rJ ri

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Asia Journalism
The language terror......... of San Johanna T h e t e r r o t s f a f r e ep r e s s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . o LnisV Tlodoro Reporting terrorism ar home and abroad Wari Dj ajanto Baso ef rie T h e m e d i a tn e g a t i v eo l e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r
Waruna Karunatilalee

Publishedby the Center foi M.dl" Freedomand Responsibiliry

Mey 3, 2002



Reporting in the time of emergency KundaDixit Islamiahand the hijab.............. Jemaah
James Gomez



T h e T h a i m e d i ae x p e r i e n c.e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KtlachadaChaipipat

Homogenized reporting in a country of diversiry CarlasConde Images islam and Muslims in the Philippines of ................ RttfaCagoco-Guiam


A dark period for the press
Men Kimseng


PUBLISHER Mrr-rNoa QurNros Dr Jesus EDITOR Lurs V Teooono B O A R DO F A D V I S O R S (Philippina) EucrNreAlosroL (Indonesia) ArlurusuueH AsTRAATMADJA Kqvr CHoNcrcrrrevopx (Thailand) RqurLocsnr (Philippina) Kr.cricHAr PoNCPANIcH (Thailand) SuseNro Puo;or're.ntoNo (Indonesia) .COUNTRY ONTRIBUTORS C '\7,+ruen DlalaNro B,tsoux (Indonetia) Rup,r C,e,coco-Gurax (Phi lippina) Kur-,qcH,co.4. CHArpnm (Thai/nnd) C,qru-os CoNoE (Philippinu) (Nepal) KtnoxDtxtr Jeles Gotitz (Singapore) D.rr.uvm Hrmn:nurc (Thaiknd) 'WAnLwe KenLql,{r:rrxrcy. (Sri Lanka) MEN KIMsENC(Cambodia) Lures Luwenso (Indonaia) Mer YtN.TtNc (Hong Kong) REur'r,ql RqsHIo (Makyia) Lurs V. TEoDoRo (Philippinu) E D I T O R I AA S S I S T A N T S L EvELYN Katrcser O. Hecron Bnvarr L. MACALE Ma. Rosrlle B. MTn,nNDA DESIGN ONSULTANT C ARNEL RIVAL

Journalismethicsin Eastlmor
Ltthas Luuarso

Media ownership and media independence: Darrrnee HirunruL Another kind of media concenrrarion?.......... Mah Yin Ting The Sun rises, sets, rises, sers, nses.............. Rehman Rashid Beyond economics
James Gomez

66 69 72

ROUNDUP \(orld


The Centerfor Media Freedomand Responsibiliry organized 2nd Journalism the Asia Forum in Bangkok,Thailand on February 14- 16 with a grant from the JapanFoundationAsia Center, arrdpartnership with the,{SEAN MassCommunicationStudies and Research CenterUniversityof the Thai Chamberof Commerce and the Thai Journalists Association. This publicationis supported wirh the help of the following corporare sponsors; DevelopmentBank of the Philippines fuzal Commercial Banking Corporation Siemens, Inc.

JournalismAsia is published by lhe Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (C[/FB) Irom its headquarters at the Ateneo Professional Schools, 1 3 0 H V d e l a C o s t a S t . , S a l c e d o V i l l a g e ,M a k a t i C i t y , P h i l i p p i n e s F o r i n q u i r i e s , i n g ( 6 3 2 ) 8 4 0 - 0 8 8 9 / 8 4 0 - 0 9 0 3 / 8 9 4 - 1 3 1 4 1 8 9 4 - 1 3o r6e m a i l c m l r @ s u r l s h o p . n e t . p h . r 2

Asl^ 2002


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on Asianjournalists teruorism
THIS publication beganasa forum among journalists in the region, a meeting biiled as Journalism Asia Fontm. The first was held in Manila in January20011the second in February 2002 in Bangkok. Both were designed not only for the usual valuable exchange of ideas about shared concerns;but for the production ofa publication on journalism in this part of the world' The meetinglast year brought together iournalists from ASEAN countries. The ,.rrrlt, * protorype edition of Journalism Asia.In Bangkok this year,journalistsfrom Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia,Philippines, Singapore,Sri Lanka and Thailand attended the meeting. This edition starrsup JA asan annual report on the of aspects the pressin difitrent countries in in the region; quite auspiciously, 2001' a vear of epochal events. It has taken Al Qaedas catastrophic atto tacksagainsrAmerica placeterrorismasa central issuein the global agenda. But the small meeting in Bangkok gatheredenough fuian journalistsand writers who havehad to reDort on the violence of terrorism in their own communities long before September 1 1. Asia is home to newly indePendent countries where strugglesfor national liberation havebeentainted by the same"horri$ring tradition." In many countrles'communal hostilities have erupted in savage attacksagainstunarmed civilians. Policeand military iegimeshaveresortedto such methods of fighting the "enemy'' among their own people.Extremism. Fanaticism. The embedded senseof the aggrieved. Hurt of and hatred have bloodied the landscape Asia with irational ways of making war. are Journalists quick to admit that perhaps the news media are hardly equipped to help their communities and the rest of the wtrld to understand how and whY such violenceerupts. Quite often, they do no more than count casuaities.On occa-

sion, they may fan hostilitieson either side of the conflict. Clearly, part of the problem is a media culture not given to reflection and review. But these pagesPresentan earnestattempt for understandingthe terror in our must become part midst. The perspective For jourofthe largercontextofdiscussion. the nalistsin the region and elsewhere, issuesinvolve fundamental questionsabout language,attitudes and traditions that have Iong shapedjournalism Practicebut may now need re-thinking. fu INTER PRESSeditor JohannaSon points out in her lead article,terrorism, in and out of quotes, calls for "analysis and 'We hope /,4 contributes to the debate." in beforeand after deadlines, Asia process, and around the world'


our lnformation, mostvital resource
TODAY, a year after its birth, Journalism Asia\ pvpose remains the same, and has in fact become of even greaterwgency. JA, however,has had to temPer its earlier optimism that it could as published as a quarterly. The realities of the Asian financial crisis, the problems of language among countriesofdiverseculturesand traditions, daily concernsofpractiand the pressing, tioners in fuia have transformed JA into an annual report that will review the previous year'spressperformance in Asia. JA s itsdf a reflection of *re uncerainties that continueto plaguetheAsian pres, ofwhich financial viabilitv is onlv one. As this rwiew of performancelastyearshows, thoseuncerpress t}re aimies indude the temper of governments, as economicwell beingof sociery, well as general fie kind of preparation for the craft that journalistsreceive. Last year the most number of journalists were killed in Afghanistan, which is in
2 Jounuusu Asra2002

fuia, and it is in Asia where the most journalists are still in prison and have h3d to pay dearly for the exerciseof their craft, with their lives. sometimes Part of the reasonare the conflicts that continue to plague the region, or which ofviolence and instabiliry haveleft legacies that continue to affect the way journalists must function. In Cambodia,for instance,the yearsof war and conflict have taken a toll on the pressthat is by no means unique to that

stationsunder the pretextof enforcingmunicipal laws (the Philippines). fu the reportson the subject from the Sri Thailand, Indonesia, Lanka Phiiippines, and Nepal shorv,in Asia-a region of diverse cultures, religious beliefs and traditions-the reporting of terrorism also remains problematic, shaped bY, among other vital factors,the dominanceof\festof ern media asmajor sources information. As/,4 said in im first editorial last year,it doesnot claim to haveany solutionsto the problemsthat the crafi ofjournalism aspraccountry. hand, pressfreedom has iiced in Asia face in abundance. At most On the other also proven to be a right that has required JA would be another Forum for PractitioIn the most militant defense. Thailand, ners to examine,evaluateand critique the Indonesiaand the Philippines,government way they havebeen dischargingtheir mandate incursion has remained a threat expressed of providing the information so vital to entire nations, in a world in which ffirmadon-acfreedom (lnlimiting press in draft decrees curate,complere,relevant- has becomerhe the banning of publications for donesia), reporting not to the liking of those in power ultimate resotucethat can make freedom both possibleand meaningflrl. (Thailand), as well as the closure of radio



ByJounNNa SoN

AVE the mediabeen terrorized terrorism? by The term "terrorism"
can be seen, read or heard today just about everywhere in media, rvhether international or local, ready to be received by news consumers. It also lies in wait of many a writer or editor working in an international political lardscape changed by the Seprember 1 1 attacks in the United Srates. The word "terrorism"- both its rechnical definition and the political b"gg€. that comes wirh ir - is an editorialminefieldfor journalists, many oFr,r'hom trying to find their way to are tair,insightfulreportingin a world that, shaken byevents that of September like 1I , areincreasingly dominatedby the language images rerrorism. and of In fact,the dictionarydefinition of the word appears be rhe easiest of to part an editorial debate ifand how to use on 'ierrorism" and"terrorisr" a news in story asan ongoingdiscussion amongregional editorsin my newsagency, Inter Press Service, shows. The New Oxford Dictionary(1998)

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AsA JouRNAusM 2002 3

defines "terrorism" asa mass noun that means"the useofviolence and intimidation'in the pursuit of political aims". A "terrorist", it says, a "personwho uses is terrorism in the pursuit of political aims". Then comes the manY questions that have cropped up in the current discusin sion among us editors,especially an whose editorsin organizationlike IPS, Europe, North America, Asia and T atin America coordinate their regions' story production and send the articlesthey edit straight to the wire, without going through a central editing desk. How shouldjournalistsnow usethese words? Should theY aPPearin coPYas fact, or should they be used always with attribution to who or what grouP is making the judgment that a Personor group is terrorist?

ifan actis a terrorist But thenagain, by act,asdefined the Oxford Dictionary shirkfrom usingthe shouldjournalists word?ShouldtheytiPtoearoundthe \Tithout a truth, or call a spade spade? werea 1 the September I attacks doubt, act,and that is how news terrorist referto them. organizations arenot talkingaboutjust this But we oneincident.How shouldnewsarticles on referto the "United States'war as it be accepted Should terrorism"? and reported a indeed war on terrorism and usedasfact- or is it wiserto put the in phrase quotesto showthat some group is making that claim, not the writer or editor? wherever that journalists, I believe world,would thisglobalized theyare.in havegoodusefor aworkableeditorial tool withwhich to go throughand treat morethan a semantic Ic copy. is Far but debate, onethat is linkedto the task media's ofcritical reportingand without and events trends explaining falling into the "terrorist"mindsetand on passing the sameblindly to their and readers audiences'


has After all, "terrorism" become words and abused amongthe mostused in recenthistory,a politicallyloadedterm The months' in especially thelasrseven mindsof in manyPeoPle's images terrorismtodayarequite differentfrom I theyhad beforeSeptember I and those military actionin $fghanithe U.S.led

tioningly- often,in waysthat do little to or inform audiences helpthem underissues. oftoday's standthe nuances internathe changed This iswhy 1l September has after tionalsetting newsrooms andas in debates generated it is not a debate shows, IPS'experience resolved' that is easily Not at a time whenwhat the United stan,for instance. calledits "war on terrorism"in States the Terrorismhasentered lexiconof September in facta militarycampaign life all kinds of media,aswell aseveryday as to in Afghanistan hasexpanded areas - children now play games whereone is and as diverse the Philippines Georgia, the goodguy and another"the terrorist"' And aboutits policies. questions raising onecancounthow In todaysmedia, not certainly whendifferentgovern"terrorism"and manytimesthewords the ments,from China, Russia, Philipin "terrorist"appear newsPapers, too are pines, usingthephrase to referto websites' and television radio reports, as George their own insurgents well. to These. borrowU.S.President of In short,themeaning "waragainst in phrase referringto terrorism, \( Bush's on depends who or what is that terrorism" aresomeof the "ticking time bombs" who journdusingthat phrase and the ones to cando damage unsusPecting or who isa terrorist not is more define ists,and readers. or often that not, states governments. alsoisthat in manY The realiry with moreaccess or States governments the including big mainstream media, andwith the outlets, to communication everyday, on oneswe see cabletelevision to resources explaintheir viewwith termsareusedfreelyand unquesthese


Arh 2002 IouRNALIsM

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supposedly more legitimacy. So it is easierfor media to call the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the Basque separatists Spain and the Palestinian in fighters "terrorists", than it is to call the Israeli governmentt most recent offensive against Palestinian towns and refugee :reas,"terrorisni'. Yet "terrorism", ifwe go by the i}ford dictionary definition, is defined ':r'rhe act, not by the actor who did it. lerrorism can be done by states too. To :iar- the devil'sadvocate,ifwe usewar .:.gainst terrorism (without quotes), .rould news articiesthen refer aswell to -s:aelistateterrorism?Should we?\7ould The sensitiviry the issue seenin of is relarionto the volatile Middle East, in :::rarks made by Malaysian Prime I' l.::srer Mahathir Mohamad in early ,---:- ar a meeting of Organization of -,-,:ric Conference(OIC) ministers:He :.. -.i -ire Israelioffensives Palestinian in .:;:errorism by the state, and likewise :-..=J suicidebombings by Palestinians .--.. cilerror.


;iis remarks created a stir in the -:.:;:lic ministers'meeting (on yes, : - :: -.rism). They could nor agree it, on ==: seleralministers rejectedthe :":.gorization of suicidebombers as :=::.rrists bent on causingcivilian deaths. But putting up editorial guideposts .:.d piecing together editorial sryle on :.rrorism is in manyways evenmore :::nplicated than, say,a meeting of :J''-ernments, This is because editorial debate on an lorv ro get a handle on terror is nor about individual definitions of "terrorsm" (lest news organizations end up drawing up their own lists of terrorists, like the U.S. State Department), but how ro use the term in such a way as to prodnce qualiry, professional copy across different bureausand regions. For individualmedia encities,



William arrington F
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Arr^ JouRNALTsM 2002 5


one includingan international like IPS,it way of using for is a search a consistent theword and the conceptin fair, good articles written and readby different and ofdifferentcultures political people with the aim of informing settings, in audiences an intelligentmatter.This not alsomeans internalizingand passing 'big' to and areeasy on labels that sound use, tend to confuse, but to fu of thiswriting,IPScontinues heated ones, views,sometimes exchange But the fact that journalists on the issue. canhavevery different individual the preciselywhy useof opinionsshows against the word "terrorism',especially backdropof todayspolitical landscape, by shouldbe covered editorial poliry, if (For not srylebool.rs. thoseof uswho this write or edit articleseveryday, would alsomakework a lot more efficient,and overterms.) agonizing with less One questionbeforethe IPS editorsnow is whether to, and how of to, updatethe sectionon the usage "terrorism"in a new versionof the stylebook. agency's versionof this styleThe previous with other book, which we haveshared journalists, and writers,professors noncautions organizations, government usinglabels writersand editorsagainst "terrorist","fascist"like "mercenary", sometimes labels that writersand readers are do not realize that. -Where does"terrorism"in the current have fit in?Somepoints for discussion arisenin the IPS debatewhateditorial warning signsto heedaswe write and handlecopy.

that it iswiserto usequotationmarks removingthem would tend to because ofthe United States' showacceptance definitionand useof the term to include all military actionit putsunderit. "Otherwise,we would givecredibility to what is, in realiry a political stand:the military officialclaim thatwhatever actofwar against is actionir takes an AlejandroKirk, IPS says terrorism," productioneditor. 'war \7ould using Other ideas: instead work? terrorists" alleged against against Or using"the United States'war ' ? terrorism" Or what the United States 'war terrorism"? its against calls The jury isstill out on this,and asI condnues. typeon, the debate

rcrofism" against 0n'1tr4t
has One view is that the phrase been therelong enoughto allow us to drop the quotationmarks,and that quotation and marksmakeit sound"a bit sarcastic in one dismissive", editor colleague Europethought. But anotherview hasit
6 Asr^ 2002 IouRNusM

a The link between term and from whoseviewpoint it comesfrom is citedin from Moyiga Nduru, IPS this example liken AFrica editor,who said,"I always the word terrorismto the offent{ingword animist/susedby Christians/Muslims/ Jewsto referto tlose who worship " religion. While traditional/indigenous quotesarea differentmanner,he added, we "Insteadofsayinganimists, in Africa "followersoftraditional usethe phrase religion'. fair There areaccurate, waysof coveringconflictswithout falling into the evenwithout terrorismvocabulary, havingusethe word "terrorism". that andstates some groups Describing be their aim, name,actions, callterrorists, or shooting,is much more it a carnage and reader-friendly complete. 0nnGwotd'teilotisl" Abid Aslam,our North America/ beenflaggedup before It hasalready editor,pointsout, "Suchlabels Carribean asa tricky term to be usedwith caution, and shorthand not terribly canbe clumsy but certainlymoresoin the lastseveral In revealing." theend,"irs(terrorist months,whereit is often caughtbetween louder speak groups)actions,presumably a factualdefinition and a political thanour labels". definition. to answer this, Thereis not a single But therearewaysto handlethis dealingwiththe language but certainly clearof it mostof steer term, or actually, analysis requires creativity, thetime,andstill tell a good,profession- of terrorism (lotsof it). But aslongas anddebate are Usein quotations story. ally-writren journalists and to continue askquestions if fine,with effortput into saying thereis they try to put up editorialguideposts a denialto that label.Somefind it safer we canuse, canyet makeour wayout of the to and more precise describe act the minefieldthat is the oftenabused involved,the aim and identiry of the ofterrorism.r language group or state,father than to usethe who or "terrorist"labelwithout saying *lPS newsagency (http:// what is making that claim or judgment' a produces daily www.ipsnews.net) and essential, Attribution remains 'World on wire that focuses Service moreinformativefor readers. certainly on newsand features contextualized we For example, referto "... the Decemto ofrelevance the issues global berattackon the Indian Parliament, g l o b a lS o u t h .I t i s r u n b y a n o n in which the government New Delhi 'terrorists' of association profit international linked to Pakistan'. on blames journalists.Its Asia-Pacifi c using\Tashingtons I still recommend 'war Thailand. is headquaters in Bangkok, terrorism'witha clearlink to against someit who calls that,suchassaying 'what callsits the United States like thing terrorism". war against Johana Son is IPS'4sia-PacifcRegional Director



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ByLurs Teooono V.
I PHtt-rpprr'res

ECAUSEit is their specific charac teristics, amongotherfactors,that decidehow their newsaswell as
opinion pag€s presentand interprer those events, I will preface this report by first describingthe Philippine media. My description, however,will be in rather broad strokesbecause is not possibleto adit equatelydescribeit completelywithin the time allotted to me. I hope, however,that it will be sufficient to put in conrext the way some media organizationsreported and commented on the September 11 attacks aswell asthose eventssubsequentto them. ThePhilippine press media firstof all and are C$A wants Pascual al. to returnP72h{ .wo*ar,s €t protected aconstitutional by injunction against the ',. ;',1, ,,: ,, .- i.",,.1", ",'-",":.,-r:; ;rli.=r".:,,, passage ofanylawabridging press freedom wellas as .... ilfifit;*, : . : . : : . ' . 1 ,i. , , , . - 1 . : r i ; : . 1 ; " . : ..,.., i ' ,' r' 1 1 i . . . 1 ; ; . - " ; r , . , , . , . freedom ., .l ..,, i. ofspeech, expression, assembly. and This protection the1987 in Constitution specially is meaningful because need it hadbeen the for starkly demonstrated duringtheperiod dictatorship of from 1972to1986, when governmenr control over ....:i:]:i*!:!:ei€ioi{!.iel3;:;&*:;::!|9.9.3j:i]1;j:.:!.::'i.i:1::9':3:3.:::::':.:j':j:::j:.i:i.:.:* information Filipinos thedarkabour vasr kept in a lilanila's pages: front stories sourced thewires, thelocal from and angle array ofcritical issues about theircountry sociery. and
Asr^ JouRN^usM 2002 7



4 ArticleIII Section of the 1987 the PhilippineConstitution constitutes freedom,about press for basis a regimeof which mediaadvocarygrouPsand havebeengenerally practitioneis thankfi-rl.However,constitutional beensufficient protectionhasnot always mediaautonomy'asno law is to assure everreallyenoughto do that. and Practitioners mediaadvocacY found sometimes groupshavetherefore Philippine the needto remindvarious as governments well asother institutions andof ofthat provision ofthe existence the it. the needto resPect In somecases reminderhasbeenignored,and hashad to by to be reinforced publiccampaigns freedom. protectpress

months that areright now fast approaching,the bizarreand the unusual. Month aftermonth, the Manilaas basedpress well asTV and radio havefeaturedin the yearjust stations past,through huge headlinetype and high decibelaudio, one Political had their misgivings. afteranother,someof them are Thosemisgivings not overPress scandal hyped uP to make them deliberately but over the freedomitself,however, look biggerthan theYreallYare. mass failureof much of PhiliPPine In the last few months, asidefrom mediato utilize that freedomfor on speculations who killed a endless the precisely very purposeimplicit in oncefamousactor, the Possible needfor its protection.That the spouse involvementof presidential purpose,aswe all know, is to provide deals, Mike Arroyo in variousshadY the public the information it needsfor and whether there will be a couP it to makethe informed decisions attemptagainstthe Arroyo goYernof freemen and women in a worthy still ment, the usuallurid stories, would be democratic. that society the information the media photographsand video footageof Much of it TN GENERAL, however, maYbe violencewhether betweenhottransmit under the Protectionof the exist does freedom Igranted that press temperedindividuals,or committedin aretrivial, Bill of Rights,however, and is practicedin the Philippines. the pursuit of criminal or political of worstinstincts to as and/orappeal the this believe to be the case, Practitioners ends,hasremainedin ampleevidence. too many In audience. far a mass of do most othersectors Philippine Of coursethere is the Abu Saryaf that on the the instances, information and including academics society, Group- storiesabout which have value otherhand would havea public politicians.\Thether thereis also almostdaily in the last beenappearing and biased, freedomhasplayed otherwiseis inaccurate, that press agreement two yearssincethe SiPadan hyped-upor exaggerated' a positiverole in Philippinesociery kidnappings- aswell asthe arrivalof freedomhasbeena press Because matter' is however, another for US troopsallegedly a militarY An infl uentialFilipino businessman' fact of Philippine life for so long, even During the summermonths exercise. takeboth its existtnceas practitioners saidonly a few months ago for example, of March to June,however,the well asits meaningfor granted'In during that the Philippine government' likelihood is that to this diet will be to as practiceit is regarded a license itwas at the time en economicsummit aboutwomen in remote addedstories print and air anything that will sell look at sponsoring, shouldseriously give birth to fish' or about who places or morenewspaPers boostratings. rather has how the freepress damaged atop telemateriaiizing apparitions the than advanced country'sdevelopa phonepoles. Press, ment. TN MUCH of the PhiliPPine in for Remarkable their absence the not has Ireeime of freedom therefore of Citing the usualexamPle Abu SaYYaf last two yearssincethe in meant its exercise pursuit of aims Raul businessman Singapore, than thoseof commerce.There raid on the SipadanIsland resortin aclaimthatt being nobler repeated Concepcion that will Malaysia arethe articles ofcotlrse,but theY are excePtions, mademore and more often bYbusiness the to havebeenso rareasto be immediately enablereaders understand certainacademics, economists, leaders, behindsuchphenomlike a mutation, complexcauses to seem and noticeable mediapractitioners some andeven and PerhaPs ena astheAbu SayYaf, of It themselves. is that the absence a free like a third arm. The rule is in fact an diet of sensationalism evenmore critically,groupsdriven by almostuniform that to seems makedevelopment press into taking up the genuinegrievances and for while its existence and scandal readers viewersmuch more possible, for gun suchasthe Moro IslamicLiberawhen the season to which is added, in miresentiresocieties mindless meaningduring the summer tion Front. it arrives, fault-finding. bickeringand endless of Vhile the partisans Press to freedomwould takeexcePtion the doesn't ideathat it's what Singapore freedom)ratherthan what have(press and to it seems have(a comPetent that hasmade determinedleadership) it into what it is today eventhey have


