samson Yuen and Kitty Ho of The Diplomat, at risk are the core values that have until now let the “Pearl of the Orient” shine. And it begs…Full Article HONG KONG: One Country, One System?
LAUREN CHEN WRITES–Hong Kong’s media independence is in jeopardy, according to the annual 2014 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders released its latest study, considered an objective reference tool measuring press freedom, and ranked 180 countries based on aspects such as levels of censorship, number of attacks on journalists,…Full Article HONG KONG: Reporters Without Borders — Media Watchdog of the World
LAUREN CHEN WRITES – Kevin Lau Chun, editor in chief of the Ming Pao newspaper, transferred suddenly to the parent company’s new unit for electronic books and teaching materials. This action has been perceived as a threat to editorial independence. Word on the street is that Lau’s replacement will be Chong Tien-siong, Malaysian journalist and…Full Article HONG KONG: Chinese Communist Party Supporter as Chief Newspaper Editor?
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – As China works to impose (and handle blow back from) a controversial air defense zone, Japan’s parliament is tied up in its own controversy in the form of a divisive state secrets bill. Already passed by the Lower House in November, the contentious law aims, via…Full Article JAPAN: New Bill a Bid for State Security or Gateway to Orwellian Dystopia?
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