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Holding the Line: South East Asia Media Freedom Report
Holding the Line: South East Asia Media Freedom Report

Last week, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and South East Asia Journalist Unions (SEAJU) launched Holding the Line: South East Asia Media Freedom Report 2019, which details the issues and challenges that imperil press freedom in the region. The report was launched on the eve of November 23rd, as we mark the 10th anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre. On November 23, 2009, 58 people, including 32 journalists, were shot and killed in Maguindanao, the province on the southern island of Mindanao.

As the title suggests, South East Asia’s media is determinedly Holding the Line against forces both overt and unseen, both online and offline that are trying in various ways to silence them. The report demonstrates that many challenges still lie ahead. The IFJ-SEAJU study is a tool for analysing advocacy to allow unions to strengthen their solidarity and call for justice.
“Despite this prevailing climate of intimidation, there is hope and grizzly determination. There’s no doubt that South-East Asia’s media workers are a brave and defiant lot. This courage is epitomized in the legal travails of people like the Philippines’ Maria Ressa, Malaysia’s Steven Gan and Cambodia’s Yeang Sothearin and Uon Chhin. They, and many other journalists fighting their own battles, are what this report is all about in a region where the true promise of democracy continues to elude in terms of the fourth estate and the vital role it should be able to play, but too often can’t,” Jane Worthington, IFJ’s Asia-Pacific director said. Download the report here.

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