As[ JouRN^usM 2002



The competitionamongmedia organizations Manila is alsoextremely in fierce.Therearel0 broadsheets in Manila,plusa numberoftabloids competingfor a narrow band of readership distributedin Manila aswell asthe provinces, whereon the other hand therearenearly200 communiry newspapers. Between Manila'sleading TV stations, GMA-7 TV network and ABS-CBN, meanwhile, competition the is evenfiercerin termsrangingfrom the muflralpiratingof high-ratingbroadcastersto finding the sensational angleor shocking exclusive will boostratings. that Under these conditionsof extreme competitionamongthe mediaorganizations in both print and broadcast, thereis neithertime nor will for skillsenhancement,particularlyin the areaof research capability.Independentresearch to deepen publicunderstanding such of complexissues the rootsofMuslim as disaffection and the web of corruption rhat infests Philippineofficialdomis undertaken a few dedicated by pracdrioners aswellasbysuchjournalists'groups asthe PhilippineCenterfor Invesrigative Journalism. But these instances remarkable are for their rariry. Most of the time suchevents asthe resumptionof hostilitiesberween the Philippinearmedforces and armed Muslim groupsarecovered neitheras part ofa chainof complexevents as or the consequence offesteringsocialand economic grievances, asjust another but incidentofviolencelike a streetshooting or a hold-up----of course with bloody photographs video footage march. and to This kind ofcoverage doeslend itself to marketingdemands, giventhe fact that Philippinemass mediaareoverwhelminglyprivately-owned and in competitionwith eachother for an already fragmented market.Theyie interesting certainreaders viewers, to and they requirelimlereader viewer or

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non-Christian,and the educated and the ignorant, FREE,evenindiscriminate, use I ofthe word terroristhashelped considerably this mis-education. in Remarkable it mayseem-the as Philippineswas first countryin the Southeast to experience Asia terrorism firsthandwhile burdenedby a historv of
JourNrusuAsa 2002 9

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concentration, and dont demand the expenditure eithermuch time or of money.But they alsostrengthen existing majority prejudices, serve, the and not endsof educating through information a public that desperately needs and probablywants but those misit, of educationand funher divisiveness a in societyburdenedby the vastdivides between rich and poor,Christianand


ofsocialunrest,armedrebelcenturies -too many Philipand uprisings lion, are rnediapractitioners unableto pine beween terroristactsand distinguish groupsand ihosearmedgroupswhich of do useviolencein the furtherance whoseuseof it theirpoliticalaims,but discriminate. generally hasbeen In addition. undue, often overon whelming,reliance goYernment rePorts has sources led to one-sided by characterized a lack ofbalanceand The resulthasbeenthe fairness. of common demonization all armed groupsin Mindanao, and therefore public condemnationof eventhose groupswith legitimategrievances, in and which, while engaged combat with governmenttrooPs,do not use means. terrorist has A further consequence beenthe ofsupport for Peace almosttotal absence effortsamongthe population,and the ofwhat in the Philipencouragement pineshasbeenlabeledasthe "total war" in approach dealingwith all political forcedby includingthose formations and shortneglect, injustice,government policiesinto taking up arms. sighted the The kindestwayofdescribing who help makethis happen practitioners is that theyarenot Particularlyinterested in either further study,or in producing The reportsbeyondthe commonplace. would be that they themselves harshest of the share biases the majoriryand are by contentwith reinforcingthosebiases available only accessing the mosteasily sources. But it is alsotrue that the limitations are of Philippinemediacoverage the in ofsharedresponsibiliry a results situationin which mediaorganizations and darenot risk losingreaderships that do not through rePorts audiences or confirrn dominant prejudices, which would not attract,and theybelieve would evendrive away,consumer

the 13th, however,which was distinguished aswell by its being sourcedfrom the Philippine Department of National it Delensebecause concentratedon Defensesources'claimthat the United Stateshad expected terrorist attacla in its territory asearly asJune. This was a notable exception in the seaofstories sourced from \7estern, specificallY American sources,however. sourcedtheir The other newsPaPers
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stories from the wire services,mostly American, which had reporters on the ground. Evident in this reliancewas the absenceof those alternative viewpoints from other sourcesthat were almost immediately available in the Internet as well as from other, more distanced like some ofthe British publicasources tions. Virtually no background material was provided by either Philippine print or broadcast,which uniformly acceptedthe

interest.Another factoris the costin of both moneyand man/woman-hours and backproducingin-depth stories fu on groundmaterialbased research' Philippinemass enterprises, commercial do mediaorganizations not normallyseek to producebettei reportsquite simply they because cost.

American press'and wire services' interpretation and focus on September 1 I and after. The atmospherein the PhiliPPine wereat work in A LLTHESE factors medialastSeptember. media was a virtual replication of that in A.th. Philippine the I September I wasofcoursethe big story US media, where any dissent from of eventswas dominant interpretation evenasthe in Philippinebroadcasting on relatedto the attacks thEWorld regarded aspractically treasonousevents despitethe fact that there is a sizeable were and the Pentagon

TiadeCenter in unfolding live, soto speak, the datein Manila, which eveningof that seaboard' wasmorning in the US eastern and other US from CNN Footage againand again werereplayed networks which of for the restof that evening, was course understandable. broadsheet 12, On September every and tabloidin Manilawith but one for had the attacks leadstory. exception is The exception ofcoursealsoofinterest, than the but wasdue to no other reason of antiquiry theprinting relative which equipmentof that onenewspaper, requiredits printing earlierthan the other on a It broadshees. did manage rePort

Muslim communiry in the Philippines' and armed groups with which the Philippine governmentwas and is still in peacenegotiations. The assumptionsand oF focusoFCNNk non-stopcoverage ever)'thing and any-thing that had to do with September 11 and aftermath under the headings'America Under Attack" and "WarAgainstTerror" were dso bodily and uncritically transportedinto Philippine media reporting. The stories sourced from the wires occupied much of the front pagesuntil the end of the month, edging out stories about domestic events,and eventually giving way to attempts to find the local


Ash 2002 JouRNALIsM


Minister LqeKuan.Yew US Presiand lM denrGeorge Bushon it. GMA-7 promptlyincluded its in evening newsreportof Octoberl6 a storyheadlined'Anthrax Manila,"in hits which the imaginative cidzenwas interviewed, and asked suchquestions as when did you receive envelope, the what madeyou suspicious it, etc.,and the of envelope questionshownbiggerthan in life-size through theTV camera. This wasparendyroo much evenfor some media pracdtioners. columnist One calledthe stationand informed its news editorsthat shetoo had received same the envelope-which wasnorhing more than a promotion by the Singapore zErO. officesof the British magazine the The search localangles for continued Economist.To emphasize magazinet the beyondSeptember, by October 2 and influence, promotionhadbeensent the had resultedin a story about flu in an "lnter-Office Envelope" facsimile, incidentsamongthe students several in on which the names the more famous of 'exclusive'meaningexpensive-readers the Economist-among them of schools Metro Manilawhich promptly in ESPITETHE lessons offered LeeKuan Yewand George Bush\( T\ senrparents into a panic,asa segment of werelisted. | | by thissorryincident,the ]' the Philippinemediaprematurely s e a r c h f o r a l o c a l a n g l e c o n t i n - However, someof the mediapersisted concluded that it wasa case ofbiouedamongthe leadingTVstarionsand in playingup rheanthrax-has-reachedterrorism. broadsheets Manila, and again,some in the-Philippines angledespite GMA-7's It beganinnocentlyenoughwith a of them found it in a disease. This time it negative example. One of the Manila crawleroverABS-CBNNewsChannel wasanthrax. newspapers usedrhediscredited GMA-7 (ANC) in the earlyafternoonof October Reportsof the anthraxdeaths thd in storyasbackgroundro supporra reporr 2,which reporredthat "an unknown United States beenpublished the had in that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo virus" had infecteda number ofstudents broadsheets airedoverTV newsas and hadwarnedthepublic of the possible in a clusterofschools. they occurred September October. spread in and ofthe disease. laterturnedour It Bythe lateafternoon,however, Thesereports werefrom thewire services, that Ms. Arroyo had saidexacrly the viewers werereadinginto that report and with only a few exceptions appeared opposite:that therewasonly the their interpretationthat it must be bioin the foreignnewspages. remotest possibiliry that the Philippines terrorismat work because ofANCt In mid-October, howevet an overwould be the objectofan anrhraxattack. immediately inrerviewing, a takeon for imaginative citizenworkingat the former Another emphasized a hugeheadline in the evenr,the National SecurityAdviser SubicUS NavalBase calledManila's suspicions ofanthrax overan envelope ratherthan rhemorelogicalinrerviewees, GMA-7TVto repoft thar he had sentto the Speaker ofthe Houseof who would havebeenthe doctorsat the received what he described a 'tuspias Representatives-withour, however, Departmentof Health. ciousJooking envelope" mail. The by providing any details,beyondthe The National SecurityAdviser did envelope, the mind of this citizen, in envelope's having beenin fact sentand saythat therewasno evidence ofbiowho had apparendy beenfollowing the received, that couldjustif, the headline terrorismin the flu incidentsin the anthraxreports CNN and the via itself schools concerned, asANC and the and newspapers, "suspicious" was because it \fhat could havebeenofsome newspapers eventually around to got had the names ofsingaporeSenior help, however,was hard information

angletha: editorsthink makes an internadonal storyappealing a local to readership. This wasat the startall to the goodbecause localization rhe efforts initially focused the experiences on of Filipinosin NewYork, a legitimate enoughconcernconsidering how many Filipinoslive in that ciry but which soured when the broadsheets well as as rhetabloidsran out of "I-was-a-blockaway-when-I-heard-the-explosion" accounrs Filipinos,and began by publishingstories how the predictions on of Nostradamus supposedly anticipated rheevenrs September l, andlater,a of I sroryon the devil'scountenancetbeing perceptible the smokefrom ground in

interviewingdocrors rheDOH ar including the Secretary Health, it soon of became embarrassingly evidentthat there wasno bio-terrorism work, merelyflu at cases werenot unusualfor the time that of year, and the number of those afflicted. It wasalsoestablished one of the thar reasons why the cases multiplied had quicklywasthat the classrooms ofthe schools concerned wereair -conditioned, which madetransmittalof the virus easier than ifthe classroom windowsand doors had beenopen.In this episode the broad-sheets weremoresubduedthan television news,with one of them proclaiming its leadstoryheadline in the dayafterthat "IT'S NOT BIO-TERRORISM," and directlycriticizingthe offendingstation,while anotherwarned mediato bemore carefulbecause their "affect " stories people.



to the much to advance imPerative b e f o r et h e y a r e a b l e t o d o j u s t i c e on anthraxand how it's sPread; between , bridge ih. tt*t, divisions t o t h e m a n d a t ei m P l i e d i n t h e in which countrieshaverhe sPores Christian and Muslim which have o guarantee f press Constitutional as their biologicalwarfarearsenals; m l e d t o m u t u a ls u s P i c i o n , i s t r u s t , f r e e d o m - t h a t t h e Yw i l l P r o v i d e of analysis the well asa dispassionate and armedconflict in the Philippine F i l i P i n o s n e e dt o the information likelihood that the Philippinescould I partofthe globe. t e n a b l et h e m t o u n d e r s t a n d h e i r ofbio-terroristattacks' be a target their future p r e s e n ta n d t o c h a r t that Exceptfor one newsPaPer ft". men and women. In the an articlethat did provide _ printed journalisrnat andteaches Reuiew "s Joumalisrn m e a n t i m e ,t h e r e P o r t i n gt h a t ' s information on what anthraxis and ofthe Philippines Dilirnan' tJniuersity the going on is unfortunatelynot doing how it is transmitted,the restof the Philippine massmediadid not providethat kind of enlightenment' be Vhich could equallY saidof had preoccuthat thoseother issues pied, or which continue to be the in of, concerns manYPeoPle the for Media Philippines.The Center for and ResPonsibilitY, Freedom Manila example,did a studYof five during the Year2000 broad-sheets April-July offensiveof the Armed the of Forces the Philippinesagainst Moro IslamicLiberationFront. The study noted the glaring t o absencefpreciselY he kind of c o n t e x t u a l i z a t i o nb Y w a Y o f b a c k g r o u n da r t i c l e st h a t c o u l d h a v eh e l p e dF i l i P i n o s ,s P e c i a l l Y t h e 8 0 % o f t h e P o P u l a t i o nw h o a r e C h r i s t i a n sa n d w h o a r e t r a d i s t i o n a l l y s u s P i c i o ua n d b i a s e d against he Muslim communitY, b t understandhe reasons ehindthe bY certain demandfor autonomY M u s l i m g r o u P sl i k e t h e M o r o I s l a m i cL i b e r a t i o n F r o n t . In the placeof such material on was an overwhelming emPhasis on armedconfrontations, battlesand body counts'Therewere also lxitd,Pltltillti sf#,9ji16: of numerousinstances posedphotollr&l*lrtr?t$l0n \-- __a*I}_. graphsand video footage-with some "t"r."ji'jri a *tlii^'Iira:r of them displaying grossinsensitiv"i6Sia*'.?s['',* ity to Muslim culture,to Islam,and of to the diversitY the PhiliPPine

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IBff0H$m fi*n**+;-*ffi I'sfitrf;6'ffiWhOmB fi{':*ffiffiffiffiabr0au
wrrirpassengerson boarowere -::ffi a I-I T I Ilt \Tashington,DC kill over3,000innocenrpeople.
\Zhat is terrorism? The 1989 edition of\Tebster's Enryclopedic UnabridgedDictionary which contains morethan a quarterof a million entries, defines terrorismas"the stateof fearand submission so produced." Terrorimpliesan intensefearwhichis somewhat prolongedand may referto imaginedor futuredangers, \Tebster's explains. A moreapplicable definition to todayt situation comes from thewebsites ofthe U.S. StateDepartment and the U.S. FederalBureauof Investigation. In a definitionused since1983,the U.S.State Departmentdefines terrorismas' premeditated, politically-motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatanr targers subnational by groupsor clandestine agents, usuallyintendedto influencean audience." The FBI states that terrorismis'the unlawful use offorce or violence against persons propertyto or intimidateor coerce Government,the civilian a population,or any segment thereof;, furtherance in of politicalor social objectives." Indonesia alsohasits own definition. In a government-drafted on anti-rerrorism bill (RUU Pemberantasan Terorisme) now beforethe Houseof Representatives, definition of terrorismincludes the endangering threatening livesofothers, or the destruction properryr of deprivingothersof their personal freedom, and creatingwidespread in the fear community.(Jalcatta t December l, 200 I ) Pos 2 None of the abovedefinitions,however, specifically cites stateterrorismor state-sponsored terrorism- that is, terroristacts systematically perpetrated governby ments,One definition that alsocovers stateasa the possible perpetrator givenbyMunia a prominent is human rightscampaigner formersecretary and of Kontras,theJakarta-based Commission Mising for Persons Mctims ofViolence. and According to Munir, rerrorism in the broadest

Fl$nes sfnlkc U"$* $e**ns power of


Indonesia's prcss: denrcracy pedl free A in
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of sense the word refersto all of categories terrorist activities whetHercommitted by a state,cellsor individuals, (Jekuta Post December that terrorism 3 1, 2001) He explains a framework of is derived frorn political activiry which strivesto control peoplethrough violence, intimidation and fear.Invariably is murder,if not genocide, part of the equation,Munir saYs.

couense ScntemDetll

who Gelbardsaidthe commentators American public reactiontoward ' werequoted "betrayeda lack of on attacks Muslims (16), retaliatory of understanding the originsand of terrorism(16), and condemnadon prevailingnatureofthe majoriryof terrorism(12). The todaysinternationalterrorism." OnAmerican public reactiontoward to also ambassador took excePtion daily Muslims,the Islamic-oriented that the (nine). Anwart commentsthat "suggest the Republihacznied mostitems and terribleaca againstAmericans even in interest generate This categorywould may be actsof terrorismwithin Indonesia giventhat it is the worldt Indonesia all justified.Grrorism threatens of Mrslim-majority nation.More largest humanity and can never'everbe of of than 80o/o its poPulation 210 justified." on million is Muslim and anycoverage terrorismwith a Mtslim angle'moreover could touc'h Islamovertone, a U.S. versus How did the Indonesianmediacover what On terrorismwithin Indonesia, raw nerve- asit soondid in the attempt l1 the September attacls?Media to of this newspaper look into the reasons actsofterror occurredin 200 I and how Eriyanto of the Jakarta-based researcher rePortthem? did the locd press for the attacls. to devoted monthly magazine Pdntau,a at In Januarya bomb exPloded the On thewhyitems, the localreporting that the concludes mediastudies, to in Indonesia Miniature Parkin East upsetthe Americanembassy the Point moreon concentrated Indonesian Press but RobertS. Therewereno casualties, the that then U.S.Ambassador Jakarta. why. (PantauOctober, the how and a incident raisedpublic anxietyasit issued rebuttal.The Jakarta Gelbard takeplace? 200 1) How did the crashes of 13, followeda series churchbombingsin onSeptrember onlYnvo daYs Post themselves? victims save How did the season. citiesduring the Christmas carrieda storytided several BlackTiresday, after of How did the temperature the inferno blamingIslamic On February17, communalviolence against "U.S. warned Celsiusand melt riseto 1,000degrees eruptedin Sampit,CentralKalimantan, groupsfor attacla"' The headlinewas Howdid towers? the steelpillarsofthe and local migrantMadurese the paperdid with between on based interviews enter men offuab descent, the suspects, the who Dayakswho resented former'salleged Indonesianacademics several and directthe planesto their targets? pointing against dominanceofthe locd economY. cautioned'Washington on focused the that The newspapers weremassacred, Middle East Hundredsof Madurese Islamic 'why'' tendedto saythat terrorism the fingerat miliant aspect of homestorched.Thousands and their groupsuntil it hassubstantidevidence' is the product of U.S. foreignpolicy. fled to Javaand their home Madurese Another storythat drew theAmerithe Since Cold'\far of the 1950sto the 'Act islandMadura to add to the 1.3 million canenvoybire had the headline was I 990stheU.S. government in persons Indonesia' internally-displaced This to together preventviolence." to presumed havecommitted in 29,amob of 500 men On March 14 item printedSeptember wasa of second acts ,ru-.ro* instances in furtherance with knivesand other sharpweapons front pageinterviewin Q&A format an unjust foreignpolicy.Suchactionsby 'Washington workersstriking for betterPayat attacked with Dr. Dewi FortunaAnwar,an resultin hatebYmany a factoryin the Pulo Gadungindustrial at the individualsand groups,Eriyantoargues. international affairsspecialist Two in estate EastJakarta. workersdied or InstituteofSciences, LIPI' Indonesian (Pantauidem) and 33 wereinjured' Dr Askedwhatwerebehind the amacks, ofthe newscontentof In an analysis On April 29, a Molotov cockail arguedthat "manygroups feel Anwar in the terroristattacks five majorJakarta prayergatheringat explodedat a mass that the U.S. had beenvictimizing dailiesthrough September12-16 2001, the Eastparkinglot ofsenayanstadium the them." Shecontinuedthat "unless Pantaa found that the five PaPers to support!7ahid ashis hold on Power U.S. is reallyryillingto takeup the roots the reportedon eight themes: impactof wasslipping. not reallybe in terrorism(43 newsitemsappeared the of the problem,theywill During the Period MaY 20'26, terrorism"' ableto eradicate in five papers the five-dayperiod ofthe unidentifiedmen enteredprivatehomes the countered Gelbard In response, (29 study),the perpetrators items),the inAmbon, capitalof the eastern in charges a letterthe Posrpublished victims and properryloss(32), what provinceof Maluku, which Indonesian item, 15. (25), September On the first (35), the reasons happened

