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.
Myanmar has become a case study for how disinformation, fake news and hate speech affect online space and content, and therefore, public perceptions and debates. In this Q & A, The Irrawaddy’s Moe Myint shares his insights about the challenges, some of them very dangerous for professional journalists, thrown up by the toxic online environment marked by misinformation and deep divisions in Myanmar today.
In the first episode of our Teashop Talk, Reporting ASEAN’s Johanna Son talks to senior media trainers about where coverage of ASEAN issues is in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Vietnam, and what skills would help local journalists report more creatively and confidently about regional matters.
Navigating the news in Southeast Asia requires separating fake news from professionally done media products, discernment and evaluation, highlighting how the media landscape has changed. In this Q & A with Reporting ASEAN’s Johanna Son, Hong Kong University’s Masato Kajimoto talks about the need for news literacy – and media credibility.
Myanmar may be a politically freer country, but has many more challenges to media freedom today. In this chat with Reporting ASEAN’s Johanna Son, Yin Yadanar Thein, the co-founder of Free Expression Myanmar, says the country’s undemocratic habits – including the Aung San Suu Kyi-led government’s policies toward the press – will take a long time to unlearn.
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.
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.
It wasn’t easy to discuss issues of gender, be it the sexual abuse of women and girls or discrimination in the workplace, but Vietnamese journalists and growing sections of the media have been creating space for this. Tran Thi Thuy Binh of Hanoi Radio and Television tells us more in this in-depth feature.
Media have contributed to the campaign to bring child sex abuse cases to the public eye, bring justice to the victims and their families, and increase public awareness of the rights of young people and their families. But some media reportage, of the type that violate children’s rights and expose them and their families to more injustice and prejudice, have also been a problem, Tran Thi Thuy Binh of Hanoi Radio and Television reports.
Two Vietnamese women journalists have doggedly focused on looking into child sex abuse issues in Vietnam, helping raise a public outcry over these and pushing authorities and the courts to take action. Tran Thi Thuy Binh of Hanoi Radio and Television tell us how their reportage, which has won awards, are making a difference in society.
The growth of ASEAN’s footprint in its constituency’s lives widens the space – and responsibility – by the region’s media to report on the challenges and opportunities of regional integration. While media can invest more in this story, ASEAN’s largely opaque approach to them doesn’t exactly speak of a maturing organisation. This shows few signs of changing radically any time soon, reflecting the less than open attitude toward media freedom by several of its member states, Johanna Son explains in this commentary.