Writes Roby Alampay, SEAPA executive director, in announcing the good news:
Our aim here is not only transfer our Alerts dispatches to a new format, but equally important, to actively engage people in discussions about free expression in our region. Beyond Alerts, we will try our best to actively link to posts pertaining to free expression issues affecting us all. A point in the right direction will always be appreciated.
SEAPA remains an advocacy group for Southeast Asia in particular, but a big reason we’re also making this move is so that we can also reactivate our official conference blog last April — and continue our conversation about free expression in Asian cyberspace. With PCIJ‘s help, we intend to bring back that link as a live and active section where our discussions on free expression on the Internet can continue. (We have a lot of questions, for starters, about this
whole “Internet neutrality” thing.)
Go check SEAPA’s blog.
IN a survey conducted during the conference, delegates identified needs and strategies on how to better protect cyberspace in Asia in the areas of technology, capacity-building/training, funding/business model, reach expansion, and issues of safety, defense and advocacy. Below are the results of the survey. Please call my attention to any entry that I may have erroneously interpreted in the process of transferring the results from the matrix format.
MEDIA SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS
- Provide technical tools, hosting, knowledge-sharing (in terms of expertise and relevant tools)
- Trainings in different countries on the following topics: website development, ICT, journalism, investigative journalism, podcasting, blogging, media management, CMS (content management system), web business models
- How to raise funds
- hold programs in rural areas
- provide networking support in Asia
- help in information dissemination regarding Forum for Media Alternatives’s (FMA) research and trainings
- spearhead an anti-web censorship advocacy campaign
- increase membership by including lawyers, activists
- create a network of bloggers
- improve capacity to make available PDF e-books on government censorship
- go beyond Southeast Asia
YES, it is. So feel free to blog your thoughts, by way of comments, to initiate a conversation. Or if you have a WordPress account, you can send me your username so I can add you to the blog as a contributor. 🙂
A NEEDS assessment survey to discuss capacities and needs for technology, training, and funding will be facilitated by Premesh Chandran of SEACEM after this afternoon's session. You can download the form here.
SHEILA Coronel, PCIJ executive director, set the tone of the conference with her keynote speech, the full text of which follows:
The Internet and Free Expression in Asia
First of all, welcome to Manila. I am pleased that we have gathered here today journalists, webmasters, and bloggers who are at the cutting edge of free expression in Asia. We have plenty to talk about in the next three days. We have much to share with, and learn from, each other. There are many things that bind us. Those of us who write from countries with a free press have found in the Internet an arena that is relatively free from the constraints of the profit-oriented mainstream media market. For us, the Web, especially blogs, has opened up spaces where news and information need not be trivialized, where serious, long-form reporting and incisive commentary need not be drowned out by a flood of sensational coverage and bite-size infotainment.
To those who come from countries where freedom of expression is curtailed — like Vietnam, China and to a lesser degree, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Nepal, the Internet has provided a haven, a safe space where journalists, citizens, and opinion makers are planting the seeds of a democratic discourse that is not yet openly possible in the mainstream.
I don’t need to remind you that this was not always so. Technology has opened up possibilities we would never have imagined in the past. We have before us today vast, new, and for the most part, unexplored fields where it is still possible for us to lay a claim, to stake out an arena free from the constraints imposed by repressive states and the restrictions inflicted by profit-hungry media markets. The Web has also made it possible for us to interact, like never before possible, with the audience out there, and to build virtual communities of citizens engaged in conversations about things that truly matter to the future of their community, their nation, their planet.
For the guidance of delegates, the PDF file of the conference program can be downloaded here.
THE "Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace" conference officially opens today at the ACCEED Electronic Library, Asian Institute of Management Conference Center in Makati City, Philippines.
The three-day conference brings together independent online providers of news and commentary from Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia in Manila to share experiences and discuss needs, threats, trends, and issues of ethics and the emerging roles and responsibilities of bloggers, podcasters and the alternative online media.
To the delegates, welcome!
- Tesco’s billion-baht defamation suits threaten free speech in Thailand
- Press freedom, free expression decline in Southeast Asia in 2007
- Philippines among worst-ranked countries in press freedom index
- Litmus test for Thailand’s ruling military council: Leave the press alone
- Media, free expression under threat in wake of coup — SEAPA
- Merdeka Day thoughts on media freedom
- On Merdeka eve, free speech online gets a ‘blackeye’
- SEAPA joins the blogosphere
- Charges against James Gomez dropped; passport returned
- James Gomez harassed by Singapore authorities
- Blogspot domain being blocked again in Pakistan
- RSF 2006 report: Asia still plagued by the old demons of authoritarianism
- Southeast Asian Press Alliance
- Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
- Article 19
- Reporters Without Borders
- Jeff Ooi | Screenshots
- Nepali Times
- Pakistan Press Foundation
- United We Blog!
- Don’t Block the Blog
- Global Voices Online
- Committee to Protect Journalists
- Citizen Lab
- Berkman Center for Internet and Society
- Ethan Zuckerman | My Heart’s in Accra
- Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
- Southeast Asian Center for E-Media
- Rebecca MacKinnon | RConversation
- James Gomez | JGNews
- Open Net Initiative
- Dr. Awab Alvi | Teeth Maestro
- Manuel Quezon III
- Journalism and Media Studies Center, University of Hong Kong
- Max Limpag | Leon Kilat: The Cybercafe Experiments
- Ellen Tordesillas
- Carol Arguillas | Mindanao Alerts
- CMFR’s Freedom Watch
- Sun Star Blog Chronicles
- Erwin Oliva | cyberbaguioboy
- John Nery | Newsstand
- Dean Jorge Bocobo | Philippine Commentary
- Philippine Network Foundation
- Foundation for Media Alternatives
- Open Society Institute
- Prachatai Daily
- Kom Chad Luek
- Institute of Policy Studies (Singapore)
- Vernon Totanes | Filipino Librarian
- Andrew Lih