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lou|llwsM Asu 2002

Psst fhe tlaharta
Gaod prs$$, bad preis
IrianJaya, eastern-most and lndonesia's province, Iargest locallycalled Papua. The resultinginvestigation sofar not has yieldedanythingconclusive. The year2001, however, endedon a . I r F | r1"'"o iJ*.1'"iil,-"lLl.t'i1',lli'i:.";Y,'',i'-";. hopeful note that hasput a belated oree, u. ). worned oqolnst i ;;iil'"iili,:llfi.a*dlusraboureren { el€rled i*cder a;* g*iir!*ian b ih:s } aq}i featheron Megawatit cap.Appointed by t | {ounlr}. Drve lheir pfl{iiions todav to | | I | I dtrothe president, CoordinatingMinister for People's W'elfare in JusufKallasucceeded { mediatingpeace talls between warring factions Poso, in CentralSulawesi, which JAKRTA(rp).rheu.s.gwcmmr.sturrreva*redby"Fr€daylr*mrs: Jrcm ilt;I."::TJ"?fllir'o;#.iffi1tl: dib{i6. 6 eulionftl againir poiltin6 rhe tingr st milienr Il)ar{c Mddle ind why they \e€re pul in pnrvei rn the sters had beentorn by sectarian grups unlil { na1 subskdeat FudN strifethat has H ,{a. flsl !}Iace, ffi*d t iiret Fie{f". 1\picalIy. tLcy would lutrp rli the sion, killed 500 peoplein threeyears. tsrnr Pre$. the bed a$ B'€!] Js the good, rc Jnt8e one basLcr, a$ this rqolld gtve theft thF In Malino, SouthSulawesi, 23 paassAry p!+ts: t* la.io ifl lhe esri* tleq esed Fr€$. Christianrepresenmtive 24 Muslim s and tilaidenl rvithth€b*d ncaii'll$eia'**}{ws pts3, such as publrsnliofts that lndulgc tlion delegates signed Malino Declaration the 1r' pomogrJphl or iiar,rler. [*gal chan. m!nssk fi$Et r*rsi* i]"r li]* oaiy $slAs r$nDecember20 to end the violenceand r.hich ie rle*I e'itlr t$6 b*{i Fre{<. {rr lbey di$qriEi{3lc lhc gs-'l bct*'Rn io+r startconfidence-building measures. One atrd th* btd \r,ho , t* !{1@ knwtu k n w t u s h , A q i l B S d i s d H { dH U S US shr AqilB Sdis r E {rE hq. hq, "d o 'ad .ad thc govemmenl back senre Glvrng raDt. t{ rqrr{ rqr- d Er3r h Er3r ahrrrs d d a h r r r s rlddc r i R6rF r LRFsrL F i Fbr hl d rrk r t r s F b J h" k *!k d du ^ d . earlymovewasa government-supervised .'..,rer{ €;* h ;rysry mr tt,ti*l*r ran rrt 6ir""iw*.r *r +a1r u.i" B,oeid anly lnvite fotru of control b6ck 'o.ffill*"r.,-,.*. '-n '*-Tll-',i;,ol;if-*\Bf@@tu. q:I"ah powcr alrNs. be opplled ---,-,--..--r^ofriar rr would "T'.:*lYJ'no com- Dowcr alrNs,.ior lt voutd be 0pDlred S;itrl*|e" -ft collectionand mass destruction ofhomerh,s,' ddt Lsd rda,6 |fu' lM rN re SFl# r*d hh. lndisqrlmln8tely agllnst Inc bad anc ryH1 lhE -. 151athegmd-p-rs:5','Sff'HY#f.;-i:f#,f##.'fffif,H ;;=;iiii;kuE.;Li,"i; li:trl";*ffiHmadeweapons and the settingup of two lt wosl.d be a t{{gi\' rllstake rf we ;!d s e;Bad;i;r .€$rGftw;.;i;'i*;i: reisr s tu br bq+r iu Frc Br3'u*ka@husM L/','.uMtuqa{Es q,ere to allow the statc ta ha{e sa€ ,Fe!J commissions. One will dealwirh security :::&q5e#ffiql$46efdgdis!.*i&$**#&Sisf!i3awffii&f;!**s&t:eH{e#,#iis#*#,qHwi*;}?& i:yj#A$i$i8!r*t${!i$S*;€r{is$ii$fd ,l and the otherwith socialand economic matters. wasthen beingtorn by conflict benveen beensolved. Kalla,anativeofSouth Sulawesi, Christians and Muslims.They lctlled25 On August 9, at least3 I peoplewere believes Malino dealhasa better the and injured more than 40 people.The killed and seven woundedin an chance succeed to than four previous intrudersworeninja-sryle blackclothing. unprovoked assault unarmedworkers on agreements failed.His reasoning that is Theywould knockon the door of a at the PT Bumi Florapalm oil plantation that the Malino accordnot only bears the house, and attackwhoever openedit in EastAceh.One of the victimswas five signatures ofreligiousand tribal leaders as with machetes. years old. Both governmenr securiry in the previousfour; it alsohasthe On June26 hundreds fishers of in forces and the independence seeking approval,for the first time, of field Ancol Timur, North Jakarta, sought GAM deniedresponsibiliry the for commanders well. as refugeat the premises the National of atack. Malino, a hill town 77 kilometers Commission ofHuman Rights.Local On September Dr. Dayan 6, northeast Makasar, provincial of the authorities had evictedthem from the Dawood,rectorof the SyiahKuala thevenueagainfrom land theyhad beenliving on for more Universitywho preached non-violence in capital,became February ll-12 ,2002 ofmore than ten years and told them to move to resolving conflict in Aceh,wasshot the complicated peace talks.This meeting, the nearbyMarunda area. hotel with A deadwhile in his car by unknown byMinister Kalla,was watersporrfacilities ro bebuilt on rhe is assailants, partyhasclaimedresponsi- alsomediated No between Christianand Muslim the site. bility. On August I an explosionshookthe communities Maluku. Like Malino I, in On November10,Thep Hiyo Atrium MaIl in central the accordalsocalledfor the voluntary The Eluay,chairof the pro-independence Jakarta. ground floor washeavilydamaged. surrenderofarms and the settingup of There Papua Council Presidium, kidwas joint panolsand commissions. wereno deaths more than a dozen but nappedand found murderedin his car One early peoplewerewounded.The police the next day.He wasdriving home at signof success a spontaneous was mass accused theAceh FreeMovemenr, night from a HeroesDay function at the marchfor peace thousands by of GAM, of beingthe perpetrator, but Army Special Forces commandthree Christiansand Muslims wearywith neitherthis nor pastbombingshasreally kilometers outside the ofAmbon, Jayapura, capitalof conflict through the streets
f fr€edomoleNFHsjoBi$tb1'yardI strck by lvhich to m(.r$uN rirmoc. I rac1, anrl rf frcedom of the mftlln is ooe crr(friqn lo gauge thet ferdom of exprcsion. lhen rlemocrary if, Indonr-_.1 ri! _ -: l^ L _ +^, -eer'f p*fiy. srEaii*si p*lilical the *atiar'$ $he became a rallying Poin! for vattout sought to edd or8:anrzations thal the tyrannical rcglme of Seehano. That goal rr:s finally rclttcvcd in !4a5 tSB* and Mega$ati a,rtu*A***r!r, **.199$, +** H#h.et! subs€quentll sc s,-bp-r to }orver on rhc back oi thc re{orn: #s!4**il1, r€hr !l vtruk! n+t bt {.1 tx.lggeraiifi: r*1ir" prns l* siiiic ihal lha tri{itsi ir:ir +rus

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coverdomestic How did reponers journalists are acs ofterror? Indonesian in circumspect reportingon actsof terror both in conflict and non-conflict like In situations. conflict situations the strifein Aceh,Maluku and Central the Sulawesi, mediarefrainedfrom the the that could aggravate language useof In namingthe warring factions situation. therehasbeen in a conflict, for instance, labellingthat could no inflammatory as havebeenconstrued biasfor oneparry or the other.The partiesinvolvedhave they beenreferredto by the designation by the names and not givethemselves, the opposin$party or the authoritiesuse' In contrast,during the New Order the Soehano, years former President of military madeit mandatoryfor the press referto the separatist to Indonesian in movements Acehand EastTimor as


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GPK, for gerombolan Pengacau disturbance meaningsecuriry keamanan, in Now the seParatists Aceh gangs. are independence no longer seeking as labelled GPKbut as GAM, the name the movementcallsitsell which stands AcehMerdekaor FreeAceh for Gerakan Movement. mediarestricAnotherself-imposed tion hasbpento keepfactswithin human

of The horrific details the mass reason. bY killings ofmigrant Madurese Dayala in Sampit,W'est indigenous wereleft Kalimantan,for instance, for unstated the sakeofdecorum and digniry evenifjournalists had witnessed the aftermathofthe massacre. journalists Another matterof reason with is to maintain an haveto wrestle from the contending equaldistance

that duties.Theydemanded extraordinary 1. Extortion ads placehalf-Page of Maspion firms of On June26, 20Ol two and in apology their Publicatioos, group,a SurabaYa' the Maspion with the conglomerate, evenfiled a complaint basedmanufacturing rePort meeting police.Source:AJI Yearend shareholders helda general caPital. at a hotelin the EastJava was Theagenda for the firmsto hold 2. Pressfreedom'sultimate Price of On June3, 2001citizens bY followed a a publicdiscussion founda Sulawesi, Central Poso. That pressconference. planwas of because intimidation body floatingin the watefsof the abandoned The swollenneckof PosoRiver. bent on by "Bodrex" iournalists the corpsewastied wrth roPeto to who Presented the extortion, two olasticsacksof stones a firms' representativeslist of 75 face 70 weighing kg. The corPse's cash-filled to reporters whom recognition. beYond was mangled shouldbe distributed. envelopes off' Its hair had beenshaved The Thesebogus reportersun' nosehad been brokenand the left stated theY were abashedly eyeballgougedout. The bodYhad been for'not having offended The bodY knifewounds' numerous of MasPion Theyaccused invited. as that of I was lateridentified journalists, and so far snubbing of rePorter Sumariasane, for as to blameMasPion violating Wayan them the PosoPost.The motivefor the bY Preventing the PressAct Source: out from carrying their reportorial murderis still unknown.

AJI yearendreport 3. When militants strike "Policein East Javaarrested morethan 100 mem' on Sunday militantgrouP a religious bersof and confisin the townof Ngawi includ' cateddozensof weaPons, h s i n g b o m b s , a n d g u na n d b u l l e t s . wouldbe Theysaid more arrests out raidscarried madefollowing Jihad(HolY of by members Laskar and centers on Warriors) gambling on spotsin Ngawi Thursday night of and the abduction a local Megawati leaderof President lndonesian SoekarnoPutri's (PDl PartYof Struggle Democratic Perjuangan)." two Thiswasthe lead in a Page 3, storYDecember JakartaPost d 2 0 0 1 h e a d l i n e" 1 0 0 j i h a d fightersarrestedin Ngawi"'


parties. Serambi Indonesia Aceh,for in instance, to dealwith the military has and GAM, who both seethe paperasa platform fromwhich to present their respective cases the public. GAM field to havebeenknown ro commanders demandthat the paperpublish their '\7hat communiquds. the daily does is to ofthose quotethe sensible sections communiquis and to put them together in storieswhich alsocontainthe response ofthemilitary. Indonesian mediahasalsohandled the coverage militant organizations of with careto avoidany provocationthat could cripple the reportingcapacity of rhemediaconcerned. Theseorganizations includeMuslim groupslike the Militia) based in laskarjihad (Stnrggle which hassentarmed Yogyakarta, fightersto the conflict zones ofMaluku andPoso. Another is theJakarta-based for FPI Front Pembela Islamor IslamicDefenders

in with several SouthAmerica,Europe Front. FPI vigilantes had driven in group, andAsialNo Indonesia-based convoys night clubs,barsand to is gamblinghallsintimidating their owners however, on the list. to close down prior to the Muslim fasting month ofRamadan. is A recentdevelopment news In the coverage terrorism,a of reportingon the members groups of pertinent topic would be developing, American officialsallegehavelinks with government-draft Antied Indonesia's Al-Qaeda. Thosechargedwithsuchlinks TerrorismBill (RUU Pemberantasan includeAbubakarBaasyirwho heads an now beforeParliament. Terorisme) Islamicboardingschoolin Sukohardjo, rejectthe Human rightscampaigners CentralJava, andwhosenamehasbeen presentdraft, arguingthat it wont be tied to alleged Al-Qaedacellswhose in terroristactsbut effective overcoming in members havebeenarrested Malaysia would in facrencourage stateterrorism. and Singapore. Another isJafu Umar LegalAid Munarman of the Indonesian LaskarJihad. Thalib, commander.ofthe says Bill the Foundation,YLKI, in Jakarta Both have deniedany linkwith Alto hasprovisions that allow investigators 24, PostJanuut 2002) usetortufe to extractinformation,denya Qaeda.$akzrta Terrorist A checkon the Foreign externally suspect communicate to list Organizations in the U.S. State includingwith his or her immediate website reveals that Department's hmily, and doesnot requirethat the 'Washington 28 had so designated groups suspect interrogated the presence in of be worldwideasof October5, 2001.Many (KompasJ anuary | 0, 2002) counsel. on the list arebased the Middle East in "lfthese provisions enforced, are they


Kompas had playedup the incident the front pagethe on previous day with the headline "Ngawi cadrekidtense,PDI-P napped. Police arrest30 suso e c t s". D u r i n g h e M u s l i mf a s t i n g t m o n t ho f R a m a d a nf,r o m N o v e m b e1 6 t o D e c 1 5 , 2 0 0 1 . r s e l f - a p p o i n t e d c e s q u a d so f vi F t h e N g a w iM u s l i m s o r u m , F U I N ,r a i d e dg a m b l i n g o c a l e s . l T h r e et r u c k l o a d s f w h i t e - c l a d o F U I Nv i g i l a n t e c a m et o t h e s c e n t r a lm a r k e t o n t h e n i g h t o f N o v e m b e r 9 a n d s e i z e ds i x 2 a l l e g e dt o g e l o p e r a t o r sa n d l a t e r h a n d e dt h e m o v e rt o t h e l o c a l p o l i c e .T o g e lo r t o t o g e l a p is an unregulated umbers n g a m e p o p u l a r m o n gl o w a g i n c o m e r o u p s h o m a k es m a l l w bets.

The abduction the six swiftly of drew publicangeras they turned out to be members the domi. of n a n tP D I - P h i c hh a sa s t r o n g w hold in Central and EastJava.A crowdformedbefore the local policeprecinct the nextday,a Friday, and demanded release the of the Togel Six.Thepolice refused. The crowdthen movedto the offices the FUINwhichalso of serves the local headquarters as of the Laskar Jihad.The mob ransacked place,a shophouse the Muhyi ownedby FUINleader Effendi. F I n r e t a l i a t i o n ,U I Nm e m b e r s on Saturday attacked the house of Yuwono Susatyo, localPDIthe P chief. whomthe militants accuse the of masterminding raid on Muhyi's Brandishing shophouse. swords, intruders the pre-dawn

Yuwono. assaulted and abducted News of the kidnapping quicklyspreadand fuelled fearsof a n i m m i n e nc l a s hi n N g a w i t P s s b e t w e e n D I - P u p p o r t e ra n d Laskar Jihadstalwarts from afar in converging this townon the borderwith CentralJava. To defuse the situation, the p o l i c e n S u n d a ya i d e d h e F U I N r o t offices and seized10 home-made knivesand bombs,several machetes, handgun a and 18 100 Theyalso arrested bullets. L a s k a J i h a dm e m b e r s . r The policesearched another Laskar Jihadhouseon Monday and foundmore home-made longbombs,self-assembled guns,machetes, barreled sickles, swordsand bayonets. PostDecem. Source: The Jakarta ber 10,2001.
AJr^ 2002 JouRNAusM


in would be a major setback our legal torture Evenwithout thissystem, system. Munarman. says still occurs," the Munarman alsoquestioned settingup ofa terrorismtask force (Satgas Its Terorisme). establishment would be a return to the Kopkamtib of the New Order. Moreoverthe task force'spowersarewide-ranging and to would not be accountable anyone' Munarman believes. The Kopkamtib or the Operations Commandfor the Restorationof Order an and Securitywas agencywithnearand arrest powersto seek, emergency imprison Communistsand thoseperIt elements. to ceived be subversive and checkdissidents helpedSoeharto maintain powerfor so long. He setit up shortlyafterthe abortivecoup of October 1965 blamedon the now-banned PI(. CommunistParty, Indonesian The terrorismtaskforce,to be headed by the national policechief,would be to empowered tap the phonesofsuspecand detainpeoplefor up to ted terrorists Detention 90 dayswithout due process. by can be extended rwo 90-day periods. According to Munarman, if the Bill in is passed its presentform, its first would be groupswhich would targets be arbitrarily identifiedaslinked to the in movements Aceh and Papua,and and workers,peasants uninformed groupswhich haveno fundamentalist clue that they havebeen usedby state agents. intelligence the In response, chiefofthe drafting teamsaidthe draft government's is still provisionaland canbe alteredto fit paradigmthe nation the anti-terrorism the and To desires. discuss change draft, the governmenthasformed a teamthat a NGOs, says conciliatoryRomli includes of the Atmasasmita, directorgeneral legaladministrationof theJustice general the Department,who heads drafting as rcam.(Komp January| l, 2002) a
18 Asr^ JouRNAusM 2002

$etting Ihenolitical
Soekarnoputri took l\ fECA\7ATI as presidentof lndonesia IYIou.t on July 23, 2001 from Abdurrahman 'W'ahid after'\fahid's 2l months in office failed to rescuethe country from its vexing problems. '\?'ahid was no master of management. But he was a chamPion of human righrs and democracy. In support of a free press,for insmnce, one of his first acts as Indonesia'sfirst freely elected president in October, 1999 was to disband the Information Department. The Department had been former President Soehartot main instrument during his 32-year authoritarian rule, his New Order of 1966-98, to control the press through the issuance,withdrawal, and denial of permits to publish. But Wahid's commitment to Press freedom was not enough to keeP him in office for the entire five-year term to which he had been elected to govern Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands and 210 million people. Primarily, he failed to rebuild an economy ruined by a US$ 129'7 billion debt- or 83o/oof GDP (KompasFeb 12, 2002)' Forry million Indonesians continued to live below the poverty line, up from ll million before the 1997 financid, crisis. Other problems inherited from the Soeharto years that remain unresolved include errant banks and weak prudential regulation, corruPtion, communal strife, little transparency in the legal system, poor public order, and a seeming lack of a senseof crisis among the political elite who tend to use their positions to further their and their associates'vested interests,

Fueled by public dissatisfaction, the People'sConsultative Assembly (MPR) impeached \fahid by linking him to a US$ 3.5 million corruption casefor which \fahid's masseurwas prosecuted. The 7OO-memberMPR, Indonesia's highest state organ with the power to elected pick and oust presidents, Megawati into office hours after'W'ahid was removed. Megawati, the nations fifth president and Indonesia'sfirst woman head of government,rose to power on a wave of broad popular support. However, up to the advent of the New Year (2002), Megawati had not undertaken any initiative to bring the nation out of ia ; perplexing pit of problems. premier serious Kompcu, Jakarta's newspape! published the resultsofa poll January 28, 2002 on peoplet perception of her performance during her first six months as president.Over 1,600 telephone owners in 13 major cities throughout the island-nation were asked how satisfied they were with Megawati's performance. On the economy, 75o/o said they were not satisfied. On law matters, 680/o gaveher the thumbs down. The level of dissatisfaction was 650/oon social welfare and 54o/oon political and securiry concerns. It is not surprising that President Megawati is becoming the target of public complaints. One of Megawatit mistakesis that she does not communicate her government's policies to the people, noted Islamic scholar Nurcholish Madjid has claimed (KompasJannry 27, 2002). Indeed, since taking office Megawati has not once held a fullfledged press conference. She has granted interviews only rarely. Her statements before the press are also perfunctory and low on detail and urgency.

IileIndonesian toilay media
MEDIA are enjoying much I greater press freedom after the ouster ofSoeharto but restrictions appear to be returning, Soeharto'sremoval from the presidency meant the return of those civil rights Indonesia had been denied for decades. political prisoners were freed, All new politicd pardes emerged unfettered, people demonstrared openly, and the pressgained a freer voice. B.J. Habibie, Soeharto'shand-picked successor who rvas a transitional president from May 1998 to October 1999, removed such government constraints on the media as licensing, censorship, the threat of banning, a ceiling on the number of pagesa newspaper can print and the amount of ad spaceit can carry and rhe obligation ofjournalists ro join an approved professionalorganization, namely the government-mandated Indonesian Journalists Association, P'!7I. Moreover, press freedom now has a legal basisin the 1999 Press Act. After Habibie, \fahid went furrher ro promote press freedom by abolishing the Information Departmenr. In nor naming an'information minister to his first Cabinet, \fahid said information was rhe people's businessand not the government's, \flhen Megawati formed her Cabinet, however, she establishedthe office of'r -I-HE

state minister of communication and information, albeit not a full-fledged department. The return of an information minister was partly due to growing pressurefrom quarters piqued by the supposed excesses the free-wheeling of Press, In a palace meeting December 28, President Megawati told visiting executivesof the Indonesian Press Council that she believed some media groups were disseminating "disproportionate and unbalanced" reports, She mentioned severalmedia organizations that she said often rwisted rhe rruth. Megawad asked the media to help create an atmosphere conducive to the resolution of various regional confl ic6. In reply, the Council members suggestedshe, or any member of the public for rhar matter, can sue in court any publication that may have damaged their names. (The Jakarta Part December 29, 2001) (Under the provisions of the 1999 PressAct, the PressCouncil is a body of mostly media leadersindependent of government that mediates public complaints of news reports.) ' Government ex,rsperationover the media had earlier come to a head when state minister for communication and information Syamsul Muarif held a work meeting at the House of Representatives or DPR December 6. Legislatorsof Commission I, which dealswith political

and security matters, expressed their vexation over press performance and called for an amendment to the Press Act. MP Aisyah Aminy of the PPI' Islamic parry who helped draft the Act in 1999, questioned the minister's 'the efforts to curb yellow press" which she accusedofspreading pornography and misleading stories, and which she claimed was a menace to future generations. Syamsul Muarif has proposed an amendmenr ro rhe PressAct to control "the yellow press". (Kompas, December 7, 2001). Lawmakers charge that Indonesiat press freedom has been excessive, and has been characterizedby provocative rePorting tantamount to character assassination. Some reporters are also accusedof extorting money from their news sources.Part of the lawmakers' annoyance, however, may have stemmed from media reports of legislatorswith poor work habits, among them non-attendancein parliamentary sessions. Minister Syamsul is reporredly consideringgrafting 37 provisionson press-applicableoffensesin the Penal Code (KUHP) onto the PressAct. (Pantau February 2002) This may include futicles 154 to 157 of the Penal Code, the so-called "hatesowing" articles, which mandate a maximum jail senrence sevenyears of for anyone who "disparages"the government. Another clause could be Article 310, which can send a person to prison for up to 19 months for "intentional slander." In response,media leadershave rejected any such changesin the Press Acr. "The present PressAct is adequate

Asn JouRNAusM ZO0Z 19



to ensure the healthy growth of the fress industry that is conducive to press freedom," argues Suryana (one name), executive director of the Newspaper Publishers Association, SPS.Journalists accusedof offenses should be dedt with by exisdng laws and their various provisions, he adds (Pantau idem). Similarly, Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) secretarygeneral Solahudin has expressedopposition to the proposed grafting ofprovisions of the Penal Code onto the PressAct' The Penal Code already provides for offensesjourndisa can be accusedof, Solahudin says (Panuu idem). Against the advocates of cunailing the free press, the Jakarta Post argrcd in an editorial entided "Good press, bad press" on January 7,20O2: In a free pressregime,you arebound to get both good and bad Press. But in a controlled press regime, you are only going to get a bad press,a pressthat indulges in lies, or halftruths becauseit is prevented from telling the whole truth. There is no doubt that sociery's overall interests would be better served if we all worked to protect our freedom of expression,which includes the freedom of the media.

