SARAH ALTUWAIJRI WRITES — This past Saturday, October 20, hundreds took to the streets in Santa Clarita, marching to bring awareness to the plight of Armenians and to raise funds for military purchases, infrastructure and humanitarian aid. One of the protesters, Anna Sarvkian, a 19-year-old student stated, “Armenia is on…Full Article ARMENIA VERSUS AZERBAIJAN: WHY, SUDDENLY, THE SOUND OF SILENCE INSTEAD OF A TWEET FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP?
TABITHA THEARD WRITES — Instagram and twitter have helped artists connect to fans around the world. This is one way that Rina Sawayama (pictured) and K-pop band BTS—aka Beyond the Scene, Bangtan Sonyeondan (Bulletproof Boy Scouts)—have gained popularity worldwide. As John Paul Titlo wrote in his article How Instagram Became…Full Article JAPAN: WITH RINA AND HER ARMY, ALMOST NOTHING IS LOST IN TRANSLATION
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – “Politically correct.” Rarely do you come across a phrase that will elicit so many different reactions. There’s a thin line between offensive and funny, and lately it seems as if it always leans more towards the former than the later. But is this a phenomena exclusive…Full Article JAPAN and US: Everything’s Offensive
ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES – Usually it’s censors who block a controversial film from domestic distribution. Not so in Quatar, at least in the case of The Danish Girl. Following online outrage at the transgender tale, the country’s Ministry of Culture tweeted out this month: “We would like to inform you…Full Article QATAR: The Freedom to Censor
LAMIYA SHABBIR WRITES – Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and proposed changes to the country’s immigration and visa policies. While millions of his supporters have cheered the proposal, most Democrats and even many top Republican figures have opposed…Full Article PAKISTAN: Is Trump Unnerving 453,000 Pakistani Immigrants in the U.S.?
ADRIAN NARAYAN WRITES– Can online declarations of love defeat real-world violence and intolerance? A few thousand Indian and Pakistani social media users are trying to find out. Connected by a mutual concern about the current state of Indian-Pakistani relations, internet users have been posting photos of themselves and short statements of peace…Full Article INDIA: Social Media’s answer to Shiv Sena
LAMIYA SHABBIR WRITES – It was the tweet heard across the subcontinent: India and Pakistan’s leaders play nice at a conference designed to save the world. Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Vikas Swarup tweeted, “On a chilly November morning, PM @narendramodi is welcomed warmly by President @fhollande…Full Article PAKISTAN – A “Chance Meeting” Between Prime Minister Sharif and Modi
MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES – In the mood to binge-watch a Filipino TV drama for a long afternoon of frustration, confusion, and catharsis? Look no further than the #DuterteSerye hashtag on Twitter. Rodrigo Duterte left his supporters on a cliffhanger the week before October 16 as they waited for the…Full Article PHILIPPINES: Duterte Drama Reaches Anticlimactic Conclusion
EMILY ROCHA WRITES – A new study has exposed further censorship of Chinese citizens. Following the release of a documentary exposing the high levels of air pollution in China earlier this year, it was found that users on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, called Weibo, were censored as they discussed the…Full Article CHINA: If Posts are Censored, Do They Make a Sound?
PEYTON CROSS WRITES – With its attractive cityscapes and strong economy, Saudi Arabia can give the impression of being an advanced desert nation. Then it announces plans to crucify and behead a young political dissident, and the world goes, Hmmmm. Priya Joshi of the International Business Times reports that on September 7,…Full Article SAUDI ARABIA: The Passion of al-Nimr
KELCEY LORENZO WRITES – English-speaking K-Pop fans no longer need to experience one-sided love from their idols and favorite groups from behind their computer screens. After School Club (ASC), produced by Arirang, is a web-talk show that allows international fans (fans not domestic to South Korea) to live video chat…Full Article K-POP KORNER: “Hangout” at Arirang’s After School Club
HAIG TER-GHEVONDIAN WRITES – Since the controversial imam Abdul Aziz’s refusal to openly denounce the murder of 134 children in the Peshawar Army School in Pakistan by the Taliban, the Pakistani Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has begun cracking down on terrorist propaganda on social media. A new cyber-crime bill introduced to…Full Article PAKISTAN: Big Brother Strikes Again?
MIRANDA PAK WRITES – Twitter, which has been blocked in China since 2009, opened an office in Hong Kong on March 10. Tweeting was blocked in China because officials were worried that citizens would use social media for their own benefit and plan large anti-government protests. Despite what many people think,…Full Article CHINA and HONG KONG: Tweeting to Target Overseas Ties
TRISTAN WILLENBURG WRITES– Western ideas clash yet again with Middle Eastern realities. Saudi Arabia will no longer issue or renew the visas of Swedish nationals and has withdrawn its ambassador from Stockholm in response to the comments of a senior Swedish official. An arms deal between the two countries has also fallen apart over the…Full Article SAUDI ARABIA: The Saudis Strike Back
AMBER VERNETTI WRITES- The Festival of Media Asia Pacific (FOMAC), an event celebrating the accomplishments and new goals for the region’s media, took place this week from March 22-24 at the Capella Singapore, Sentosa. The festival gathered over 700 leaders of the region’s media from 22 countries and was a busy three…Full Article ASIA-AT-LARGE: 2015 Festival of Media Asia Pacific