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COVID-19: Tips for A Saner Digital Diet in These Viral Times

Infodemic. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, online spaces in Southeast Asia have become a petri dish of deafening ‘noise’ and filth on steroids, into which fear-based behaviour sinks comfortably. But in the end, using online spaces consciously involves personal responsibility, and cannot be passed on to Big Tech. Reporting ASEAN’s Johanna Son shares some tips for picking one’s way online in the time of COVID-19.

 

Free Download: Reportage Around ASEAN-Related Issues: A Tip Sheet

BANGKOK, Jan 18 (Reporting ASEAN) – ASEAN. Whether you love reporting on it, or would rather flee from it, the ASEAN Community will continue to stay within the news radar of Southeast Asia’s media and journalists. This handy booklet takes not only journalists but students and followers of foreign policy, media and development, or anyone […]

‘ASEAN Opens A Big Gate for Vietnam’

Vietnam is fully plugged into Asean as Southeast Asia’s regional family, Tran Viet Thai of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam says in the conversation below. Vietnam becomes Asean Chair next year, and 2020 marks the country’s 25th anniversary as a full Asean member. Mr Thai explains how Asean has been a major facilitator in Vietnam’s […]

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.

Q&A: ‘Accountability Separates Journalism from Everything Else’

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.

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*.   

Q&A: ‘We Have Propaganda In Our Brain’

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Q & A: Doing Sex Work Doesn’t Erase One’s Rights

“You don’t lose your human rights because you take a dollar for sex,” Liz Hilton of the Bangkok-based Empower Foundation tells Reporting ASEAN’s Johanna Son in this Q & A. But this has not been easy to push in Southeast Asia, where sex work is illegal in almost all  countries, she explains.

ASEAN Likes, But Also Fears, China’s Economic Weight

China is not yet an economic behemoth in ASEAN, given that it’s s more of a trade power than a major foreign investor in the region. But the day may not be so far away when ASEAN countries find China’s clout to be much bigger – and a more potent geopolitical tool in areas like the South China Sea disputes – if they do not diversify their economic ties, writes Johanna Son for the Reporting ASEAN series.

ASEAN Can’t Leave Unskilled Migrants Out of Integration – World Bank

ASEAN needs to appreciate its healthy levels of intra-regional migration as an asset instead of a liability, this new World Bank report argues. Likewise, it says that recognizing and institutionalizing the rights and social protection of migrant workers – undocumented included – will deepen the benefits the region can reap from economic integration. Johanna Son reports for the Reporting ASEAN series.

Laos and Cambodia: The China Dance

Laos has been more diplomatically adept than Cambodia at balancing ties with China with those of other countries. But while both are undoubtedly dancing with China, the social, economic and developmental cost of this dance remains to be seen in the coming years, says Johanna Son of Reporting ASEAN in this analysis.

Where is the Environment in the ASEAN Mindset?

The 50 years of existence that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations marks in 2017 is no small feat. This anniversary provides ASEAN citizens a chance to look back, as well as to look forward. It also allows them to take stock of ASEAN’s vision of development – and where the environment is in this […]

After 50, ASEAN’s To-Do List is Far from Easy

At 50 years old, ASEAN has a lot of work to do to boost its internal strength, making itself more of a middle power through concrete steps that include implementing its own agreements, reviewing its currency basket, giving national treatment to its own investors – and beefing up its own security discussion forums. Johanna Son of Reporting ASEAN explains more.

After 50, ASEAN’s Greatest Threat is Itself, Not China

ASEAN is basking in its 50-year glory, but this milestone has also shown how it is, in a sense, its own weak spot. The challenge from within ASEAN itself is its refusal or inability to fix itself from within so that it is solid enough to stave off divisions caused by the presence or absence of external powers, whether it be China, or the United States, explains Johanna Son.

Time for ASEAN to be a Middle Power

As ASEAN reaches the 50-year mark, it should free itself from the old confines of navigating between the big powers and build its muscle as a middle power – one that confidently and collectively holds its own against undue external pressures, be it China, the United States, or others. Johanna Son* reports.

 

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