Despite this, numerous Problems arose throughout 2001 that threatened the press freedom that the Indonesian media have enjoyed only a scant two years, AJI reponed. One such threat is violence against journalists. AJI documented 45 casesof physical intimidation and 50 ofa non-physical narure against journalists in Indonesia in 2001. It listed nine offenders: police, mobs, government agencies, MPs, the military fellow journalists, the Free PaPua Organization (OPM), and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), and one category labelled as "unknown elements"' Mobs topped the list, with 20 out of 95 authenticated acts of intimidation. The police was a close second with 19 acts; unknown elements, 15; and government agencies,14. The military score was five incidents, whereas dre OPM was involved in two; and GAM' three. (Seemonitor). The tragedy ofthese 95 casesis that the perpetrators have not been brought to justice. Less than 5oloof the presumed offenders have been charged before a court of law. This can encourage among the public the perception that acts of violence against journalists are permiaed by law, AJI said. The police are a leading concern for the press.Apart from assaultingjournalists, the police also exerts prychological pressureon them by summoning the repo$ers aswitnessesto cases police is investigating. On AJII seventh anniversary in August 2001, AJI named the 'ihe prime enemies police and GAM as of Indonesian pressfreedom." Violent acts againstjournalists endanger press freedom as they can lead journaliss to self-censorship.They become too intimidated to report and the watchdog function of the press becomeseroded, AJI said. A funher implication of self-censorshipis that the public does not receivefi.rll disclosureof

information. The public is denied the right to knoq a basic public right. '\ilThatever information the public gets is distorted information. The effect of distorted information is that public participation in the political Process would also become distorted, AJI argued. Another threat to pressfreedom are state actions and policy. As earlier noted, the Megawati government established the office of the state minister for communication and information in August as means of intervention in the press. But three issuesabout government intervention are of special concern' One is government collaboration with parliament to amend the PressAct by grafting onto it the press offence provisions of the Penal Code. A second concern is *re eventual amendment of the Penal Code, also known as the Criminal Code, itself- a remnant of the 'W'hat is lamenDutch colonial system. table about the imminent amendment is that ifthe old code has 37 provisions that can affect press freedom, the new code will have 40 to serye the same pupose, AJI reported. The third concern is a broadcast bill now before parliament. Broadcast practitioners are arxious that 21 of the billt 63 Articles contain provisions for fines and penalties for broadcasterswho break the law.

tnG f[reatsagainst [rG$s
THE STATE of the media as whole, the Alliance of Independent Journalists, AJI, concluded in a year-end report that Indonesia'spress freedom in 2001 was still in danger' Indonesian iournalists have press freedom and a PressAct that oudaws censorship, licensing and the banning of the press.The Act even has a provision that can send a person to jail nN \r.-/a for up to Frvoyears and fined up to 500 million rupiah (US$50,000) for obstructing press freedom.

anil Inuelorcs Gxtoltion
welfare,AJI ANOTHER issue, nN lr.-/said the low salaries journalists of were causefor concern. A three-year survey, 1999 in Jakarta, 2000 in East Java, and 2001 in Medan and Makasar, revealedthat salariesofjournalists in the four regions were low relative to the local cost of living. In Jakana, the majoriry of journalists suweyed have a monthly take-home pay of under one million rupiah (US$100). In East Java,86.20/oofthose surveyed


JouRNilsM Asu 2002

found press freedom, and the appearance of new publications.Provocative headlines abound, as well as srorieson politics and sex. "America is Satanl" screeches front page headline ofa the daily with national reach Jakarta-based upon the start of U.S. bombings in Afghanistan againsr the Taliban and AlQaeda strongholds, lr-ii:i:: Meanwhile, tabloids that capitalize - -;r ;., ;;'lg5ale oflen used as a on sexual arousal short ofhardcore ,r.,--*:.,:;: :: ior journalists' accepting or : pornography have proliferated on ri L.:. *- ::rbes from news soufces,a sidewalk news sralls,with titles like : -..--..i::-':reging to rhe independence !7O'w' POB sdO(Y, LiPSTIK. Press -- - -:+-...; of journalisrs. provide To freedom advocateswor{y thar, raking 1,j.-.3-t;.:-;3 rvithout resofting to cash issuewith a pressthey perceive to be out lrr ,:: -:j -rJl believes pressguilds musr of control, citizens will insist on the ": .- -'..-': rn negoriaring wiLh media creation of some kind of mechanism to :.i ::: ::--i :br berter working conditions rein it in. This was exactly what happened in "I-,' i,;..:i :or Journalists. '::.r'eloPe" . '.: problem, however, is the December 6 hearing the state r.; " --:: :--::rion only of the receiverbut minister of communication and informa-... . '-:-.: ;rovider,namelystateagencies tion had with members of parliament's , :-,t--au d:: : :::-,r--alions. AJI cited a study that Commission I. The MPs clamored for : ----a:3'ery year no less than 864 amendments to the 1999 PressAct, - ---t-L 1rc601 tr _ ,, -::- :-:iah /(US$86.4 - a l l r , , \ of srare claiming that rhe law had failed to check million) e '*::, :i; ;llocated to 64 state-owned media excess. AJI opposed amending the -:.::--s tbr use as bribe money for "r PressAct. It views any excess any or : --=iji. offense commifted by the pressas a - :1:::izadons that dispense envematter to be dealt with by the Penal :r: i! :r' :eponershave one aim in mind: (Criminal) Code. ' . ::' Theseenvelopes i:L)l press. AJI has also called on media compaj, - :-i-jr rribes damaging ro press nies and the PressCouncil to uphold the -*:::,::-. -{,JIsaid code of ethics of journal isrs. .1-j.::-,' ourgrowth of the envelope "Upholding rhe code is necessary not :-:-:: is the abuseof the iournalistic only to add more digniry to press ;:.:.i-.-on. By invoking the 1999 Press freedom but also to clamp down on '*:: :- demandaccess, journall5l5- 61 those parties who are displeasedby a free : ,: - : -: maiquerading as reporterspressand seeka return to controlling the ;:.:': demand money, which in itself is press.AJI fully supports the role ofthe : :-:r;. -1.case point involved the Maspion in PressCouncil as an erhics police that j':,-:. a Surabaya-based producer of would lay down moral sancrionson : ,,-:'*rold ircms.(See moniror) media that violate (the code of) ethics," AJI concluded in its year-end review. Meanwhile, the PressCouncil in its end of the year reporr agreesthat the "out \ THE issueof the press' being -our of control" issueis one of many chalofcontrol" in its reporting, the lengesto pressfreedom in Indonesia. The -::aomenon can be traced to the new-

--:-:-: :::ondtly salary ;dr..: was below one nr... :: :-:rah. The figuresare no less ur:::::::-: :- -\fedan and Makasar. In :.*- - i: : oF respondents said they :r!!:::-: :,::-\'.en 200,000 and 400,000 'rr .;-: ---,\{akasar, the majority of 'r::r'i:r: --':::-:i said they earnedless than -.i , .'.,- :-.piah with 40o/o admitting n r'; ri: - fie 200,000-400,000 rupiah

Ortrl Gonttol

question ofwhether to restrict press freedom or not was indeed a major issueof public discussionin 2001. In the first half of 2001, secrions ofthe public linked the excesses of the press to the way they were reporting on conflicts within the political elite. The presswas accusedof raising political remperatures,and of contributing to the fall of President Abdurrahman \7ahid rhrough "character assassination" and "unfair reporting," the PressCouncil observed. For instance, critics have noted that the use ofpolls on \Tahidt leadership was widespread among private TV starions. However, the methodology of rhe polling was so flawed that the results became an insrrumenr oF disinformation. Furthermore, the reporting on political conflicts was out of proportion, and the "cover both sides" principle was not observed.This led to the publict mistaken perceprionof the situation, the report says. In the secondhalfofthe /ear, rhe "out of control" label was mainly attachedro provocativereporting on topics other than the W'ahid story on pornography, and the phenomenon of journalists pracrising exrortion, rhe wartawan Bodrex or Bodrex iournalists. The label comes from rhe brand name of a widely sold over-rhecounter relief pill. Bodrex journalists are so-called becausethey are likened to a strip of the relief pill thar moves forward like a phalanx .of srorm troopers as depicted in an oldTV commercial. Statements that such conduct was an indication of the excesses oress of freedom were repeated in rhe December 6, 2001 parliamenrary hearing. The PressCouncil correctly sees

Asu 2002 2 I JourNarrsu


reporting that borders on character as assassination a breach ofthe code of ethics ofjournalists rather than as a consequenceof press freedom. The breach ofthe code and of iournalistic principles is a basic professional weaknessthat can also occur in conditions where there is no press freedom, the Council argues.This weakness,due to lack of skills and low levels of understanding journalistic the serious attention of ethics, deserves media companiesand pressorganizations, said the Council. On violence against journalists, the Council cited the decision of the Serambi Indonesia daily in strife-torn Aceh to suspend publication on June 20, 2001, and again for two weels from August ll-24. The paper did not go to pressbecauseof the terror the Aceh Freedom Movement, GAM, had inflicted on it. The matter could have been resolved with the use of the "right of reply' method or through mediation, the Council says.

"make the effort" not to ban the pressl In a province where a civil emergencyhas been declared, the governor is the supremeauthoriry and can issue to regulationsdeemednecessary maintain public order. That includes gagging the press.Up to the end of 2001, Governor Effendie had kept his word by not issuing an outright gag order. Meanwhile, the neighboring province of Maluku, also under a civil emergency,was similarly troubled by strife between its Muslim and Christian communities. The numbers of both communities are roughly even in Maluku and Poso, another sectarianflashpoint in Central Sulawesi. Governor M. SalehLatuconsina issuedan order August 28,2001 banning the media from reporting the activities of the Maluku Sovereignry Front, or FKM, a parry involved in the communal conflict, except for repofting concerning FKM leaderson trial. In a letter dated December 12,2001, the PressCouncil called on the Maluku governor to repeal the order and reminded him of "our joint commitment to continue efforts to maintain and safeguardpress freedom and the freedom of expressionin a democratic society."

Indonesid' (Hello Indonesian Press), Moderated by a media law specialist, during the program journalists and public figures like legislatorssit down before the cilmeras to debate with, and answer phone calls from viewers on media issueslike yellow journalism, biasedreporting, or distortion. The off-the-cufi pointcounterpoint exchangesand tough questions from people from Sumatra to Papuajam the phone lines and keep viewers riveted to their seats.Editors of media charged with an offense and executivesof the PressCouncil have often been in the line offire. Beyond that, in this age of globalization and mass culture, Rosihan Anwa! a grandmaster of Indonesian journalism, believes journalists must make a choice between market journalism and duty journalism. Market journalism serveswhat the public wants. Duty journalism serves what the public needs (Kompas Febnury 9,2Cf.2), saln Rosihan who nrms 80 in 2002 but still writes actively

A NOTHER exampleof a rhreat to .1-l-or.r, freedom in a conflict srtuatron are feporilng restnctlons imposed by authorities whose job it is to resolve the conflict. On March 20, 2001, for example, the governor and civil emergency administrator of North .Maluku, Abdul Muhyi Effendie, issued a stern written warning and a threat ofdenial ofcoverage to rwo TV stations and three Jakarta-based local publications in Ternate, the provincial capital. In a dialogue with the Press Council in Jakarta April 3, Governor Effendie defended his action by accusing the media of inaccurate and biased reporting on the events in his province, which was then besiegedby sectarianconflict. He refused to withdraw his warning, but pledged to

l. Catatan akhir tahun AJI soal kondisi kebebasanpers 2001 (End of year notes of the Alliance of Independent Journalists on the condition of pressfreedom 2001) 2. Catatan akhir ahun 2001 Dewan Pers (PressCouncil end of year notes 2001) 3. Kompas human rights violations review December l0 2001 4. Tbmpoedisi khusus akhir tahun (special end of year edition) December

Indonesian iournalists are still learning the professionally proper and publicly acceptableexerciseof press freedom. To help them along, media companies and organizations must work on programs to develop the skills of .iournalistsand at the same time weed out the "Bodrex" journalists who practice under the extortion and other excesses cloak of pressfreedom. Parallel to that, the presscan address public arxiery and anger against the media by opening i6elf tq scrutiny. For that purpose, TVRI, the state-ownedTV station, has a weekly program every Friday evening called "Halo Pers

3 1 ,2 0 0 1 2001 Porr 5. TheJakarta Review 27 December 2001a Regional Scene
VariefDjajanm Basorieisajournaliirn Prus Instiinstntctor at theD/. Soetomo tute in Jaharta, Indonesia.


Ash 2002 JouRNusM

ByWnnuxa lGRurunlnre
I Sru Larura (^l INCE the September 11th attacks the United States, on the 'West, *ord terrorismhasbeengivena new definition by the \ the \-f specially United States Britain.The simplifieddefiniand tion now stands "useofviolenceto achieve politicalobjective". as a If this definitionhad beenappliedto the freedom struggles against colonization throughoutfuia,Africa and SouthAmerica the first in half of the century, most of the countries would still be undercolonial rulewith the colonialpowers joining togerher a'Global in

lA' n0LI

negotiations failedto correctthis trend, Tamil youth took up armsin the late I 970sto establish separate a sratein rhe north and eastof the Islandwherethe Thmilsarea majoriry.Almost rwo decades ofwar havekilled 70,000 alliance againstterrorism'. people, woundedtensofthousands, MostofAsiatinternal conflics. areBuddhists and speak Sinhala. The mademillions refugees both locallyand however,cannotbe wishedawayasa other two major ethnicgroupsarethe overseas, almostbankruptedthe and 'terrorism' problem.After decades of Thmilswho speak Thmil language the country. The war itselfis in stalemare, discrimination against them,someracial and aremosdyHindus while the with neithertheThmil rebels the nor and religious minoritygroupshavetaken Muslims areofArab descent are and governmentableto win the war up armsafterpeaceftrl proresrs failedto exclusively followers Islam. of militarilv. correct situation.Indeedmost the The rebels haveprogressed from a internalconflictsin Asiaarepolitical classical guerrillamovementto oneofthe problems ratherthan military problems. Sri Lanka,formerlyknown asCeylon, mostsophisticated militarygroupsin the In discussing handling ofthe the wasundercolonialrule for 450 years. world. It hasa navalarm and is in the Tamil separatistwar Sri Lankaby the in The lastofits colonizers, British, the process ofdevelopingan air arm. It is media,the framework usedby this paper ruled Sri Lankafor I until I 948. capable fighting set-piece of 30 years battlesin is to treatit asa political problem to be Sincethen the country hasbeena multiconventional military formationsaswell resolved negotiations not asa by and party democracy. in ttreir other As ascarryingout hit-and-run operations. 'terrorism'issue to be dealtwith militarily. colonies British favored minorithe the The rebels routinely useterror merhods In any case, incompetentand corrupt ties, the mostlytheThmil, awayof as suchasplacingbombsin crowded . .t. military in Sri Lankahasfailedin the lasr controllingthemajority.\)fhen Sri Lanka civiliantargets thecapital. in The LTTE 18 years defeatthe rebels to and Sri achieved independence I 948 there in hasa worldwidenetwork collecting Latrkatpoliticalleaders haverealized that wasa perception amongthe majoriry moneyfrom the estimated 700,000 rheonlyway forwardis to find a political Sinhalese theThmils that had an unfair tmils who havesoughtrefugee in solutionto the problem. share ofthe economicactivity.Successive westerncountries suchasBritain, Sri Lankais a multi- religious multigovernments with an eyeon votestook Canada, France, Australiaand erlnic nationof about20 million people. steps "correct to this", Soonit wasthe Scandinavia. LTTE s annualincome The The majority Sinhalese makeup about turn oftheThmils to feeldeprived. from these collections well asdrug as -2% of thepopulation. Most of them After peacefirl agitationand political trafficking,human traffickingand

Background conlliGt tohG

usMAsA ZOOZ 23 JouRN

l',lewspapr reader: reports bothsides from

Anurudha Lokuhappuararachi


louRNMsMAsu 2002


** on stance the nevertakena balanced ethnicproblem.This hasfurther the confused peoplewho at one time are are told that theTamil rebels mere and terrorists, who during peace media are processes told by the same are outletsthat theTamil rebels fighting to correctunfair treaunentoverthe years. Obviouslythis hasled to a situation watched wherethe mostwidely-read; and listenedto mediain the country uses The government various haveno credibility with any of the ethnic methodsto control the privately-owned gfouPs. accounts advertising media. Government The Sinhalamediaby and largec:m of for more than 500/o their total One into be categorized threesections. revenues. Governments advertising the represenb hard-lineSinhalaopinto link sometimes advertising "good haveno cause ion- i.e.,that the rebels behavior"by the media.Therearea to fight and shouldbe militarily numberof lawssuchascriminal Another group is more defeated. mediaorganizations to defamation harass the publishingviewsacross balanced, perceived be "unfriendly''towardsthe to a board,while a minoriry group suPPorts and In cases, these government. extreme politicalsolutionto the problem. are cases not that rare,the govefnment The Tamil mediaarein total support strong-afmtacticsto frighten uses for of theThmil demands more devoluThesetacticsin individualiournalists. tion ofpower to the north and east(the includemurder.Theseare cases extreme of Tamil majority areas) the islandand indirectwaysof controllingthe media. However, to aresympathetic the rebels. are The moredirectmethods censorship they arecarefulnot to comeout open\' to and limiting access the conflict areas. in supportofrebel actions,fearinga uses both The Sri Lankangovernment by backlash the Sinhalamajoriryand the whetherin methodsfrequently, these government. Sinhala-dominated time ofconflict or in time ofpeace In the Englishmediaof Sri Lanka to processes block criticismor conffary therearealsomediaorganizationswhich in viewpointsfrom appearing the media' supportthe SinhalahardJine position, This backgroundmust be taken into but by and largethey allow a wide range the when considering consideration ofopinion to be expressed. The mediaof Sri Lankaarepublish war reportingon theThmil seParatist by This hasled to a situationwherethe in and broadcast threelanguagesthe Sri Lankanmedia. in newspapers the differentlanguages English,SinhalaandTimil. The largest Ratherthan playinga positiverole in of caterto sets individualswho inhabit television newspaper group,the biggest solvingthe problem,the mediain Sri differentworlds.Though the country is radio station stationaswell asthe biggest role in Lankahaveplayeda negative miles- the small- iust 25,000 square areall ownedby the government. reducingtensionamongethnicgroups. the gulfthat separates threelanguage three own and operate mediawould Privatecompanies The state-owned carriedby groupsarewide.An analysis of whenwer the TVchannels and dozens radio process supporta peace the Centerfor PolicyAlternatives private Though someof these channels. governmentindulgesin one and would in differences that these concludes supportmilitary actionwith the same radioandTVchannelsaremore popular or reportingthewar arenot accidental who they anyone channels, accusing dedication, than the state-owned ofdeep but innocent, a reflection policy of reachas opposes eithergovernment dont havethe samegeographicd divergence". ideological beingtraitorsto the nation.They have the stateownedchannels. The print mediaaredominatedby but the shte-ownednewspapers, lack The statemediais seen credibiliry. tool primarily asa propaganda of the houses mostlyown ruling party.Business althoughthere the restofthe newspapers areexcePtions.



ls in investments legitimatebuslnesses estimated around$50 million dollars, at India, Fivecougtries, United States, the Australiaand England,have Canada, the banned LTTE afternamingit a same these terroristgroup.However, havecontinuouslyput pressure countries to Sri on successive Lankangovernments to talkswith the rebels find a stafi peace political solutioncothecrisis. which The Sri Lankanarmedforces, just 1,000in themid-1970s, numbered havegrownto nearly200,000with in billion ofdollars invested modern weaponry. of However,high levels corruption, and poor military and havemadethe politicalleadership theTamil of military incapable defeating militarily. rebels governmentof The newly elected PrimeMinisterRanil\Ticlaemesinghe (December 2001)hasopened peace 5, the ralkswith the rebels, fifth such anemptto find a politicalsolution. As is ceasefire in ofnow an open-ended and the governThe rebels operation. with process ment arelockedin a peace The exPectation \orwegian facilitation. is rhat the fightingwould stop at leastfor and a,vear during this time talla between would takeplaceto find a rhetwo parties politicalsolution.This is the baclground to the currentwarin Sri Lanka.

Gonuol IheGouernmcnfs d$e mGdia


founNrusv Asn 2002 25



The Sinhalaand the Englishmedia little or do coverthe fighting, but spare ,space civiliansaflectedby thewar' for The livesofcivilians, of human rights and violationsrefugees otherhumanitarare ian issues ignored.Reportingon these is issues done bywhat is termedthe "alternative ThesearenewsPaPers press". houses which arenot ownedby business and which havea tradition of dealing papers that with issues the mainstream dme, the will not touch.At the same to Thmil mediagivewidecoverage and human rightsissues civilian issues. the Broadlyspeaking, Sinhalaand t}le mediareportsreflectthe English of perceptions the Sinhalamajorirywhile mediarepresentTamil theThmil their Neither questions nationalism. positions. respective and EnglishmediabY The Sinhala that the and largetend to suggest governmentis winning the war.They do this through variousways.One simple is system to publishpolitical speeches

without newsreleases and government aboutthe "facts"as everraisingquesdons or speeches rePorts. claimedin those fact Another interesting that came out of the study done by the CPA is that in hardly any of the main leadstories the madeit evento the Tamil newspapers first pageofthe other two language This newspapers. is alsotrue visa-versa. in The main newsstories the Sinhalaand do Englishnewspapers not makeit to the Thmil papers. in the To understand difference it afiitude in reportingofwar and peace, of to is interesting studythe reportage Sinhala threemainstream PaPers. the covers This mediaobservation periodfromJanuarytoMay 2000when the ethnicconflict in Sri Lankawas the shifting intenselybetween war and effortsfor peace. newspaPer In February the Sinhalese the Dinamina reported visit of the NorwegianForeignMinister to Sri Lanka underthe heading"Politicalsolutionis

conflia"' It tlre onlywayof resolving backedthe moveeditoriallywith a to heading"Let uscommit ourselves In Peace" the daysthat followed,it also reportswith titles publishedtwo general "Business and Communityb Praise" "Norway-LTTE mlla successfu l. " up Howeverthe newspaper to March launchedby the protests did not report Norwegianthird against variousgroups parrymediation. Following the captureby the rebels important Elephant of the strategically in northernJaffna Pass army camp in Peninsula April, the editorialpolicy of changedfrom Dinarnina suddenly suppordng third party mediationfor to peace obtainingsupportfor the military defeatof the LITE. Its news weredevoted articles reportsand feature would to showingthat other countries not allowthefall of the entirepeninsula Its to therebels. leadstoryon April Sth 'A from todayon assistance was decision the India to Sri Lanka,disregarding ill

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in fought rrcdia a Tigers: waralso Tanil
26 Ash JouRN&rsM 2002

Lokuhappuararac Anurudha

-i.aunent givento India during the -\P regime". The editorialon rhesame :evwas criticalofthe main opposition -nitedNationalParry(UNP), which r,,-as sayingthat the cause ofthe war was :.he failureto havea just nationalpoliry a:rdthe failurein havinga foreignpolicy *irh a long-termvision and understandno *-'

On May 19,Dinaminapublished a
,eadnewsreport,"India supports an :-ndividedSri Lanka'; on May 23, -Russian supportto the President to Jestroy terrorism";and May 26, on -United States ofAmerica and India :rpresstheir oppositionto the divisionof Sri l^anka into two". OnMay 4, Dinamina published a reportof a statemenr rhe President by safing, " I will defeatthe Northern war bvwar itself" and carefirllyavoidedany runher discussion outsidethis statement. The independent Diuainanewspaler is projectedasthe vanguardof Sinhala nationalism and SinhalaBuddhism.Its policy,asto be expected, was ro oppose facilitatingrole uncomprothe misinglyandto supporta military solutionto the problem. In building this position it projects Sinhalese a'minority in South fuiaas a countrysurroundedby enemies who areplottingto destroy asa nation'. us The newspaper opposed Norwegian the mediationon two counts.That "asa resultofthe Norwegianmediationwe are losingthe friendship(oF)India and it rvouldleadto antagonism with India'. Second, that Norwaywas being usedby *re LTTE as"a cat'spav/' for its (the rebelgroup's) purposes. On February2, Diuaina publisheda reportwhich did not cite any sources sayingthat India hasbecomeupserasa resultofthe effortstowardspeace talks. This wasto saythat India wasseriously disturbedby the facilitatingrole of Norway.Two dayslater, it raisedthe

following question its editorial"Arewe in going to fall in broaddaylight,in the same that we fell into in the darkness pit ofthe night?" "The rulersin this countryshouldthink seriouslywhether it is wisefor usto obtain assistance ofthe NorwegianGovernment, who is an ally and supporterof the LTTE," the editorial said. In anotherreportpublishedon the l3th, without giving the source its of information the newspaper saidthat the "NorwegianGovernment proposed has that in case ceasefire,forcesimilarto ofa a the United Nadonsforces shouldbe invited";Therewasno other report anywhere about any discussion the on possibilityofinviting any foreignforce immediatelyfollowing a ceasefire.

