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.
Young people can do a lot to clean up their communities, reports Hoa Hoc Tro’s Trang Thuc Van. She lists some initiatives that Vietnamese can sign up for – and take action themselves. After all, youngsters around the world are much more environmentally aware and even ASEAN, which Vietnam chairs in 2020, is discussing this shared problem, she explains in this Reporting ASEAN feature.
Vietnam wants to be a bridge builder for ASEAN as Chair for 2020, using its skills in staying multilateral politically and economically -– and looks far beyond the headline-grabbing South China issue and its giant neighbor to the north. Du Nhat Dang explains in this Reporting ASEAN feature.
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 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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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*.
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.
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’.