FREE EXPRESSION

in Asian Cyberspace

SEAPA joins the blogosphere

REGIONAL press freedom watchdog, Southeast Asian Press Alliance, has recently carved its own space in the blogosphere, hosted on WordPress.

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.

July 14, 2006 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Needs assessment survey results

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

Technology

  • Provide technical tools, hosting, knowledge-sharing (in terms of expertise and relevant tools)

Capacity-building/Training

  • 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

Funding/Business Model

  • How to raise funds

Expanding Reach

  • hold programs in rural areas
  • provide networking support in Asia
  • help in information dissemination regarding Forum for Media Alternatives’s (FMA) research and trainings

Safety/Defense/Advocacy

  • 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

Continue reading

April 24, 2006 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

This blog is for everyone

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. 🙂

April 20, 2006 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Needs assessment survey form available online

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.

April 20, 2006 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Sheila Coronel’s keynote address

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.

Continue reading

April 19, 2006 Posted by | General | 9 Comments

Conference program

For the guidance of delegates, the PDF file of the conference program can be downloaded here.

April 19, 2006 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Welcome to Manila conference on free expression in Asian cyberspace!

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! 

April 19, 2006 Posted by | General | 2 Comments