On Febrqaryl9,"the Diuaina edit<irial titled"ThankYou,But... ", pointed to the LTTE activitiesin Norway asevidence showthat the to Norwegianstate wasnot suitablefor the peace-buildingtask Sri Lanka.On the in 24th ofthe same month, in an article tided "World PoliticalTiends" the newspaper said: "Sendinga group ofScandinavian savage barbarians, who havepirates' in genes their entireblood sptem, a groupwho convertedthe whole of Europeinto a graveyard, Sri Lanka to in dressed robes ofpeace... "The Scandinavian Vikings who area white skinned,white racist,nation of (in piratesdo not haveany resources their country) other than drinking the milk of the rain deerfeedingon snow.Therefore the practiceoftheserobberScandinaviansfor ten centuries beento has plunderEurope." However,Diuaina, afterrepeatedly sayingthat Sri Lankashouldbe allowed to solveits own problemswithout any foreignintervention,immediately changed positionassoonasthe rebel its forces started advancing towards Jaffna aftercapturingElephantPass. The newspaper publisheda series ofnews itemsand articles supportingthe solicitationofforeign military aid by the Sri LankaGovernment. Someofthe headlines the lead of stories during the time: "38 countries now prepared assist solvingthe to in crisis"(May 8); " Americanwarships now readyto assist Lankd' (May 2l); Sri "Israelcomes assist" (May 7); "America to and India join handsto solvethe North(May2l). EastCrisis" The Lanhadeepa daily newspaper, which is thought to havethe highest circulationin Sri Lanka,reponednews aboutthe facilitatingrole ofNorway impartiallyand accurately from the end ofJanuaryto March. On the one hand,
JouRWsMAsh zooz 27

effortsas while reportingon the Peace taking place,it alsoreported thBy*.i. a against third parry thevariousProtests March 17, the headline mediation.On of its leadstorywas "No Negotiations: the SaYs Terrorism! Suppress the President"'This to Mahanayakas on newsreportwasbased a strongPress of Chief Prelates by statement the Four Chaptersagainst the four Buddhist Norwegianmediation. bY This statement the Religious groupin of leaders the maioriry religious crucialimporthe countrywasof such tancethat it could not havebeen than on the front publishedanywhere and asthe leadstoryofthe day'page also Lanhadeepa reportedlengthily on the agitationofthe National Movement Ag"iortGttotism in Colombo on March 1i and the protestlaunchedbvJanatha Yirnukrhi Peramunaon }{arch l6' It irdud€d plrctogrePhsend loog emracrs -lfrm &c rydcs- Throughout lankd'. on soonasthe LTTE advanced Jaffnaat an became aPPendLanhadeePatoo ofAPril. The SundaY the beginning campaign of the military Propaganda age editorialon April23 said, Lanhad.eepa , the effort bY the LTTE to to defeat This "Let'sdefeat LITE internationally'" editotial Jaffna'TheLankadtepa that saidthat Great capture on wasbased a rePort a 14, entitled" "Vajpaiassures on May Britain wasprovidingmilitary training to an Lanka"contained appeal unified Sri in the LTTE, which aPPeared an for all to unite in defeatingthe LTTE' namedXQInte lliAmericanmagazine editorials of MaY4 The LankadzePa This editorialsaid," It is Reuiew. gence India to suPPort ("ltt a Responsibiliryof victory cannot veryclearthat a decisive asoneon MaY l2 aswell Sri Lanka"), this with out stoPPing be obtained in ("lndia cannotbe forgotten findinga and suPPort internationalsponsoring on andanother solution') permanent givento the LTTE. That LTTE cannot on ("Indiasresponsibilities the May27 merelyby militaryvictories be defeated to ofsri Lanka')alsocontinued Problem battlefield obtainedin the Northeast factor. the emphasize Indian that . alone. ..." futiclesandreports and rePorting the The balanced with the defeating LTTE advocated that wasshown ability to coverall parties of Indiansupportinstead Norwegian by this paperat the time of launchingof mediationalsobeganto be published' Norways facilitatingrolewasthus DuringAPril and MaYa large ofthe Jaffnawar' by reversed the Pressure number of rePofistiat suPPorted 'Whatwerthe editorialpolicies ofthe milita{v interventionby India were however, concerned, threenewspapers articles published.Therewereseveral out what comes is the lack of adherence r}at saidtlrar sendingbackthe Indian suchas to basiciournalisticpractices force pea.cekeeping in 1990wasa \ttdd.fPdficPagcsof properattribution. Publishingstories articles -i"ok . Th.te werealsoseveral LffiwcdsnadwifiProte$s and without citing sources, lack of diplo*rat claimed that "establishing udsru "gi"qSirdPeflY havebecomemajor accountabiliry would be a with Israel matic relations rfidn'' problemsaddingto generallY Poor a help in achieving military victory The tloflc rhc other nr"it$r€am Sinhala repordngofthe crisis. newsthat therewere3Tcounties I-orfu*E zalsoProvided vrys, in Both editorsand Publishers Sri to Sri to civil society fr.p*r.d to providemilitaryiid of ryea and oppomrnity Lanka point to the unavailability importance' Lankawasgivenspecial in leaderswhowere favor of third parry training asa major problem.But lack editorialon " Establishing Lankadeepat mediation. During this Period is of accountability a major problem' is relationswithIsrael an Diplomatic Lankadcqa c:rrieda considerable A Council is ineffective' The Press that i-port"nt st p" said,amongothers, to number of columnsoPPosed a mechanism- A voluntarY Press new to " Iiis essential totallyannihilateLTTE and in supportof a militarysolution is Complaint Commission being thisis no time for usto be carried terrorism... Someof these politicalsettlement' by the Print mediato finalized must obtainmodern markingtime"W'e will process iitle, sucha. "(The) Peace this Problem.Until these address methodspossible"' It weaponiusingall a cometo a standstillunless bilaterd basicproblemsaresolved, the print "Can we disregard is to the benefitof India too to cometo is agreement reached"; mediain Sri Lankawill continueto of the assistance Sri Lanka'This is of tie Nor*egian Mediation?""Refusal play a negativerole in creatingthe *\fhat India is alsofacinga threatfrom because \Var is the Foundationfor Peace", environment that can solvewhat theLTTE..'" is the solution ifwe do notwant is now agrees the country's 'Approachto GenuinePeace"' Duringthis period (April -May) the everyone Norway?" I main problem. a Indian factorbecame main topic of and Therewerealsoarticles columns with reports in discussion I'anhadeepd, mediation, criticalof third ParrY Vlaruna l(arunatikke is theseretaryof and editorialsbeingusedto showthat however. ofSri Lanha' MediaMoueruent theFree an "India doesnot suPPort Elam in Sri as rePoningchanged This balanced

87Kuxon Dxr
I Nrpnl

INCE THE restoration of democracy Nepalin in 1990,thelandlocked
Himalayan kingdom has enjoyed one of the freestpressin fuia. The freedomssuppressed during the 30 yearsof absolutemonarchy suddenly re-appearedasnew newspapers were launched and circulation boomed. New laws were enacted,making private FM broadcasting possible.New newspapers and magazines investedin modern equipment, and printing qualiry layout and production values approached international standards. This brought about a boom in advertising, and newspaper revenues grew at about 25 percent ayear berween 1995-2000. By2001there were national six Nepali-language broadsheets in Kathmandu. Seven starions FM were
broadcasting in the capital and another I5 stations were broadcasting in other lban centersand communities. Even relevision was deregulated, with a private satellite channel starting broadcasting in nid-2001.




Nepalese rcader: newspapr circulations declined the enurgercy have since

Reportin the in

IIMIii:::: ::::::#l MInfi[]t0Y
Ash JouRN^usM zmz 29




guidelines polite, publications: butsevere Nepal
Privatemediawereat the forefrontof a new styleofindependent and objective on Despiterestrictions news reporting. and televiby broadcasts privateradio newsand broadcast sion,most stations concenMany of these currentaffairs. and covered tratedon political updates in the growing Maoist insurgency the even countryside, printingcommentaries and columnsby Maoist leaders. the The royalmassacrewas beginning took of the slide.The Maoist insurgents their struggle to it asa chance accelerate to turn Nepalinto a peoples'republic' They useda three-monthceasefire 200 September-November I to regrouP of and re-armand launcheda series A on attacks army camps. stateof on declared nationalemergenrywas civil November23, 2001, suspending libertiesand curbing mediafreedom. from the Defense The guidelines Ministry aboutwhat can be reportedand what cantwere fairlybroad and couched Ministry in politelanguage.The from "suggests" the mediadesist that itemsthatwould boostthe carrying moraleofthe Maoiss, andwhich are But in reality criticalof the monarchy. havebeenusedfor the guidelines these arbitrarydetentionofjournalists.By had beenarrested; April,70 journalists
30 Asn 2002 JouRNrtsM

28 arestill underdetention.The first to of werethe staffmembers be arrested in newspapers threeMaoist-sympathetic Kathmandu.Then the editor and alignedwith publisherof mo weeklies the main oppositionUnited MarxistLeninistparryand the ruling Nepali and wereboth detained Congress in for interrogated 24 hours.Reporters with the districs who had contacts Maoists,but who werenot similar also sympathizers, received

ffeatment. In mid-March, the edtor of a leftist by Mulyanhan,wasdetained magazine, just plainclothesmen beforehe police boardeda flight to New Delhi. He has beenheld for rwo weekswithout being caution. the brought to court, hiswhereabouts, ofjournalistswho There areexamples and evenwho arrest, for reason his havedone bold and incisiverePortingof havenot beenmadepublic' him arrested rePortingon both the the Maoist areas, AII this hasintimidatedthe Press, by brutal executions the Maoistsaswell too much of an which hasnot shown in asthe civilian casualties the military's conductof interestin reportingon the Their operations. qunPaign. counter-insurgency The the counter-insurgency to difficult timesneeds be work in these Maoists has government declared 'terrorists', mostmediaorganizations recognized. r and are (privateand government) happywith directorfor'Asia' Kunda Dixit wasregional printing the officialversionof events Pacifc of INTER PRESSSERWCE until a which hasturned out to be mostlY 1997. He now edits d magazine in daily body count. I(athmandu. daily The circuladonof especiallythe

has newspapers droppeddramatically ofemergency. afterthe declaration havecriticized the Independentanalysts bY mediamanagement the primitive and haveevensaidthat there military, wasno needto curb the mediasince to werelargelysympathetic the these needto crushthe rebel government's movement. haveunquestionMost newspapers 'terrorist" to ingly begunto usethe word someuse the describe Maoists,although Thereis no invertedcommas. it between but overtcensorship, most editors of The self-censorship. vagueness exercise and the arbitrary the mediaguidelines ofsenior editorsand publishers arrests haveforcedmany to err on the sideof


.tsy Govez Jnves
I SrNcapone


irems made news following the eventsof I 11 September in I Singapore.One was the arrestof - 5 Muslims and the subsequent detentionof 13 of them without :rial (December2001) for .llegedly being part ofJemaah I slamiah-a militant network :onnected to Osama bin Laden's ,l-Qaeda nerwork. The other was :he issueof the hijab (headscarves -,r'orn Muslim women) in by rarional schoolsin February

wordslike Followingthe arrests, ':errorists", "militants"and "extremists" rt ereused widelyto describe group the :rder custodyin localmediareports. The mediareportedeverything "intelligence revealed. Therewas sources" an absence ofskepticismand qu.estioning by of informationreleased the PAP Internal Securi administration's ry Depanment. raises question the Suchreporting

llbaring "hijab" (headscarf):rightto religious freedom the the
whether it is enough for the media to accept government labeling of those arrestedand detained as "terrorists" and then leave it at that. There has been no attempt by the PAP administration or the local media to try to understand the motivations of those detained and review the policies that could have contributed to their disaffection. The Muslim communiryin Singapore does feel that its concerns have

Asq 2002 JouRNALTsM



i.s Thatthe rightto wearthe hijab, reotedin the by fr*ndnma$ mandated th* rightto religious by wffi$ Ccnstitutian underplay*d iuurnfilists.
There not been givendue consideration. as feelingofdissatisfaction is a general that they arenot they aretold repeatedly to be trusted,that they areslow,and The mediawasinsteadPredictablY of supportive the PAPadministration journalists fact in position. Some privatethat theyhad been admitted in from the PAP orderedto report the issue bachvard. viewPoint. administration's oftenclaims The PAPadministration misreprewhoserePorts Journa.lists problemofterrorism. that the loyalryof the Muslim commuthat the editors the sented factsclaimed From a mediawatchviewPoint,it In niry is in question. suchcircumstances, Somesaidthey their stories. changed wasalsorevealingto watch the PAP may indeedfeel someof thosearrested for werenot responsible the way their and sociery may publicity machinerygetinto gearon the fiom Singapore alienated wereanfled, while others stories the hijab.The localmedia of issue of sense kinship with feela greater admitted not knowing how the final young ofseveral reportedthat parents especially Muslims in othercountries, carriedtheir which nevertheless pieces, demandingthe studentswere female thosewhom they believehavebeen religionby sending bylines,turned out the way they did. It their right to practice similarlyvictimized. wasnot uncommoneitherfor journaliss schools to their daughters government disaffection This understandable to complainthat their editorshad killed motivadon wearingheadscawes, to seems be one of the biggest their stories. various The localmediainterviewed and for the Muslims arrested detained by The reportage the SingaPore joined in PAPMinisters.NextPAP MPs Identifying without uial in Singapore. revealed later press ofthese rwo issues with a group with which they to givetheir opinions'PAPMinisters themselves that while the media should be addedfurther weight to the MPs' the kinship, and seeing feela greater in Then Muslim organizations carefuland precise their useof statemens. administraand United States the PAP religiousterms aswell asthose as linked to the PAPadministration when the US tion working together, relatingto IslamicmilitancYand joined in tb condemn members statutoryboards the in navyis based Singapore, terrorism,this basicprinciplewasnot the move. may havefelt of the groupsarrested observed. The oblectionto the useof the hijab compelledto right what they think is a of The mediaorganizations on was in nationalschools based the wrong. haverequired their Singaporeshould racialand needto preserve supposed claim and The PAPadministration's and editorsto rePortnot reporters harmony'on the argumentthat religious the amplificationbythe localmediathat only the PAP administration's ofthe useofthe hijab the presence usedbY weremerelY thosearrested viewpoint but alsothe viewpointsof an integration, national would impede for foreignpowers politicalpurposes to thosegroupsthat do not subscribe argumentwhich Paintsthe Parents' and their grievances, therefore ignores should its position.Finally,the media wearthe that preference their daughters their motivation.fu longasthe root journalhavegoneinto investigative act of as headscawes a deliberate to that promptedthosearrested causes ism to verifr the information released racialand religious compromising and againstAmerican other organize so interest by intelligenceagencies asto Proharmonyby putting a communal remain,sowill the problemand targets vide the public independentrePorts a above nationalone. threatcontinue. I and detentions. on the arrests That the right to wearthe hijab is with suchconcerns Howeve! freedomas only in Singapore rootedin the right to religious terrorismis not an issue foundzr ofThink Centre JamcsGomezis the man&ted bythe Constitutionwas the region.Analysts but alsoaround (, sia). bY underplayed journalists' that peoplewho had become suggest part of the militant networkwerethose the by disaffected the policiesagainst governments' Muslimsof their respective ofthe concerns Hence,the domestic Muslim communiry needto be Partof any policy thatwould dealwith the
Ash 2002 JouRNusM




[earninU from $eptem[er ll:

8v KuLqcHaon CHRrprpnr
I TunuNo

HE SEPTEMBER11,2001 attacks onAmericacould have a positive impacton Thai media,participants a seminar in held in BangkoklastOctober 10,2001 said-the growing
professionalism ofThai media in terms of balancednews coverage, xhich in this casehelped better presentthe Muslim world to Thai
society. In the seminar"The RoleofThai -\{ediain The'$?'orld Crisis",participants agreed theThai-language that dailies, while takingadvantage the Septemof ixr 11 incidentto increase their sales *uough the usualsensational headlines and provocative pictures, providedmore for space alternative viewsof the incident trom Muslim experts Middle East on andIslamicaffairs. The seminar, organized bythe Committeeto Campaignfor Media Reformand theThai Broadcast JournalistsAssociation, the first sincethe was September l attacks the\TorldTiade l on CenterofNewYork and the Pentagon in 'Washington which killed an estimated 3,000people. The seminar speakers agreed that thedevelopment information of technology especially Internethas the providedthe mass mediawith alternative viewsandsources ofinformation on the incidentwhich helpedthem shape their newscoverage. Information from thE Internet,however, needed beverified to and shouldnot be usedasthe main materialin newsstories. Associate Professor Ubonrat Siriyuwasakof Chulalongkorn Universiry saidwhilethe main sources ofinformation ofThai mediawerestill the western medianet'works newsagencies, and the Thai media havenevertheless exerted extraeffort in giving newsabout the amacla theiraftermath localcontent and and viewpoints. " . . .The amack America showsthat on Thailand doesnot lack resources far as as experts the Muslimworld are on concerned. The problem is that the mediain the pastdid not knowwho to

talk to," saidUbonrat, a lecturerat the Faculry ofMass Communications and concurrent chairof theCommitree. Apinan Buranapong, President the of Council ofMuslim Organizations of Thailand, saidthat theThai mediat coverage ofMuslim affairshasbeenmore neutraland more carefulin its choiceof wordswhen referringto Muslim people and Islamicreligion. Apinan saidthe coverage ofthe anack on Americain particularshoweda growing understanding sensitiviry and byThai mediaofthe Muslim community. \Zhile this represented big leapin a the historyof theThai mediasincethe end ofthe Gulf\Var crisisa decade ago, when reporting the crisis on was dominated byUS-based mediagiant CNN, Prof. Ubonrat cautionedthat the Thai mediat coverage general still in is lacking in peace advocary. The lecturersaidthereis still complacenry amongThai mediaon the impactof theirnews presentation on society, "\7e haveto admit that the mediaare inclinedto be sensational wherepossible. In this case they do it by reprinting or showingphotosand video clipsshowing hatred, aggressive sentiments, the and
Asu JouRNAusM 2002 33


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ofwar and violence,but that the themes beganto cool a weeklater,that approach down, astalk showsfeaturingThai andviewsof the incident and its angles werefeatured. aftermath admittedthat competiPatcharaporn tion, which is particularly fiercein the a industry remained radioand television major factorin forcing broadcast to organizations go to thosenewssources at available slottedair times. In this case, sheadmittedthat CNN wasa handY of source information,andwasinitially of the only source information on the themselves. attacl<s she Nevertheless, saidtherewas amongThai media growingawareness time that sellingnews same at circles the but wasnot only a matter of speed, also credibility. of Nopporn Wong-anan Reuters needfor the while agreeingwiththe mediato diversifrtheir sourcestf theirnews to information balance why the said coverage, he understood countriesrely on mediain developing mediagiants. CNN and otherwestern Nopporn saidthe "CNN-effect" has an become integralpart ofUS foreign policyformulationand assessment. terrorists. Nopporn saidtheworld-wide impactof "\Vhile I agree that this is an imporCNN newsin reflecting US PolicYand eventworth reporting,do we tant world havemade art its state-of-the- technology everything directedat needto consume without screening the networka reflectionofAmerican usby US mediafrom smnot viewsthe world -wide audience them at all?"sheasked. Chomklin of TheThai Patcharaporn Association Broadcast Journalists admitted that in the first few daysof ofthe and radiobroadcasts television by overwhelmed incident,Thai TVwas deny. including Other participants from Boontan Tansuthepweerawong Media the Campaign for PeoPle's urgedthe Thai mediato raisemore

of weapons war," shesaid. to Ubonrat referred the constant and in the on television reshowing the video clips and photos of newspapers showingthe wo jet airlinersslamming into the\forld Tiade Centertowers,and their jubilation displaying of Palestinians overthe attacls. only served images Shesaidthese to oromotehatred, socialdivisiveness aniviolence. SheurgedtheThai to mediato givemore emphasis Peace advocacy. "The mediahaveasignificantrole (to play)in shapingpublicopiniontoward bY and not to be swayed the peace, warlikeviewswhich arepredominantin media." US andwestern Ubonrat saidtherewas a growing numberof viewsamongcivicgrouPs namelyChristianand Muslim groupsin supportof peace,but that the media havenot giventhem prominence. the Ubonrat alsoquestioned logic behind the full live CNN broadcast of relayon Thai TV channels US GeorgeBush'sSeptember President in 20th speech which he calledon the Americaand world to choosebetween

on questions who benefitfrom the I September I incident and to trY to from pastwars. draw lessons "The mediahavean obligationto stayneutral in this conflict, but that not to report should not be an excuse soluon viewssupportingpeaceful wars,"he said' to tions or alternatives Secreary PhairojPholphet,General of the Union for Civil Liberry saidthe child pictureof a malnourishedAfghan in just represented onekind ofsuffering Afghanistan. of "There arethousands PeoPle sufferingasa resultof famineoverthe who wereneverthe subiects lastdecade The mediareports. of mainstream in numberof sufferers Afghanistanis than thosewho died in the much greater but \(orldTiade Centerattacks, no one why sucha greatnumber haseverasked ofpeoplehasto die ofhungerin that country" he said. Apinan dso brought to the attention the of seminarparticipants, credibiliryof reportsthat havealready western-media decidedthat Osama bin Ladenwasthe I mastermindof the September I attaclc. He urgedthe Thai mediato try to thosereportswith the viewsof balance Muslims. to He saidthe medianeeded Muslim fight for justice the understand their land and civilizaand to preserve tion. which is allowedin Islamand not as considered actsof terrorism.I Kulachada Cbaipipat is the Country Asian Press Dire ctor of the Southeast Alliance


usMAsrA2002 JouRN

87Cnnr-os Coxoe H.
I PHrlrpprNrs

FE\Tweeks after the September 2001 11, I lattacLs in the United -i3res,a small daily newspaperin Jrgavan de Oro City in l. I:ndanao,southern Philippines -,;lTed Sun.StarCagayan Oro de :il1 a story about the latest ;ounter-terrorism news in that city. Policemen, according thereport, to :oulduse theirns5s5 | repeat, noses - in ferreting theArabs the out in The :ommunity. remark, allegedly made rv thepolice chief, supposedly was in :-sponse a query howthepolice to on ;ouidknowwhether person of a was \fiddle Eastern originand,assuch and :resumably, apotential terrorist. The of rremise thequestion thatthepolice .r'ere taking closer atthe now a look acrivities ofpeople ofArabfeatures n-as problematic itselfr in although the in Philippines prettymuchelsewhere, and rhepost I scenario creatednot-soa 9/l iesirable environment people for who ;ooked or,in thiscase, smelled Arab. A A
E-'hatmadethe questiona tad too discomfiting somepeople,including to myself,wasthe fact that the paper lecided to givethe storyprominenr seatment.The storystankbut, true to dretradition ofmanypapersin the

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went to press. Philippines,.it After the paperran that story the policechief deniedmaking the stateof ment. Somemembers the localpress, however,saidthat evenifthe police chiefdid utter it, it shouldnt havebeen giventhat much importancebecause, to according them, he couldnt havebeen had beendone: But serious. the damage the peopleof Cagay^ndeOro Cirywere to onceagainsubjected the alleged inaniry of their policechief and the of recklessness their newspaper. apparent Surely, evenon a slow day,theremust be worthier of banner otherstories

Somepeoplemight not like the idea that a journalistlike myselfis criticizinga paper- a paper,by the way,that I editedfrom 1995to 1997.My point, is however, that in the Philippines,the to mediatreaction 9/1 I was,to Put it mildly, one ofbefuddlement.Ifanythe because magnithing, and perhaps wasstupefyingto tude of the attacks beginwith, 9/l 1 brought out the worst ofthe Philippinepress. in somemembers the It wasa time when perhaps most naturalthing for a paperto do wasto fall backon the mediocritythat hasbeenthe hallmark of much of the Philippinepress, to pushes the Suchmediocrityeasily against ofthe press the surface biases particularlythe certaincommunities, Muslims in predominantlyCatholic Philippines.


