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Southeast Asia Puts Local Flavor in News Literacy Efforts

The number of initiatives to push news and media literacy, as well as to counter fake news and disinformation, are growing fast. ASEAN countries are putting their own local flavor into a menu of approaches to ‘treat’ this ‘illness’ in today’s digital spaces, explains Uyen Diep of Vietnam’s Thanh Nien News.

ASEAN’s Role on Rakhine: Big Outside, Little Known in Myanmar

ASEAN has been testing its non-intervention habit in ways never done before, playing what is to date its biggest, most active role in relation to Myanmar’s handling of the Rohingya issue. But ASEAN’s role is little known or cared for inside the country, where the mainstream attitude is usually apathy or hostility to this minority community. Aung Zaw Min looks into why this so, in this feature for the Reporting ASEAN series.

Thinking ASEAN, Studying in ASEAN

Student exchange programs, the challenge of discovering one’s own region and curiosity have combined to encourage more young Vietnamese to pursue university education in ASEAN countries. They are leading the way in deepening Vietnam’s affinity with ASEAN, while widening their own horizons, reports Thanh Nien’s Uyen Diep for the Reporting ASEAN program.

Vietnam, ASEAN and Free Trade Pacts

‘ASEAN integration’ has become something of a mantra since the launch of the ASEAN Community in 2015. But removing the obstacles to deeper trade linkages among the 10 ASEAN member states remains a work in progress. Nguyen Hanh of Tuoi Tre News tells us why in this feature done with the Reporting ASEAN program.

 

For Young Vietnamese, ASEAN is A Workplace

As Vietnam deepens linkages with other ASEAN countries, more younger professionals are venturing into the region in search of work, professional development and meaningful life experiences beyond the homeland. Thanh Nien News’ Diep Uyen looks into how ASEAN integration has made more Vietnamese regional, and global, citizens.

Thailand Puts Its Spice into ASEAN 2019

Keen to bury memories of the diplomatic black eye it got when local protests threw into disarray its ASEAN chairmanship in 2009, Thailand is bent on making sure that this year’s meetings not only go well – but close at yearend with a clear, spicy Thai flavor to ASEAN 2019. Reporting ASEAN’s Johanna Son reports.

Looking for Space in the Lao Dam Debate

Laos’ road to its hydropower in the last 20 years or so has from been an easy, or smooth, one. Looking back, it has been the focus of efforts, led by the World Bank, for setting better standards for dam projects, as well as  the magnet for a cascade of criticism from environmental and other campaign groups. Johanna Son deliver into these in the second part of this set of stories for  Heinrich Boll Foundation Southeast Asia.

Laos: Dammed Information?

Six months after the 2018 collapse of a dam in Laos, the flow of information appears to have slowed down to a trickle, making it difficult to figure out actual costs and the development toll. But could there be new opportunities in what seemed to be more space in public discussion, including in an era of social media, in the aftermath of the dam disaster? Johanna Son looks into these in the first of a two-part set of articles for Heinrich Boll Foundation Southeast Asia.

China: Dominant, distrusted in ASEAN

While its dominance is acknowledged, China is not seen as an altruistic presence by most respondents in Southeast Asia, according to a report of the Singapore-based ASEAN Studies Center.

Laos: ‘We Have This Commitment On Hydropower’

Reporting ASEAN transcribed the following translated remarks made by Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith about Laos’ hydropower policy in the wake of the Jul. 23, 2018 collapse of a dam in the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy project.

Developed and Displaced in Southeast Asia

BANGKOK, Jun 30 – Families moved to distant, poorly equipped resettlement areas to make way for railways in the Philippines. Villagers still dealing with the loss of access to livelihood resources decades after dam construction in Thailand. Communities in Indonesia seeing their lands converted to palm oil plantations run by privately held concessions.

For Urban Asylum Seekers, Uncertainty is the Certainty

A permanent state of uncertainty is how life is for asylum seekers and urban refugees in Bangkok and other Southeast Asian cities. Often invisible in the cities they live in, they cannot work legally and do not have papers to stay for long periods of time, even if the process of seeking asylum takes years, reports Johanna Son*.   

Media Freedom: Much More Than Just the Media’s Problem

Talk of media freedom in Southeast Asia these days has to include media accountability. It is time for the different users of the information sphere – journalists, media houses, media monitoring groups, journalism professors and researchers, consumers – to protect the space for free media to operate, Johanna Son writes in this analysis for World Press Freedom Day.

The Minefield of Reporting the Rohingya

Reporting on the Rohingya is a tricky assignment, requiring Myanmar’s journalists to pick their way between pressures from the government and from the public. Many avoid discussing the topic too much for reasons of personal safety as well as the political and financial survival of their news outlets, explains Johanna Son in this Reporting ASEAN analysis.

 

Looking for ‘ASEAN Way’ in the Rohingya Crisis

ASEAN has more credibility with Myanmar than other countries. But what ‘ASEAN way’ can it pull out of its hat to find a relevant, effective role in the humanitarian and political disaster flowing from the Rakhine state and refugee flows of mainly Rohingya people? Johanna Son looks at ASEAN’s options in this article published in the ‘Bangkok Post’.

 

 

THAILAND: Could A ‘Cleaner’ Fishing Industry Set New Norms?

Cleaning up atrocious labor practices in Thailand’s commercial fishing industry won’t happen overnight, even as an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report documents both progress and persistent problems. But experts say reforms may well lead to new norms that other countries in Southeast Asia and beyond would be pressed to follow, reports Johanna Son for the Reporting ASEAN series.

 

What Comes After the Election of Women?

In its 15 years as an independent nation, Timor-Leste has blazed a trail in gender equality and empowerment, especially in putting more women in political positions from the village to the national level. Now, it is time to ask how a robust gender-quota system has delivered its benefits to society, says this article for the 2017 Developing Media Fellowship of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance. Helio Pereira of Times Timor magazine contributed to this piece.

New Rules, New Fears for Myanmar’s Migrants

Myanmar’s migrants, the largest group of migrant workers in Thailand, are no strangers to living with uncertainty. But the latest set of new rules about their registration – there have been several others over the years  – has many nervous about being able to continue to work in this Southeast Asian country. Than Soe Aung of Mon News Agency reports for the 2017 Developing Media fellowship of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.

Thailand’s Invisible Gender Law

Thailand passed a Gender Equality Act in 2015, but few people know about it – and this is part of the problem in addressing the discrimination that transgenders face in the country. Neang Sinen of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights looks deeper into this issue for the 2017 Developing Media Fellowship program of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.

 

Can A Regional Body Like ASEAN Eliminate Violence against Women?

More than seven years after ASEAN member states created the ASEAN Commission for the Protection of the Rights on Women and Children, what impact has it have – or can it have – on countries’ efforts to address gender-based violence within? Amanda Siddharta looks into the issue in this feature for the 2017 Southeast Asian Press Alliance annual fellowship program.

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