Press Freedom

The ABS-CBN Shutdown Controversy

The Philippines at the moment is not only confronted by the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, rather it is also faced with a huge controversy surrounding one of the most influential media networks in the country, ABS-CBN or popularly known as the “Kapamilya” (Family) Network. The reason for the whole controversy is due to the expiration of its congressional franchise on 4 May, 2020 followed by a “cease and desist” order (CDO) issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)

24 May 2020

Press Freedom In A Pandemic World

I had been captive in Afghanistan for about two weeks when the government of my home country, Canada, contacted those attempting to negotiate my release. They told negotiators to get me on the phone the next day, when the United States (US) military would be flying a drone over where they thought I was being held, in order to determine my whereabouts.The negotiators were unable to secure that concession.

7 May 2020

Democracy Watchdogs Worry Over ABS-CBN's Shutdown

The shutting down of the Philippines' top broadcaster crosses a dangerous line in eroding the nation's democracy and sends a warning to those who risk angering President Rodrigo Duterte, watchdogs said.Since rising to power in 2016, Duterte has steadily tightened his grip on the nation's key institutions and jailed or side-lined his loudest detractors, but until now his worst threats against critical media had not been fully realised.Tuesday's halting of broadcasting giant

7 May 2020

Philippines Forces Top Broadcaster Off Air

The Philippines' top broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced off air Tuesday over a stalled operating licence renewal, drawing fresh charges that authorities were cracking down on press freedom.Since running afoul of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, ABS-CBN has seen bills to extend its franchise languish in Congress as the leader repeatedly attacked the conglomerate in speeches.Duterte is notorious for tangling with media outlets critical of his policies, sparking concern that press freedoms ha

6 May 2020

Myanmar journalist hit with terrorism charges

A Myanmar journalist faces up to life in prison for publishing an interview with a rebel group operating in the country's restive Rakhine state a week after the insurgents were classified as a terrorist organisation.The western region has long been a tinderbox of conflict between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army (AA), a group demanding greater autonomy for the state's ethnic Rakhine people.Clashes have left scores of civilians killed, hundreds injured and about 150,000 displaced

1 April 2020

Philippines moves to shut down top broadcaster

Philippine government lawyers moved Monday to strip the nation's biggest media group of its operating franchise in what campaigners branded a fresh attack on press freedom under President Rodrigo Duterte.Duterte has repeatedly pledged he would stop the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN, which drew his anger during his rise to power in the 2016 presidential election campaign.The solicitor general's petition filed with the nation's top court alleges ABS-CBN violated provisions of i

11 February 2020

Malaysian journalist charged over China virus post

A Malaysian journalist was charged Wednesday with causing public alarm with Facebook posts about the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China, as authorities warned against online "rumour-mongering".The virus has so far killed almost 500 people and infected 24,000 others in China, and spread to more than 20 countries including Malaysia, which has 12 cases.It has also unleashed a flood of misinformation online, from misleading death tolls to vaccine conspiracies, and several Asian countr

6 February 2020

Rappler journalist launches defence in libel case

Philippine journalist Maria Ressa said Monday she would not be silenced as she launched her defence against a libel charge that press advocates call an attempt to curb her news site's critical coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte.Her site Rappler has written extensively and often critically on Duterte's policies, including his deadly drugs war that rights groups say may amount to crimes against humanity."I can go to jail for 12 years for this (case), that is the maximum senten

17 December 2019

Indonesia arrests oil palm exec for journalists’ murder

An Indonesian palm oil executive has been arrested for allegedly ordering the killing of two activist journalists who were mediating a land dispute between his company and local residents, police said Saturday.Maraden Sianipar’s body was found last week in a ditch near a palm plantation in Labuhan Batu in North Sumatra province.Police found the remains of his colleague, Maratua Siregar, in the same area a day later.

11 November 2019

Critics sound alarm over Singapore’s ‘fake news’ law

Singapore's new law to combat "fake news" came into effect Wednesday despite criticism from tech giants and activists, who labelled the tough rules a "chilling" attempt to stifle dissent.The law gives government ministers powers to order social media sites to put warnings next to posts authorities deem to be false, and in extreme cases get them taken down.Facebook, Twitter and Google - who have their Asian headquarters in Singapore - were given temporary exemptions fr

3 October 2019

Journalists still dying in the Philippines

The top official of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) in the Philippines recently told local media that the Duterte administration remains committed to ensuring the safety of journalists in the country.

31 August 2019

Fake news from Cambodia’s government?

Cambodia’s Information Ministry recently warned that it would revoke the licenses of print and online media outlets which distribute fake news that could endanger national security.Phos Sovann, director-general of General Department of Information and Broadcasting, said in a Facebook video post that the ministry will strictly implement laws against fake news, and come down hard on outlets which violate the terms of the licenses or are not registered with the ministry.“All websites operating i

19 August 2019