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officid prejudice. in Elsewhere Mindanao a fewweeks the afterthe aftacks, public wasinundatedwith mediareportsaboutpolice this and policethat eyeingsuspected "Muslim terrorists" this or that area. in The policewould announcethat they certain werePutting undersurveillance Tiagicallyenough, ArabJookingpeople. whether hardlyquestioned the localpress 'W'as what the policewasdoing wasright. cannotbe To be sure,the press it within the boundsof civil liberry?Or faultedfor merelyechoingwhat people A werethe policejust over-reacting? and arestill saying. in authoritywere were,in by coupleofArabJooking people argumentadvanced This is the exact and fact,arrested much of the Philippine Oro the editorsof Szn.StarCagayande swallowed hook, Iine and sinker press And yet the in defendingtheir story. - whateverit wasthe policehad told for introspection, for needfor restraint, is goodtasteand for goodsense precisely them.They didnt havethe proper Thq' papers they must be terrorists. in what the public needs timeslike this, too popularand had stayed long in the countryto acquiescence not mindless

They had beards they must be terrorists. - theymust be terrorists. Sabfi'S CaSe was One panicularcase that of who ran a Muhamad Sabri,aJordanian schoolin Sultan Koranmemorization He Kudarat,Maggindanao. wasarrested of late sometime lastyearon suspicion beinga terrorist,althougheverybody knervtiat he had beenin Maguindanao and yearsandwas,in fact, for years marriedto a Filipino woman. '$?hile working with a major US on ne\Aspap€r a storyaboutAl Qaedas in linla with rebels Mindanao,I possible to had the chance talk with Sabriand he sruck me asan open,honestman. Like man,v Muslims,he had an dmost wariness aboutthe media,but insrincrive



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he did allow me and mycolleagues into Philippinesmemorize Allah'sword. But his schooland office,wherehe talked all I did waswonder. abouthisthoughts 9/ I l. (Sabrisaid on Sabricontinues be a faceless to persdn t}reattacks the US werehorrible, but on caughtup in the turmoil afterSeptember wasan occasion Americans for to I l, and asfar asI know, nobodyhas reexamine their governmenttpolicy written anphing abouthim. And asfar towardothercountriesand peoples). asI know,too, a numberof other people Sabriwasarrested fewweeks a after wasarrested afterthe 9/1 I attacks and we talkedto him. Policeraidedthe nobody haswritten anphing about Koranicschooland announced laterto them either.But I havereada storyon the press that they had confiscated boxes the front pageof one of the Philippine of explosives insidethecompound. dailiesabouta so-called patchthat sex Many residents the area in who witmenopausal women couldwearsotheir nessed arrest the sworeto me, howeve! appetite sexwouldnotwane. for that they sawthe policeand the military The cultureofthe Philippineshas bringing in the boxesbeforethe arrest beenshaped the fact that Filipinos,as by wasmade,suggesting the explosives oneAmericanwriter onceput it, lived in that -had beenplanted somethingnot at all a conventfor 300 years and in Hollywood for 50, The samegoes the unusual the Philippines. in for Philippinepress, I wastqmptedto write something whosejudgment and aboutSabrit arrest are but, beinga freelance prejudices influencedbywhat the 'W'est journalistwho waitsfor assignments deems newsor, worse,the trirth. as from the magazinesregularlycontributeto, I I couldnt find a pegfor a Sabristory.But I waitedfor newsin the dailies,both local In general, Filipinosareraised just not and national,aboutthe residents' to appreciate diversiryand,in many the assertion ofevidence-planting. None instances, magnificenceof \Testern the came. this day,Sabriis still lockedup To cultural tastes concepts a fact and in a Manila jail. He is saidto havebeen which hasled to vastconfusionamong charged with violatingimmigration laws. them, includingjournalists. am I I wonderwhat happened the to convinced this after9/11. Much of of supposed explosives. the time ofhis At what the Philippine press printed and arrest, Sabrit wife waspregnant.I often airedafterthe attaclawasnothing but wonderabouther,too, and their the regurgitation, more oftenself.hif dren,I alsosometimeswonder what igfiteous, of the'Westetn media, &imd person ofa Sabrireallywas, whether Therewasin fact suchan absence of frcn'esindeeda terroristor a mere alternative viewsabout the amacks that ian missionarywho had madeit many peoplewho got sickand tired of to help Muslim youth in the suchhomogeneiry the Philippinepress in decidedto seek answers elsewhere, such asthe Internet.Within emailgroupsand mailing lists,a debate wasraging,the issues rangingfrom whetherthe United "had it coming," to whetherit was States evenappropriate raisethat point when to 'lTithin the world wasgrieving. these virtual communities, ideas swirledand clashed the beauryof it wasthat but somepeople,like myself,got enlightened.Outside,therewastotal silence. No, let me correctthat: therewasnoise, but it wascoming from only oneside. No wonderthe Philippine press was befuddledafter9I 11.Again, the arradcs weresuchthat many peoplethought de moreimportant questionwas "Who not did this?"but "\Vhy did it happen?" Exceptfor a few columnisa, nobody daredto questionthe officialversionof what happened and,more imponandy, why the attacks happened the first in place. a result,nobodylookedbeTond As press's the'Western versionof events 'With our minds conditionedby the idea that terror canonly comefrom Islamic extremists to destroyAmerica, out we behaved the editorsof Sun.Sur like Cagayan Oro: we surrendered our de to biases.

lchoingwestem nGilia

The mediadefinitelyhavea role to play in the fight against terror.But this rc)e doesnot ody entd) rcpeadngto the publicwhat officialsaresaying. The press hasa far morecrucialrolethan beinga mouthpiece. should,for example, It striveto inform the public, to enlighten
UsM ArH zmz JouRN 37

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Philippines mosque, southern Destroyed
them so they canmakeinformed about the thingsthat matterto decisions them, It didnt soundlike it but I wastrying with that lastremark.I to soundsarcastic knowsits know that the Philippine press to role.But you will be surprised know that manyjournalistsin my country would probablyretort with "Oh, really?" sarcastic statement. to my supposedly Many, indeed,would probablyretort with "Sowhat?" In lateMay lastyear,the Abu Sayyaf
38 Asr^ JouRN^usM 2002

R P h i l i D D i n e u r n a l i s me v i e w Jo

(including three kidnapped people two Americans, ofthem still in their handsto this day)from the Dos Palmas Shortly resofton the islandof Palawan. aftermidnight ofJune 1, the bandits on descended a town in Basilancalled the Lamitan.They occupied hospitaland the church in the parishcompound. There, theyterrorizedpatientsand a hospitalstaff,evenambushed convoy A ScoutRangers. few ofunsuspecting the hoursafterthe siege, military camein the full force,surrounded hospitaland

rainedbombsandbulletson the Somedied,includingthe compound. ofthe parishpriest,and bodyguard wereinjured. scores Justwhenall the military*'ould do wasgo in for thekill, from disappeared rhetroopsmysteriously rheirposaaroundthe compound, to the allorving bandits slip througha into and to disappear thewild, backgare in fieir hostages tow. parish led Residens by the brave who himself priest,Fr. Ciri.loNacorda, rvaskidnappedby the Abu Sayyaf


inl994,later madeknown their suspicion that somethingfishyhappened that the Abu *rat day.They suspected Sayyafgot ransommoneyfrom the contractor Reghis RomeroII, oneofthe hostages. Nacordaand the Fr. Dos Palmas residents raised suchhell that the Senate and the Housewereforcedto launch rheirown investigations the incident into The ground tiat turned into a fiasco. to commanders werelatertransferred while both the House and other posts Senate committees haveto finalize still *reir findings. Many journalists, both from print and broadcast. wereableto coverthe actionin Lamitan,panicularlythe bombingby the military of the compound.To be fair, the Philippine press did well in reportingwhat happenedalthough,again,much ofthe informarion wascomingfrom the military.The allegations Fr.Nacordaand his by But weregivenamplespace. parishioners I suspect that it wasonly because they had decided bring their case to directly to Manila and only because Congress had interestin the case. True takenspecial started enough,assoonasthe committees ro keepquiet about their supposed reportedless and investigations, press the less the incident. on

that struck The onething, however, of me mostaboutthe mediat coverage wasthe fact that the Lamitan fiasco much of the coveragewas being done by national- not local- reporters who covered hearings well asthe the as beat.Therewasa dearthof defense who independent stories from journalists lived in that part ofMindanaojournalism who weresupposed know to the situationbetterand who presumably would haveexcellent sources a for rivetingstorysuch thisone.An as for explanation this camein Januarythis

year, when theAmericans started coming to ZemboangaCity for their military with Filipino soldiers. exercises By late Decemberlastyear,it was was already clearthat the Philippines going to be the next front in the United States' so-called war globa.l on terrorism. in This war would be manifested the military exercises calledBalikatan (which means, Iiterally, to shoulder shoulder), whereinthe US would deploy more than 650 soldiers, about 160 ofwhom aremembers ofthe Special Forceswho areexpected do field training exercises to one right in enemyterritory in Basilan, ofthe lairsoftheAbu Sayyaf. as The rationale the Balikatan, for has Presiden GloriaMacapagal-Arroyo repeatedly madeclear, for the US is troopsto impart their skillsand knowlthe edgeto their Filipino counterparts, vanquishtheAbu Sayyafonce betterto and for all. It alsoinvolvedthe granting to of a militaryaid package the hopelessly ill-equippedPhilippinearmedforces to the tune of $ 100 million. The Bdikatan, which officiallyopenedin lateJanuary, wasgoing to be a very important exercise for the US, which wasobviouslytrying like to plug the holesthat terrorists through, Osamabin Ladencould escape which and for theArroyo administration, needed supportof the Philippine the military,which shecould only getif she allowedUS ffoopsto cometo Philippine shores. The exercises camedangerously close violatinga constitutional to ban on foreigntroopsin Philippinesoil, but that didnt reallyseem matterto President to Arroyo. At any rate,a cenual questionsoon emerged: it reallytrue that sophistiIs catedequipmentis the only thing the Philippine militarywould needto defeat a ragtagband oflessthan a hundred banditsthat officialshad described as "tired and hungry'? Shouldnt the US, if in it issincere stamping terrorism in out

this part of the world, be more concerned of aboutthe siicerityand professionalism the Philippine military in its supposed the Ifit fight against bandits? is, alsoabout shouldnt it be concerned that the allegations the reason Abu scot-free because is some Sayyafremains elemensin the military actuallycolluded with it - a notion that hasneverbeen sufficientlydispelledup to this day?

mcdia attcntior llolocal
The Philippine press, as expected, did not bother to raise these points. It took the Boston Globe and the Finnish newspaper H elsingin Sanomat to do that. A few days after their reports came out (in which the reporters managed to confirm the allegation that ralsom had been paid by some of the Dos Palmas kidnap victims and that part of the moneY went ro some militan- officialsl. rhe New York Timcs followed *-irh irs own report. Then the Vashington Port mentioned it in a repon of irs own, and Timc magzine der-oted e page to it. But not a word. as of February 12, from the Philippine Press, excePt for a report byan independent news agency based in Mindanao called MindaNews, whor report, in turn, was based on what the Boston GIobe and Hckingin Sanomat had dug up. I am not entirely sure why our press did not give any attention to the l-amian incident vis-i-vis the US-Philippine But I can hazard a few military exercises. it guesses.'W'as becausemy colleaguesin the Philippine press deemed the story as 'bld," which means that, regardlessofits in relevance light ofnew events,it deservesto stay in the morgue? Or did they think that the US side should have more interest in it than our side, the logic being that it was US troops who came to the Philippines to begin with?



said,is nodring but the regurgitationof so national dailies are some of the worst paid Or is the Philippinepress mken wisdom of the dayand, the conventional with theArroyo administrationthat it is and most exploited - if not abusedassuch,tendsto dull the critical thinking members of the Philippine press.Most of keepingsilentinsofarasthe deliberately making More than ever, ofjournalism. military exercises concerned? that are But the correspondents rely for their income in sense ofwhat is happening theworld would not jibe with the manyeditorials on the number of column inchestheir and ofwhat the'Westled by the US is stories would get. It has come to the in the Philippine press that have importance. trying to do is of paramount some criticizedths 6xs16i565 and ifthey point that, in the past, and because I'm runningthe riskhereof being surely wire agenciesrequire a certain body criticizeeditoriallythe exercises, unsympalabeled at theveryleast, as, count in order for a story on an incident looking into the Lamitan incidentonce theticto the US and the\fest. Nothing But, asI havesaid,no to be used,thesestringerswould bloat againis logical? could be fartherfrom the truth. I am casualryfigures. attentionfrom the localmedia.At least world in seeking an with the civilized nonesofar. now. endto terror.I am beingdefensive is The mostplausible answer that the for And I shouldcreditPresidentArroyo to localjournalists who aresupposed This closeness and reliance the to on thau shedeclared few daysagothat a know thestorywere keenon doingit military asanybeatreporterknows, not of because werenot keenon exposing surelyaffects way a journalisthandles thosewho questionthe presence they the (Fr. in are Americansoldiers the Philippines it in the beginning Nacorda did - that for the news- or what passes it tellingFilipinos not Filipinos. Shewas beFore local the much media-hopping office.I think I emanates from the press I that theworld afterSeptember 1, noticed the Lamitanfolks' press would not be entirelyoff the mark if I blackandwhite2001. hasbecome the complaintagainst military), quite is saythat this coziness one of the major that,asher idol George\( Bushhad in the simply because press the commuhave reasons why, assurveys her, said,eitherI am for her or against is nitiesin the Philippines too oftentoo of the determined, main source news or I am for theAmericans that either cozywith the military. from Mindanaoisthe military.This Therecannotbe a against Americans. the On anygivenday at the armedforces' explains of why in the eyes theworld, to middleground,according her.If I am officein SouthernCommandpress place. Mindanao is sucha dangerous then I must not soldon that philosophy, ZamboangaCiryfor example, you I This dynamics alsothe reason, is be a non-Filipinoandan Abu Sayyaf would seetheremost of the corresponin suspect, why reporters Mindanao did lover,shesaid. Manila newspapers not give the Lamitan incident dee dentsof the biggest when The role ofthe mediatoday, and the stringers wire services. for That is attentionit deserved. increasingly sophiterrorismhasbecdme wherethey hang out. That is wherethey The point in all this is that the and to sticated morebarbaric,is precisely get their daily doseof "news"from the inz. responsibiliry thejournalist time of makesurethat Filipinos arenot reduced military and that, too, iswherethey A like this hasbecome evenbigger. ideaof patriotismis to apeoplewhose it.They havegrown soaccusprocess \outna\st not on\y shou\dstriveto get in merelyto mkesrdes a debate.ln this tomed to the setupthat many of the job is also his the storyaccurately, of time ofso muchwar-mongering, the spendmostof their time - that of being correspondents imbuedwith purpose htal attractionof violenceasaway to in the press office,with militaryofficials ableto impart to thepublicnot just the our resolve differences, role asjournalists literallylookingovertheir sometimes and cold factsbut alsothe nuances of the is not to reduce complexities our You shoulderastheywrite their stories. as, complexities a beatascomplicated of that complexities societies the same these mustwonderwhat kind of stories say,Mindanao. hatredand contemptandrage breed journalists havebeenchurningout day strives stamp to The morethe'West notionsasblackand in and day out under the circumstances. out terrorismin all partsofthe world, the to suchsimplistic Otherwise, white, pro- or anti-American. on This is not to castaspersions those morelocaljournalists shouldtry to make we would be no different from the bigots many ofwhom atemy of sense this movementand provide iournalists, that struckfearin the and the zealots friends.It'sjust that the military couldnt or dissenting space localvoices, for heart of humanity on that awful day in havewishedfor a bettersetupfor it to be otherwise.'We mustnot succumb easily 2001.r Seotember This to theconvenient it ableto pushwhateveragenda has. of temptation this fact that provincial isworsened the by which, asthe animalcalledobjectivity, and of correspondents stringers the journalistI.F.Stone CmlosH. Condcisafeelancejoumalist. once greatAmerican



Ash 2002 JouRNALTsM




EPORTING on a cultureotherthan onet challenges a to own presents tremendous
iournalist, even to a recognizedveteranin ihe profession.The task becomeseven more daunting when the journalist is reporting on the day-rc-dayeventsof a long drawn-out conflict berweenmajority and minority cultural communities.A reporter'sethnic biases tend to surface,and despitecarefully chosenwords and politicaily correctterms. Reportersand journalists areonly human, after all, and do not operatein a socialor culturalYacuum.Likemanyotherprofessionals, they are shaped laryely by the norms and stanj dards of their own culture. That culture is the mirror which provides them the yardsticksor norms bywhich to appraise other people.

I Pgrr-rpprNes

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Reportage Muslims or on events on associated Muslims in the Philipwith pineshaspromoteda negative imageof the Muslims asamongthe dregsof the earth. Kidnappers, bandits,corrupt politiciansand all other undesirable characters society invariably in are associated the Muslims of southern with Philippines.It is no surprise that the peace agreement signedbetween the Moro NationalLiberationFront (MNLF) and the Philippine government wide oppositionfrom various generated of The sectors Philippinesociety. majority Filipino population,basically Christians and steeped generally in negative reportage a'troublesome"minority on populationlike the Muslims, is expected favor to reactadverselyto perceived any or special treatmentaccorded latter. the I hopethat insteadof inciting those on the other sideofthe fenceto defend or attack,journalists ofwhateverfaith or associated convictionwill reportevents with Muslims with a deeperunderstanding and appreciation the Muslims asa of people. This understanding could eventuallypavethe way to a fruitful dialoguein which eachculturewill "shine its uniqueness..."l in

Wnat lslaml h

population,havesuccumbed a highly to consumerist-oriented lifestyle. Even . traditionalritesofpassage markedby are commercialized and'Western-oriented themes like white weddinggownsin Islamicweddingritesheld in restaurants or hotels. Perhaps is bestto startwith the it principlethat clearlydistinguishes Islam from Christianity. The principleof which separarion the church and state, of is basicin Christianity, especially among is in RomanCatholics, not applicable Islamis not only a Islam.This is because religion, alsoa totd wayof life.It is a but way of life in holisticand integrated of which decisions regarding everyaspect of life areideallytnadeon the basis its basic tenets. for Islamprovides guidelines every human activity,from the most sacred (e.g.praying)to the mostworldly (like callsof nature).Muslims answeringthe in who engage economicactivitieslike buying and selling,and the accompanying activityoflending moneyare a enjoinednot to assign high marginof be lest activities profit or interest these and riba considered (usury/usurious) therefore haram,(forbidden). f,romnvo Theword Islamcomes fuabic root words:'talm' which means A peace, "silm",meaningsubmission, and Popularliteratureon Islamindicates "Muslim" is onewho peacefully submits religion that it is the mostmisunderstood himself/herselftothewill ofAllah, the or way of life not only in our predomithe mo$ beneficent, most mercifuland nantly Catholic country,but alsoin justAlmighty. Islamstands "a for many partsof thewodd. Islamiczealots will one's to commitmentto surrender claim that this is the resultofa'W'esternwith Vill of God" and to be at peace the oriented,Zionist oudook. Exuemism all that hasbeen amongsomeMuslims hasbeenexplained the Creatorand with created Him. It is through submission by asa reactionto suchinfluence. is to the Vill of God that peace brought ManyMuslimsin the Philippines about.2 the this claim as fact.They see consider Ideally, a Muslim is onewho livesin influencein the of effects such'Western harmonywith his/herCreatorand his/ \fith way someMuslims todaybel-rave. Thereis no comparther fellow creatures, and cabletelevision an Americanin mentalization the Islamicwayoflife, as media,manyMuslims in influencedmass for the Islamprovides guidelines every the Philippines,likethe majority
AsrA2002 JouRNusM



Reprling'the d TheMuslirs ol the Philippines: Ih actofa Muslim or true believer. a is the Muslimt lifesryle incorporated five pillarsthat arethe sinequanon of Islam: offaith in the l) shahadah, profession one God (Allah) and no other,and in the of acknowledgement greatprophetin be Islam,Muhammad (peace unto him); 2) salah, practiceof prayingfive times the zday;3) zakat,obligatoryalmsgiving for Muslims;4) sawm,or all income-earning fastingin the holy month of Ramadhan; ofthe hajj, or and the 5) performance


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pilgrimage the holy land ofMecca. to The realization ofthesefive pillars and adherence the six articles to offaith (iman)within the Muslimt lifetime is rheirpassport an eternallife in the to hereafter. six articles The offaith are:I ) beliefin Allah, the EverJiving,Allknowing,and theAll-powerful Creator and Proprieto of all;2) beliefin the r -l.ngels; beliefin the five divine 3) scriptures revealed sentdown by and .{,llahwhichincludesthe Qur'an, the

IslamicHoly Book sentdown to Muhammad (peace unto him); the be Torah,or OldTestament, sentdown to (peace unto him); the Musa(Moses), be Injeel,or NewTestament sentdown to (peace unto him); theAzIsa(Jesus), be Za6oor,the Psalms, sentdown to Dawood (David), (peace unto him); be and the Sheets Ibrahim, (peace of be unto him);4) beliefin the Prophets or Messengers, ofwhom arementioned 25 in the Qur'an; 5) beliefin the final day

ofjudgment;and 6) beliefin theAlQdrt, the beliefin theAllah astheAllThis last knowing andAll-wiseCreator. human beings articleof faith provides the capabilityofachievinggood deeds, knowing that life and deatharein the handsofAllah. the Exalted. Thesearticles faith showthat there of with aremany thingsIslamshares Christianiry,amongthem the beliefin the divine scriptures and in the prophets (like Mosesand David). In Islam,Jesus is
Asrr JouRNAUsM 2002 43

honoredasa prophetof God like the othersbeforehim (Moses and David), but it is Muhammadwho is considered of the lastMessenger God. Thesepillarsand articles faith are of well-known amongnon-Muslims not as that Muslims have asthe impression "strange" which includethe practices, of more than onewife (polygamy) taking and the practiceofdivorce. Sincethese of practices collidewith the standards many non-Muslims RomanCatholicism, the in the Philippinesperceive Muslims akin standards to have"baser"behavioral in to the instinctsof lower species the non-Muslims do animalworld.These of not realize that the practices polygamy in anddivorce not basic Islam- i.e. are and onecanbe monogamous still be a Muslims Muslim. Like many Christians, in hold dearthe valueofrighteousness living a the pathof God,which means to life of peaceful submission His will which arejust and and performingacts not oppressive fellow human beings. to basicvalues which are To Muslims,these incorporatedin the five pillarsand the six articles faitharefar moreimportant of than the acquisitionof more than one wife or the predilectionfor divorcing one's wife. 'lfhile manyMuslim men indeed is takemorethan onewife, the practice principlein not a fulfillmentof anybasic the of Islam.Historically, practice warrantedduring the early polygamywas daysof Islamwhen Muslims were for prosecuted their new religion.This Muslims had meantthat all able-bodied their faith, leaving to fight to defend and their wives,daughters, oldermale the relatives behind.ln manycases, men warsgot killed. An who fought in these older man in the community (who had a means)might offer wife and substantial to marriage awidow to protectand family.Of course, supporther fatherless of we hearof publicizedabuses this

of includingthe conversion practice, to someChristians Islamjust to "legitimize"their of practice maintaining mistresses.

in lllho mcMuslimshG are P[ilinninesP

constituterAe l4rh group of Muslims in the Philippines todal'. Ofthese groups,only threearethe mostnumerous and the more politically the dominant: the Maguindanaoan, Several Maranaw,and theTausug. ofnational prominence politicalleaders havecomefrom these groups,like the who writtenextenSpecialist have latesenator Mamintal Thmano(a sivelyabout Muslimsin the Philippines Michael Maranaw),formercongressman agree that thereareat leastI 3 ethnoand O. Mastura(a Maguindanaoan) indigenous to linguistic groups Nur Misuariof the formergovernor Mindanao that haveadoptedIslamas AutonomousRegionof Muslim are: theirwayof life.3 These Mindanao (ARMM), aThusug. In the Philippines, terms the (people ofthe > The Maguindanaoan "Muslims"and"Moros" havebeenused ofthe provinces flooded plains) intenchangeably referto the various to out carved of rheoncevastempire above. ethnolinguistic groupsdescribed Maguindanao, provinceof Cotabato, Howevet aswe will explainlater,the rwo SultanKudarat,North and South The term the arenot exactly same, Cotabato), identiry ofone who Muslim is a religious of > The Maranaw (people the lake)of to submitshimsel/herself the \7ill of God the Lanaoprovinces, (also earlier). the other On described (people ofthe current) > TheTausug hand, the term Moro or its plural Moros of the Sulu archipelago, connotes political identity.The term a > TheYakanofBasilanIsland, by wasoriginallyused the Spanish > The Samaoftwi-tawi and its when they discovered thar colonizers islands, Islamwastheway of life of manyof the alsofrom different > The Badjaw, in native populations Mindanao.Itwas in islands the Suluarchipelago to usedin reference the Moors of ofcentral Davao, > The Kalagan of Moroccowho werethe colonizers the ) The Sangilof SaranganiSay, for Iberianpeninsula morethanseven > The Iranunwho live on the boundcenturies. ariesofthe Cotabatoand Lanao heavilyin suffered The Spaniards provinces, the their bloodywarsagainst Moors and ) The Palawani Melbugnonof berween I Othand I 2th centuries. the Palawan, theywereresentfulof any . Expectedly, ) The Kaliboganofthe Zamboanga group they met that had a similarway of peninsula, and Thus,they life to that of their enemies. de > TheJamaMapun of Cagayan usedthe word Moro to referto the Suluisland. in brown-skinnednatives Mindanao and they Sulu in the samederogatoryway In addition,therearea growing viewedthe nativeFilipinos forwhom all numberof Muslim converts overthe theyusedthe epithetIndio. They comefrom thevarious Philippines. \7ith the riseofself-assertive ethnoJinguisticgroupsin the country as consciousnessa distinctpeopleamong and from Luzon,Visayas, Mindanao. In natives Mindanao and of the Islamized 1996,theirnumberwasconservatively of in the organization Sulu,asexpressed at estimated 95,000.This groupcould


AsB JouRN^LNM 2002


the Moro National LiberationFront (MNLF) in the late 1960s,the term Moro soongaineda favorable connotation amongyoungMuslims.To them, Moro is an expression oftheir distinctiveness a peoplewho haveconsistendy as resisted foreigndomination.Used together with the Malayword Bangsa, as in Bangsamoro/Bangsa Moro, the term connotes nationalitydistinct from that a ofthe majority Filipinoswho aremainly Christian religious by orientation.

Ihehistoricsl c0lttext
The comingof Islamto the Philippinesantedated Christianizationof the the country by more than a century. IslamcametogetherwiththeArab traders who wereactiveparticipants in the long-distance bulk tradecommon duringthe lOth to l2th centuries. Historicalaccounts showthat before

the Spainclaimedto have"discovered" Philippinesin 1521,Islamhad already takenroot in many places the country, in especially Sulu and in mainland in Mindanao. The Spaniards cameto the islands they lateron calledthe Philippinesasa search consequence their government's of for wealthto replenish their drained nationalcoffers. The bloodywarswith the Muslim Moors in the Iberian peninsulahad beencostly.It wasthus a shockingsurprise the Catholic to Spaniards find out that in this new to land they "discovered" therewerepeople who adhered the samefaith asthat of to their colonizers, Muslim Moors. the ofthe This historicalencounter Philippine"Moors" with the Spaniards as colonizers providedthe backdropfor a slanted,highly biased depictionofthe Muslims in the country by the Spanish

in Magellant chroniclers Ferdinand entourage.'This biased depictionwas evenafterthe Spaniards to had sustained leavethe country in favor ofa new group ofcolonizers, theAmericans. readingof A Blair and RobertsontHistory of the will showhow this Philippine Islands -imagehasbeenperpetuated even the exploited-- to achieve endsof of dominationand colonization an free otherwise and self-determining people. Unlike Christianiry which camewirh who conquered natives the the colonizers with the swordand the Cross,Islam cameto Mindanao and Sulu asa consequenc€ ofthe culcural and economic interactions between Arab the (who camefrom asfar asYemen], traders andthe indigenous populatioru. Sorne of populationsalreadv had rheir o.nr these system ofgorrrnment a-nd rh:i'rfuE a

L o i sH a l l

LrsM Asu 2OO2 45 JouRN


L o i sH a l l

economy. The dominant Muslim population Mindanao,for example, in had their sultanates which historians haverecognized quasi-nation as state governments a hierarchical with and highly stratifiedsociery. This impliesthat Islamwasnot imposedfrom the outside by forcebut ratherthrough friendly persuasion, could happenin a typical as business transaction. An extensive trading network,from in the westto China in the North Java wasalreadyin placein Mindanao and Sulu beforethe coming of the Spaniards. One ofthe thriving tradecenters was now the capitaltown of Sulu Jolo, province. the other Mindanao All (e.g.the Magindanaoand sultanates Buayanin the CotabatoRiverValley areas) werepoliticallylinked to Muslim states from Borneoto the Moluccas. Moreover,evenuntil the l gth century, the sultanates werestill activelypursuing
46 Asn JouRNAUsM 2002

ceded Philippine the Islands the to United States through theTiearyof Paris in I 898,Mindanaoand Suluwere included despite from Muslim protests leaders the reservations and ofsome Despitethe Spaniards' relentless 'trusade" Americans. against Moros, thly failed the Through the Tlearyof Paris,the new dismallyto subdueand proselJtize them. Americancolonialgovernment arrogated Nor did theysucceed establishing in to itselfnot only the controlbut alsothe sovereignty MindanaoandSulu. over ofall landsin the Philippine The Moros resisted colonizers the fiercely, ownership archipelago. The treatypavedthe way for evenif this meantthe evenrual disintetheAmericans imposelegislation to grationoftheir socio-economic base, Americanhegemony which wastrade.The Spaniards' galleons which concretized in the country,especiallywithregardto provideda navalblockade ofthe land ownership. Theselawswere Mindanao and Sulutradenenvork enforced the Islamized in areas of which had prospered through the MindanaoandSulu,thusencroaching junketsused bythe Moros'trading upon the dominionofthe sultanates. partners, Arabsand the Chinese. the Under the sultanates, land washeld The Spanish colonizers imposed in trust,with the sultanasthe most certainland tenurialarrangements like powerful "trustee."Under the Moros' the encomienda system many partsof in customary or adat,land cannotbe law Luzonand theVisayas, nor in but ownedabsolutely. Aperson canonly Mindanaoand Sulu.Butwhen Spain

internationalrelations with the Dutch andthe British.

llloro resistanGG tocolonialism

E d

ThmMNm$smm ryhxixpp:lnms h**ru xm hmvm th* r:*t sr:h3m*t*# ffi myrutwnm m*tr#s-ffirffimmt # A{$ thmt t* *f
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aermy tf:m*r *f $if*.
be a steward, trusteeof land which is a Momungan in Lanaoprovince. peopleand their way of life. Feelings of Godt creation. Usufructory, resentment continued be fannedby to In these colonies. Christian the ratherthan absolute ownershiprights, setders flamesofdiscontentoverthe central weremixedwith the Islamized prevailed during the time of the natives condescending treatmen t purportedlyto promote"good government's sultanates. workingrelations"between two the of theMuslimsor Moros.But the central Under theAmericancolonialregime, groups. had inherited this attitude Actually,the colonialgoverngovernment however, lawswerepassed enjoining ment usedthis policy asa smokescreen from the colonizers'perceptionsthe of peopleto register title the landsthey or Muslimsas"bandits andoutlaws." This for its divide-and-rule policy amongthe The Land Registration of Act occupied. feisry Moroswhile at thesame time condescension, coupledwith poor Under this act, socialservices the to -:'02 wasoneexample. deliveryof basic defusingpeasant unrestin Luzon. had arL,irizens to apply for aTorrenstitle Moreover, manyof the "beneficiaries" of already depressed communitiesof both A ma landsthey tilled or occupied. :e Muslimsandnon-Muslimindigenous the migrationprograms Mindanao to act, in srrb$Equent promulgatedin 1905, werethe "undesirables" tough guys and groups Mindanao,had beenevident in that all landsnot registered in eitherLuzonor theVisayas. Former asearlyasI 899 until 19 I 3. nm",'ided r'lrl q'ouldbecome public lands.Since Congressman I The Americancolonialgovernment Masturaof Maguindanao :-,e!{uslims did not adhereto the province's districtonceremarked placedMindanao and Sulu, or first "Moroland," undermilitary rule,and practice titling their lands,they did of that "Mindanao is the promisedlandof not botherto register their landsunder the undesirables Luzon andVisayas." from then on it became "Moro" a of laws these land acts.Consequently, these provinceundera military governor.In To top all the effronteryof the became instruments the bywhich the moves 19 14, "Moroland"wasplaced undera Americancolonialgovernment's Moros and the other non-Muslim against Moros, the ChristianmigraTrts Department ofMindanaoandSulu the indigenous weredisenfran= populations wereentitled larger to tracts land (16 of undera civilian (American) governor. chisedoftheir lands,thus reducingthem hectares compared the natives'10, Starting 1920,while Christian in to in to being"resident strangers" their own Filipinos publicservants in which wasreduced laterto eight).This is became homeland. not to mentionthe useof a predomipreparation independence, for the "banditsand outlaws"of Mindanao and nantly ChristianPhilippineConstabulary Forceto quell any form ofdissent Suluwereplaced undera Bureau of in from the Moros. \Vith these realities Non-ChristianTlibeswhich in turn fell In 1913,theAmerican colonial of to underthe government's Departmentof beganto implementa policy mind, it is impossible conceive government nativeandmigrantpopulations living in the Interior. During the Commonof establishing agriculturalcolonies the in wealth,this bureau wasabolished and peaceful coexistence, alonehaving let landless south,allegedly encourage to "goodworking relations" with eachother. replacedwitha Commissionfor farmers from both Luzon andVisayas to Mindanao and Suluwhich wasdirectly From theAmericanregimeuntil the immigrateto the less in populousareas to ofthe Office of grantofindependence the new under the supervision Mindanao. From 1913to 1917,seven PhilippineRepublic 1945,the in the Philippine President. Until the agricultural colonies wereopenedin Muslimsin the Philippines havebeen 1950s, Mindanaoand Suluweretreated Mindanao,namely, Pikit, PaiduPulangi, region. subjected a system to ofgovernmentthat asa "special" Pagalungan, Glan andTalitayin the as By the late I 960s,the restiveness of did not consider theirdisdnctivenessa formerempireprovinceof Cotabatoand

lmerican colonial mlicy





Ash JouRNersM 2002


Muslims had given the discontented birth to a movementwhich would the galvanize unity of the culturally diverse Muslims in Mindanao and Sulu ofwhat they into opendefiance perceived "nationaloppression' the as Moro NationalLiberationFront (MNLF). For the Muslims,thiswarwas an a jihad (holywar) against oppressive in and unjustgovernment orderto attain in the right to self-determination their own homeland,The battlecrythen was "Victory or the Graveyard". Recruits weretold to fight to defendtheir homelandand their religion.The MNLF now honorsthosewho died fighting in this war asmartyrs. On the otherhand, the non-Muslims manifesperceived war asa concrete this ofMuslims as tation oftheir stereorypes " "blood-hungrybanditsand outlaws. The prejudices that havebeenhanded down from the time of the colonizers, and both the Spaniards theAmericans, found some"confirmation"in the bloody encounters between MNLF and the the forces.Theseencounters government costthe livesofthousandsofpeople, not both Muslims and Christians, to of destruction mention the massive properryin Mindanao and Sulu.

Wfiats anamefl in

Fewmight disputeShakespeare's verse arguingthat a rosewould smellas sweet givenany other name.But among the Muslims in Mindanao and Sulu, markers labels are and names significant in their identity asa people,and thus shouldnot be takenlightly. use many journalists For instance, *te label"Muslini' liberallyto referto any item, food, design,or dancethat is Gsnuadlclionilllcflns associated the various with of the Perhaps worst abuse the word ethnolinguistic groupsin Mindanao. Newspaper reporters correspondents Muslim is its useasa markerfor a and a criminal: a thief;, kidnappet or a corrupt or arewont to describe dresses any politician.AMuslim hasto submit to the costumeusingmotifs and handwoven

cloth from eitherthe Maranawor Maguindanioanas"Muslim-inspired" The or designs, worse,as"Muslirri' dress. pieceof handwoventubaw,the square by cloth traditionallyusedasheadgear Maguindanaonmen, is quite popular journalists. They amongManila-based referto it asa "Muslim" scarf The always here singkil,which hasbeenpopularized and abroadbythe BayanihanDance to Company,is alwap referred asa "Muslim"danceor one of the numbersin "Muslim'suiteof the Bayanihan's which do not dances. Evenrestaurants their food as pork advertise serve "Muslim chow" And the languages by spoken the 13 groupsof Muslimsin Mindanao and Sulu arecalled "Muslim'dideca! the As already explained, word religious a Muslim connotes universal identity.A Muslim is a Muslim anywhere in the world, althoughgloballyspeaking thereis no monolithic Islamiccommufive pillars niry. Muslims follow the same of six ardcles faith, no matterwhat and their sectis (Sunni,asthe Philippineand Muslimsare,or mostSoutheastAsian IranianMuslims are).But Shi'ite,asthe speak they areofdifferent cultures, and differentlenguages havediverse and traditions.The useof ethniccustoms the the term Muslim to describe kind of the food or dancedebases deep dress, to religiousmeaningattached the word of sinceonlyan individual is capable to submission God'swill. \7hen the to word is attached a rypeof dance,it as downright blasphemous, becomes Muslims areenjoinedto shunworldly ifit like pleasures dancing,especially the means close contad between sexes.

Ash zOoz 49 JouRNusM

will of God and follow the path of righteousness spelled in the five as out pillarsand six articles offaith, sohow can onebe a Muslim while violating the will of God?The phrase"Muslim kidnapper" or "Muslim criminal" is,at the least, a contradiction terms. in As editor in chiefof a Central Mindanao-circulated bi-weeklytabloid from 1991to 1995,I ran into countless arguments with my reporters about the useof the word Muslim to identify a suspefiin a crime. Someofthe reporters my office in thenworked asstringers corresponor dentsfor nationaldailiesand evenfor internationalnewsagencies Agence like France Presse Deutschland or Presse Agentur,the Germannewsagency. Beforethey filed their wire reports,rhey would askfor my help in cleaningtheir stories. would see it that wordslike I to "Muslim" werenot abused, suchaswhen these wereattached the nameof a to suspect a crime. But I would always in get exasperated when the storysawprint in the nationalmedia.\Vhen suspecrs havenames likeAbdul orJaafaror Alikhan, theywould invariablybe described "Muslim"rebels, as thieves, or what haveyou. \Vhen the controversy overthe useof the word wasdiscussed in nationalmeetings ofthe PhilippinePress Institute,Manila-based deskeditors were aboutit: ". . .but it (the ,quitecavalier word Muslim) sellsthe story,you know!" Suchattitudes r'?ical expressions are of prejudicethat datesbackto the time the colonizers foot on Philippinesoil. set \7hen Muslims aredepictedasbloodhungry bandits,it is easy justify a to massive militarycampaign remove to them from the faceofthe earth. On the other hand,when Muslims aretold that a predominantlyChristian governmentwants decimate to them because their religion (lslam),itwill of not be difficult for them to hate
Ash JouRNALTsM 2002

Christians. Religioncutsdeepinto a person's identity asa memberofa \Vhen an communiryof believers. enemy defined termsofreligion,it is is in easy wagea war against to that enemy. A significantnumberofMuslims in the Philippinesbelieve that their beinga "minoriry''is a consequence ofcolonial dominationby external forces the like Spaniards theAmericans. and Both these colonialforces encouraged migrationto Mindanao asa technique the for 'pacification' 'wild of the andviolent" Moro tribes.Thus, for these Muslims, the term minoritizedpopulations(to referto them and the indigenous groups in Mindanaowhich did not become eitherChristianor Muslim) is more appropriate. Despitethese questions the on politicallycorrectterm to useto referto Muslims in the Philippines, fact the remains that Islamhasbecome religion a of only a fractionof the entire Philippine population.Estimates ofMuslims in the Philippinesrangefrom five to ten million, althoughthis number could be conservative, giventhe growingnumber of Balik-lslam(Muslim converts) the in entirecountry.Again, evenin the reportingofstatistics the Muslim on population,thereis a prevalent perception amongMuslims that this rypeof datacould be manipulatedfor the benefitofthe ruling majority.Some 'ttatistical extremists would consider as genocide" diminutionofthe Muslim the populationby an officethat is run mostlyby Christians.

Then ilow: and rG[orting lslam flndillu$lims
The historicalaccounts presented earlierexplainthe source ofthe distinctiveness the Muslims in the Philipof pinesasa peoplewith their own cultural and political identity.This is the Banpamoro's basis asserting for their

right to self-determination. They have expressed right in variousways,from this armed struggle participation to in partisanpoliticsin orderto gaininfluence in nationalpolicy and decision-making. From the startof colonialdomination, the portrayalof Muslims and Islam hasbeenderogatory. I notedearlier, As this wasnecessary perpetuate to the colonizers' dominion overthe indigenous peoples the country.Unfortunatelyfor of the colonizers, Muslims,or Moros as the theycalledthem,weremadeof sterner stuffthan their counterparts the in north. They continuedto resist foreign domination. But what the colonizers, especially the Spaniards, mayhavefailedto do in termsofproselytizingthe Muslims,they might have succeeded promotingan in imageofthe Muslim asthe dregsof the earth.The pacification campaigns "lndios" from Luzon whereChristianized and Visayas weredeployedto fight against Muslims in the southleft a the lingeringimageofthe Muslims asinfieles (infidels/unbelievers). reinforce To this image, Americans the usededucation and "democratii' politicalprocesses like passing lawsto bring out the differences between Christianized the Filipinosand theMuslims. GovernorGeneralLeonard'Wood, the fi rstAmericanmilitary governor appointed the U.S.president by to administerthe Philippine Islands, usedto referto the Muslims as"banditsand outlaws."He orderedthe killing of thousands insurgentMoros on rhe of justificationthat "a goodMoro is a dead Moro." On onepage ofthe multivolume History ofthe Philippine Isknd"s by Blair and Robertson, a pictureof a is grimJookingman holding a l.cis(a bladedweaponcommon to the peoplein Mindanao and Sulu)with the following caption:'A savageJooking Moro." After the colonialyears, Muslims the


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sffipffi *ffi . nmt ffi

in the southfound themselves underthe predomicontrolof a Manila-based, nantly Christiangovernment.At the in same time,hearymigrationtook place landsin onceMuslim-dominated Mindanao. Mostof these migrarions weresponsored bythe Manila government, especially underthe militaryEconomicDevelopment administered Corps(EDCOR) program. (Referback ro thediscussion historical on context.) from the interminPressures generated in glingof populations Mindanaoas in described earlierresulted violent clashes anti-government and uprisingsin some afeas. Perhaps most"notorious"ofthese the anti-government uprisings during the by postwar years wasthat staged Datu Hadji Kamlonin Sulustarting the in early1950s. The nationalmediathen Kamlonin theworst used describe to possible way "bandits"arepictured.In fie Catholicneighborhood whereI grew up, the word "Kamlon" wassynonymous ro a monstermany Boholanos a call tinggalung. Mothers usedto discipline hyperactive errantchildren by and warning them of the coming of a tinggalungcalledKamlon who would devournaughtychildren. The war in the 1950sinvolvingthe MNLF and Philippine government forces invariablyreferredto in both was nationaland localmediaasa seccessionist war.Evenwell-meaningMindanao experts the term "seccession" refer use to to the ultimategoalof the MNLF asan

armedgroup.But, asmanyMNLF in the members argue, Moro people considered the MindanaoandSulunever They cite Philippines theirnation. historicalaccounts that showthat they of usedto enjoytheir own system underthe and government economy It sultanates. wasonly theTlearyof Paris included landsof the that unilaterally MindanaoandSuluin what is now known asthe Philippine territory. The waq according the Moro nationalists, to ratherthanof wasoneofindependence seccession separation. or This war of independence claimed the livesof an estimated 50,000and led of to the displacement more than in 200,000people from their homelands MindanaoandSulu.More importantly, ofhatred thewar perpetuated legacy the regimes.An spawned during the colonial amountofproperryand undetermined infrastructure destroyed a resultof was as the war. But more importantly,thewar left deepscars ofbroken relationships turnedinto and friendshipswhich animosities. was ln 1976, thetipoli Agreement ofthe signedberween representatives the Marcosgovernment and the MNLF. k wasmeantto resolve MNLF-GRP the conflict. The Agreementpavedthe way for the creationofrwo autonomous in IX regions Mindanao (Regions based in Zamboanga andXII in Cotabato on eventswas Ciry). Reportage these as favorable the government, to generally the mediawerethen under strict

of control because goYernment martial law. that started negotiations The peace Corazon of with the overtures President Nur Misuaria Aquino to MNLF leader afterthe signingof theTiipoli decade led Agreement eventually to a long which continprocess drawn-outpeace of ueduntil the presidency FidelV. r 6, Ramos. Septembe2, 199 the On with the finallyended negotiations peace between d're agreement signingof a peace and Philippine government theMNLF. led This agreement to the creationof the SouthernPhilippinesCouncil for Peace (SPCPD)andthe and Development and of declaration 14 provinces nine as citiesin Mindanao.Suluand Palawan and Zone for Peace part ofthe Special (SZOPAD). Development on On fie reportage the peace medialeave Philippinemass process, in be desired termsof their much to roleasfacilitatoror as crucialintermediary information about the vehicleof accurate print and process. Mediapersons, journalists alike,shouldbe broadcast aware their influential role and takeit of This means that theyhaveto seriously. do theirhomework- i.e.,prepare beforeany themselves extensively process. coverage ofthe peace For instance. the case in ofthe involvingthe Mindanao peace process MNLF, both print and broadcast musthavereadaboutdre iournalists ofthe Mindanao conflict historicalbasis policy and the Philippine governmentt
Aih JouRNAusn 2m2 5l

_ r',i

This negotiations' for guidelines peace kind ofpreparationwould at leastreduce inaccurate of the possibiliry propagating informationto thepublicaboutthe is process a The process. peace peace newsevent,and not process, an isolated or shouldbe covered reportedassuch. fall manyjournalists into the However, of trap of reducingthe complexities the to to process simpleanswers the four'!?'s and H ofnewsreporting. on This qpe ofsimplisticrePortage a in was process documented complicated study I did lastyearfor the a case PhilippineDemocraryAgendaprojectof Centet theThird \7orld Studies Universiryof the Philippinesat Diliman' studyshowedhow media The case is on reportage the Peace Process affected by suchfactorsasthe following:

rePorton a towardachieving balanced ofactivitiesinvolvedin a peace the series capitalist is process the conservative 'While of mostmediaowners, orientation to theydo not giveexplicitwarnings on what newsto air or theirworkers suggesrions print, theydo makesubtle newsand how this is to be on the kind of by presented theirmediaorganization. somekind of selfConsequently, the happens; mediaowners censorship neednot worry about themselves do sincethe reporters it for censorship explained them. One mediapractitioner for that this is part oftheir strategy oflivelihood intact keepingtheir source of and ensuringthe safery their family members. Given the complexiryof the Peace tedious on reportage it becomes process, who have in the handsof iournalists beentrainedto gathernewsusingthe attitudes 1) The mediaperson's four'WsandoneH astheirmainguide. "other" protagonistin the towardsthe the Their reportstend to reduce conflict; into of ramifications theprocess a orientationtoward 2) The media's ofwho, what, when, simplisticcoverage commoditY; newsasa perishable "silent"influence why and how. There is no attemPtto 3) Media owners' that or on what newsshouldbe broadcast see explainthe process led to the peace and finally to the peace negotiations, selfprint, resultingin a conscious itself. agreement amongmediapractitioners; censorship and of 4) Media persons'orientation news fatherthan Process. asevents of The first factoris a consequence the long-heldprejudiceof the majority the against Filipinos(Christians) factor,it is Muslims.As for the second shownin manyjournalists'procliviryfor reporting.It is this factor sensationalized and makereporters deskeditors which on usingthe word Muslim to alikeinsist the In idendfr a suspect. somerePorts, to a criminal, asin the word is attached "Muslim banditsraid headline screaming is of course, thekind of Ipil town."This, newsthat sells. The other constraintto efforts
AsrA JouRNAusM 2002

llon-tiluslim ioumalists ltluslims couGfinu

that tiortrabout rhe circumstances the engendered war in Mindanao. Doing son'ill help the journalistask t s e n s i r i va n d i n t e l l i g e nq u e s t i o n s e when they inten'iervin[ormantsfrom ofthe conflict' I consider both sides for this the number one imperative anyonewishing to understandthe complexityof Mindanao cultureand history,and its significantpopulation o f M u s l i m s . I n a d d i t i o n ,t h e journalistmust readup on the o c various ultures f the I3 Muslim grouPs.No two ethnolinguistic are grouPs the same'evenif some speakmutually intelligiblelanguages (like the Maranawand Iranun of p L a n a oa n d C o r a b a t o r o v i n c e s , respectively). the Regarding useof politicallY thereis a needto perhaps terms, correct o[the distinctlons be highly conscious termsdenotingreligious between and thoseusedto referto identity ofpeople.Reporters or cultures groups knowwhen to usethe word needto Muslim and culturaltermslike or costume language' Maguindanaon theyshouldbe extra More importantly, peoplewho are carefulwhen describing a instance, in suspects crimes.For nameand reportercancitethe suspect's placeof origin or birthplace' His or her religionis immaterialin a newsreport, The following aredot and dont'sfor the unless reporterjust wantsto create events covering non-Muslim journalists fragmented moredivisionsin an already with associated the and processes society. It Muslimsin the Philippines. isby no Partofa journalistt training is list, an means exhaustive and reporters and dress on orientation theProPer on who areconsideredveterans "Muslim or whendoinginterviews decorum maywish to contribute Mindanao"issues for There is no substitute coverage. to it. especially guidelines, followingthese earlierthat thosewho I suggested Muslim-dominated when covering report on the Mindanao Peace in communities Mindanao' Part of needto go back to the .process becominga Muslim is being alwaYs of background the so-calied historical modestin one'sdress.This doesnot conflict. TheY Muslim-Christian non-Muslim iournalists not only one source' meanthat needto examine shouldwear the veil when they cover of sources informabut all possible


"Muslim" Mindanao. They may want to try putting on a veil, assome reportersfor national dailiesand television networkshavedone. But while they may not wear the veil, they should avoidwearing anything that will invite undue attention from their informantsor the communities they arereportingon. This guideline appliesevenwhen they covernonMuslim communities.

peace notedby Noel Copin, was president press ofthe Paris-based advocary sans groupReporters Frontieres, the keynotespeech in he delivered during the I 7th Vorld Congress the Internationd Catholic of (UCIP) in 1995in Union ofthe Press Graz,Austria. The following excerpt from Copint articlesumsup my intentionsin writing this paper: "Thegreatest chancefor journalists, us, is ourpossibilitytogo and beTond allfontierc,physical rnoral, andto eliminatefear and hatred among hurnans.. Oar duty, . corresponding this to chance, to tell what wehaueseen. is Therolzofthejournalist it not to re/nainon onesideofthe barricadeto incite others to d.efend anack. h is to tell thetruth i,f or bothsidzs. Atthe base shouldbe ofioumalism,thereisor there undcrstanding ofthe otber,. . "(undzncoring supp lied)

"Telling the tquth of the other" necessitates kind of an inner some ofour prejudices, biases, our cleansing "moralfiontiers"asCopin callsthem. Ti'anscending these and not allowing ourselves takeonesideofthe fenceto to eitherdefendor attackwill pavethe way for moresensitive reporting,thereby of promoting,instead breaking,the is peace. This, I believe, the noblestideal journalists aspire I can for.

lledia's clucial lole
Like otherconcerned sectors of journalists sociery playa crucialrole in forgingpeace a world that seems be in to with But preoccupied violence. unlike can othersectors, iournalists eithermake with what and how or breakthe peace rheyreportevents and activities, in complicated a like especially something process. More so ifthis involvesa peace protagonist, Muslims in Mindanao the and Sulu,who havebeenmalignedfor rersons entirelyof their own making. not vital The media's rolein promoting

proRufa Cagoco-Gui.arn an associate is in thegraduateprogratn in public fessor administrationand directorof Center for Peaceand DeueloprnentStudies at Mindanao State Uniuersity- General SantosCity, Philippines.

: : F a t i m a e r n i s s il,s l a ma n d D e m o c r a c y M (1992). K h u r s h i d h m a d ," E d i t o r ' sI n t r o d u c A t i o n , " i n M a w d u d iA b u l A ' l a .T o w a r d s , sl U n d e r s t a n d i ln g a m . " n d e d . 2 ( l s l a m a b a d ,a k i s t a nI :n s t i t u t e f P o P o l i c y t u d i e s1 9 7 9 ) . S , P e t e r o r d o n o w i n gM u s l i mF i l i p i G G , ( n o s :H e r i t a g e n d H o r i z o n Q u e z o n a 1979). City: New Day Publishers, M L u i sL a c a rT h e B a l i k . l s l a m o v e m e n t , (s i n t h e P h i l i p p i n ea n u n p u b l i s h e d d o c u m e n t1 9 9 7 ) . , T u r n e r n d R . J .M a y ( e d s . ) i n d a n a o : a M ( L a n do f U n f u l l i l l e d r o m i s e Q u e z o n P 1979). City: New Day Publishers, 1980. George, t May,loc. cit. RufaCagoco'Guiam, "MediaTieswith in and Groups the NGOs/POs Rebel of Peace Pro.cess," Coniext the Mindanao (1997)12 and 13. Kasarinlan NoelCopin,'OnlyTruth Leadsto (keynote at Peace," addressdelivered of the 17th WorldCongress the UCIP i n G r a z , u s t r i a1 9 9 5 ) . A ,


rhmad,Khurshid. A C Introduction," Copin,Noel. "0nly Truth leadsto Peace," M a j u l , e s a r d i b . T h e C o n t e m p o r a r y in "Editor's t,'lawdudi, Ala. Towards address n delivered the 17th at M u s l i mM o v e m e ni t t h e P h i l i p p i n e s , Abul Understanding keynote WorldCongress the UCIBGraz,Austria, C a l i f o r n i aM i z a nP r e s s 1 9 8 5 . of , : slam. 2nd ed. lslamabad, Pakistan: 19 9 5 . rstituteof Policy 1979. Studies, A May, "TheWildWestin the South: R.J in G o w i n gP e t e r o r d o n .M u s l i mF i l i p i n o s : Recent , G Political History Mindanao," of 3agoco-Guiam, Rufa. "Media's Tieswith 'rGOs/POs Rebel Promise. Mark Heritage and Horizon. Quezon City: New Mindanao: Landof Unfulfilled and Grouos the Context in Turner, eds. 1 R.J. Turner, Mayand LuluRespall :f the Mindanao Peace Process."Kasarinlan. D a y P u b l i s h e r s ,9 7 9 . r publication the ThirdWorldStudies 1992. City:NewDayPublishers, of Quezon Lacar, Movement Luis Q. "TheBalik.lslam of at inter, University the Philippines i n t h e P h i l i p p i n e s , "n p u b l i s h e d u M e r n i s s iF a t i m a l.s l a ma n d D e m o c r a c y , , I liman, City. (i997) 12 and 13. Quezon 1992 n A m a n u s c r i p t ,9 9 7 . 1

Asr^ JouRNAusM ZOOZ 53


MeNKtvseNc ,By
I CnMaootn

HE year2001wasa dark periodfor Cam Many journalists bodianiournalism. some violatedtheir own codeof ethics,
intentionally and othersunintentionally' Some imprisonment, or death threats journalistsftaced of fro- go.r.rtment officials either because their forms of of or because various lol'rrrrllirrn work alsobeatenby government malpractice.Somewere they of thr'ri, ,tot because their articles,but because officials' had-extortedmoney from government Most journalistsstill wrote storiesbasedon one alsohamand research ,or'rr.i. Lack of resources pered their work. Still other journalists faced i"*ruit, for articlesthey had translatedfrom other without citing the sourcesof the newspapers articles. and also officials berated insulted government Some from complaints local 'iournalhave been iournalistJThere also 'irtr fromofficialsrh"t theyfind it hardto getinformation of reportonlyoneside a they *ni"n i, *t y, theysay, usually like reporting to amounts unbalanced sory.Manycases'ofwhat newsPapers' opposition in were these reported theso-called
officialssome No legalactionhassofar beentakenagainst themwith death'but a numberof ior.rrri"tiriclaimthreatened theywrote that were for facecourt cases the stories journalists or balance, havebeenjailed for alleged ilegedlywithout blackmail. havebeenworkingto journalists Many Cambodian more to makethe government democracyand consolidate to rid the nation of corruPtlon' and ffansparent accountable, other the to fo.t., equiryand growth, but because-of way ".rd theyhavesofar not achieved h"t. b..n behaving, journalists aims. these who therewasa point in 2001whenjournalists However, to tended stopusingtheir politicaltendencies haddifferent to attackeachother' Insteadtheyturned ,r.*rp"p., "r,icles in their attentionto scandals the government'


at W Canrbodian carpraman uprk problefiF and of training elhics
M W o m e n ' s e d i aC e n t r eo f C a m b o d i a


in Cambodiafacedin the The biggest -rias problem.iournalists funding and tight marketconditions' mostly year2001


j*tJs"slm$rxts w*r* xs mn* ffixt*nti*m ffi**'irxlm, $*$T1*

gmi$wd tr*ffi3 f*n m$*mg*d$y fnmrn ru"t*r"3*y a *xt*r-txn;g ir: pa*!vmt* Thn***th*n *ms-xtb**imr: sty" *#$t'3$;ffi j*e.".xs"$'3ffi$ixtx 3mi8*d thwar in !nv*$vmm*nt f*r w*r* mi**
& p*!its*nl is$t-l*.
in The market newspapers for has smallerand Cambodia become are smaller. Most Cambodians poor. manyrent Instead buyingnewspapers, of than their them at a pricecheaper cost purchase per copy.One other factor that hasled to the shrinking of the is marketfor newspapers that most Cambodianpeoplecannotread.\fhile readingis aliento them, all of a sudden therehasbeen a boom in the electronic rVith sixlocaltelevision channels, media. preferwatchingTV to reading people they do not haveto newspapers because payfor it, and moreovercanwatch all the films theywant. Like other people of the concernedwith problems daily survival,they do not carevery much in aboutwhat is happening otherparts of theworld. havealsolost their But manyreaders a because lot of trust ofnewspapers they readarenot about anything stories to ofrelevance their lives.Insteadthey attacking haveseen many stories too havingaffairswith this officialswho were to only for the papers or thatperson, because stoptheir investigation suddenly officialshavebribedjournalthosesame ists. j Many young Cambodians umped journalismbecause theywantedto into to that bepart ofa profession is supposed be the fourth power in socierywhich is a new concept them.Many of them, for howevet do not haveany training in iournalism. are Somenewspapers one-person onepersonfunctioning affairs, with only and asreportet photographer editor. not permitthe Limited budgets do and thushinder hiring of morepeople, professional growth.Amongthe on are based rumot consequences stories with other and the failureto verify details soufces. their Many journalists misquote also sources do not know how to protect and them.As a result,many officialsare Some afraidto talk to iournalists. journalists find it hardto build up sources, this is one of the reasons and why they tend to usematerialwhich in originallyappeared other newspapers, merelyaddingto them someof their own also ideas. Many journalists usematerial its without evenmentioning origin,andwidely in localradio these be seen can and ne.rvspapers. demandmoneyfrom the officialsin the for exchange their suppressing story. that this is a are Somejournalists aware but ethics, they violationofjournalism they saythey needthe still do it because moneyto survive. who saythis point The journalists out that they do not earnmuch from they work for. Their the newspapers of, arethe consequence low salaries lack of advertising amongothers, the as in most newspapers well astheir low SomePhnom Penh circulations. print only for newspapers, example, which may not per I,000 copies issue, evenbe daily, but are usuallyweekly. Extortion is a crime,and some journalists werejailedin 2001 for allegedly extortingmoney from a Three other Camboprivatecompany. werealsojailed for dian journalists their involvementin a political issue. and editor-in-chief The publisher of a local Khmer languagenewspaper, Newsweredetainedfor six the Bahong occurwhen of Clearcases malpractice monthsin 2001, which Cambodian journaliststry to getmoney (usually law allows.But insteadof chargingthe around rwo US dollars- just enoughto journalists relatedto with offenses fill their motorbikeswithpetrol) from the two the their work or for malpractice, court This practicehasbeen peoplethey cover. chargedthem with robbery. Camboas correctly described extortion,because dian law alsoallowedthe court to not the journalistsconcernedwould run charge journalistswith defamation. the to the storiestheyweresupposed write alsohappened a to A similar case the for their newspapers unless organizers for correspondent a local newspaper conference similarpress or ofa press News, which is called the Euening eventpaid them. Still othersregularly town of based the coastal in praise officials,but if they government Sihanoukville. learnof anywrongdoing, would


Asrt2OOZ 55 JouRNALrsrl

many journalist In.the first case, Nothing came intervened. associations ofstate and even the secretary ofit, who providedbail for for information couldhelPthem. thejournalists In the codeofethicsof the League it of CambodianJournalists, is clearly membersshould not league statedthat do anything degradingto the and violativeof journalistic profession Om president but ideals, league he sometimes Chandaraadmitsthat or had to allow his reporters provincial praising to representatives write articles ,o--. gou..t-ent officialsin exchange for small amountsof moneY'He said he knew that it was shameful, but claimedthat therewas nothing he he could do. Journalists, said,had to and betweenbeing penniless choose having a little money. Accordingto Chandara,the incomesof localjournalistsis very low. whY This is one of the manYreasons journalism had to leave iournalists

d for the wire services o not accePt money from governmentofficials. T h o s ew h o w o r k f o r b i g C a m b o dian organizations till do, but are a b l e t o c o n c e a li t , u n l i k e t h o s ew h o work for small newsPaPers."

alonG llotlowsalafie$
However,the presidentof another Pen journalists' association, Samithy, of that the corruPtion some argues ;:,:,::.:.=::..a:.;:aa=.a= journalistsis not totally due to low are of Hun sorre Minister Sen: He Prinp iournalists salaries. citesthe case journalists corrupt Nem Bunhuot and his editor-in-chief http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia' moneY who werejailedfor alleged s 45 pacific/newsid-1 000/145702 tm extortion. Nem Bunhuotwasnot do Someiournalists not ethicsaside. poor, and was in fact well off. and "Thosewho really needmoneYto evenhave regularsalaries, instead flor work asvolunteers their newsPado survive not demandmuch;a couPle of dollarsis usuallyenoughfor them," Pefs. to "'Wewant our iournalists be Samithy,who impliesthat in their says and to resPect more professional it case is at leastunderstandable. journalism ethics,but we do not have On the otherhand, the governmoney,"saidChandara. to ment seems havemadeit standard " O n l y t h o s ew h o a r ew o r k i n g practiceto keePalmostanYkind of

media in euentstheGambodian in2001 Some
(Compiled by the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists)


NewsPa' Bakong Khmerlanguage of that a governor per claimed members > A gangwhose C a m b o d i a n o r t h e r n r o v i n co f 's P e and claimed to be students o C g K a m p o n g h h n a n t h r e a t e n etd l s i r n t e l l e c t u ailv i n g n B u d d h a ' s k i l lh i m . o t t e m o l e s h r e a t e n etd b e a tu P NewsPaPer > The Referendum who did nbt weartheir lournalists downfor alleged was closed a cardswhencovertng Dress i n v o l v e m ew t t h t h e s o ' c a l l e d ni in demonstration front of the Fighters Freedom Cambodian AssemblY. National movement. Hor Namhong Minister > Foreign to threatened sue an English' the newspaper, CambodiaIGDruAry: language in of > A grouP journalists the Daily. of Battambang governor Phnom northernProvince in > A district received had a fight overmoneY to on Penhthreatened the Phone from the ownerof a slaughter' his journalist disclosed who kill a n l a n di n v o l v e m e in t l a n d ' g r a b b i n g h o u s e . PrimeMinister > Cambodia's saleof land.. and the illegal are Hun Sensaidjournalists also for the working > A reporter
JouRNilsMAsn 2oo2

a c o r r u p t n d t h a t s o m eg o v e r n ' havebeenhostaged ment officials journalists. by o > T h ep u b l i s h e rf t h e P h n o m t e P e n hN e w s P a Pc lra i m e dh a t t h e governor PhnomPenhhad of h t h r e a t e n ea n d i n s u l t e d i m o n d the phone.


of > A c o r r e s P o n d e n tt h e basedin NewsNewsPaPer Evening f lle c o a s t aS i h a n o u k v iw a sj a i l e d o r l 1 a l l e g e d le x t o r t i n g 5 0 U S d o l l a r s y club. from a karaoke /dealNewsPaPer > The Khmer bY was summoned court in connec' suit tion with a defamation filedby senator,MengRitta. a



information from journalists.Many journalistswho do not havegood with the officialsof Prime contacts Minister Hun Sen's governmentfind it hard to get information. Although much of the information journalists needto reporton government not do threaten public security,many officialsarereluctantto providethe presswith it, fearingthat they might get into trouble oncetheir bosses find out. For example, Prime Minister Hun Sen's statements supposed be are to broadcast publiclybut peoplein his cabinetprovidecopiesonly to state journalists media,those working for the wire services, certainreporters and they know. Irked by inaccurate reportingand the conflictsamonglocaljournalists,in late2001, PrimeMinister Hun Sen warnedjournaliststo wait for another one thousandyearsto becomea real fourth powerin Cambodia.He also saidsomejournalistswere corrupt and

that somegovernmentofficialshad been hostaged journalists. by However,therearealsoiournalists who work hard to expose wrongthe doingsof governmentofficials,but who asa resultfind themselves in In danger. one case, journalist a working for the most popular CamboRasmel Kampuchea dian newspaper, Daily, wasthreatened writing an for articlerevealing district governor's a involvementin land-grabbing from farmersand then sellingthe land illegally.No legalactionhasbeentaken against official. the

tGwspanel$ classifiGd
in Out of 187 newspapers Cambodia, only a smallnumber areviable. Ten aredailies.Someof them comeout everyweek,and most of them come out irregularly. Many appearonly on special occasions the New Yearor a like high-rankinggovernment cial's offi birthday.For example, someare

publisheddu{ng the King or Queen's birthday,or the Prime Ministert. Such occasions enable them to print the of certaingovernment offigreetings cials-in somecases without the ofiicids concernedtknowing it. The officials learnoftheir supposed only greetings when the newspaper presents them the bill. Cambodiannewspapers be can into "advocary," anti-governclassified ment,andindependent newspapers. The "advocacy" newspapers not do criticizegovernment achieve to change. Instead theyattackgovernment officials who refuse pay them in exchange to for The journalists not runningthestory. who do thissaytheyknow it is not professional do this, but that they to it haveno choice,and that in anycase, is a naturalcharacteristic ofpoliticiansto manipulatethe mediafor their political PufPoses. The anti-government newspapers functionasmouthpieces theopposiof


ministry f information. o in > TheThaiembassy Cambo. > Thepublisher the Bankong of a c Newspaper his editor.in-chief d i a l o d g e d l e g a l o m p l a i n t and before the Cambodian foreign jailedfor allegedly were extorting m i n i s t r y g a i n sM o n e a s h e k a a t froma local some 500 USdollars (r K h m e r e w s p a p eK h m e r o n N C company. werecharged They with science) and Rasmey Angkor ro0Dery. (Lightof Angkor) for > An owner a construction Newspaper of h site briefly four journalists i n s u l t i n tg e T h a im o n a r c h y . detained working threedifferent for local lrgrst: p ne w s ap e r s . > Sam/eng Yuvachun Khmer (Voice KhmerYouth) Newspaper of lrnc: to d journalists > Three wereput on w a sc h a r g e b y m u n i c i p a l i cy u r t with orosecutor the offense of t r i a la l o n g i t h o t h e rm e m b e r o f w s i ar t h e s o - c a l l eC a m b o d i aF r e e d o m r u n n i n gn a c c u r a t e t i c l e s . d n > The Information Ministry Fighters movement the same for ordered confiscation the the of offen ses. o p p o s i t i oln a d e r ' b o o kc a l l e d e s m > S i xj o u r n a l i s a s s o c i a t i o n s a n d c l u b si s s u e d s t a t e m e n t a a s k i n gh e g o v e r n m e n to t t o t i m p l e m e n t e s u b - d e c r e e a f tb y th dr

m H c a s et o f o r e i g n i n i s t e r o r N a m h o n g n d w a s f i n e d3 0 a m i l l i o nr i e l s( a p p r o x i m a t e l y 7 , 7 0 0U S d o l l a r s b y a m u n i c i ) pal court. be > S o l d i e r isn B a t t a m b a n g a t u p a j o u r n a l i s t a m e d h e yD a r a n C for allegedly from extorting money g l o c a lv i d e o a m e s h o p s . s



Ministry > Theinformation ordered closure the Cambothe of for dia DailyNewspaper 15 days, b u t a c o m o r o m i sw a s r e a c h e d e somefivehourslater. > C a m b o d i aP r i m eM i n i s t e r n H u nS e ns a i dn e w s p a p eirn s C a m b o d ih a v et o w a i tf o r a n o t h e r a "l iohf nf lrrqtine" 1000yearsto become real a fourth power. /Vews Newspaper > The Evening ScrtcmIcr: t > T h eE n g l i s h - l a n g uC g e b o - w e n tb a n k r u pa n d c o n s e q u e n t l y a am d i a D a i l yN e w s p a p eo s t a c o u r t h a d t o s h u td o w n . lr
JouRvusrt.tsr:01: 5-


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lor A Phnom Penh: linited readership the press tion parry.Many journalistsin such hatedby newspapers universally are officials,but someofthem government areamongthe few journalistsin Cambosometraining in dia who havereceived journalism. newspapers are The independent newspapers based in foreignJanguage Cambodia,suchasthe English-language and the CambodiaDaily newspaper Phnom PenhPosuthe FrenchJanguage Soir, and a few ChineseCambodge are newspapers. Their reporters language ensures paid enough,which somewhat that theyarenot corrupt. lack protection,and dian journalists cannotgive it to them. the associations are The six associations the League (LCJ), the of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ)' Club of CambodianJournalists for Association the Cambodian (CAPJ),the ProtectionofJournalists Association(KJA), Khmer Journalists' for of the Association Khmer Press (AKPL), and the Independent Liberty Union (IJU). Only the first Journalists three arestill active. have The threeactiveassociations their own way of dealingwith problems. Normally theywork the in separately addressing problems facingjournalists,but one thing they did togetherwasto protestagainstan information ministry draft sub-decree wasdeemed The decree on the press. inadequate defining the phrases in "statesecuriry"and "government secret",and journalistsexpressed concernthat onceit cameinto effect, the governmentwould useit either as

Tenove Chris a pretextto arbitrarily arrestany journalistwho dares criticizethem, thosefrom the opposition especially newsPaPers. One of the most controversial is provisionsofthe draft sub-decree Article 4. It requirednewsorganizafrom the tions to obtain a license ministry of information everytwelve months, which would further burden journalistswho arealreadyon the brink ofbankruptcy. Another provisionof the draft is sub-decree that a foreignjournalist onlywork in Cambodiaoncehe could from his or her or shehasaccreditation in Cambodia.This countryt embassy would affectthosewho arehired AgenceFrance locallyby, for example, Presse work in Phnom Penh. to concernthat alsoexpressed Journalists journalists. this would affectexpatriate havealsoprotested Journalists that "the press Article 5, which states to hasthe right of access information

ossoGialion$ lournalists'
associations Therearesix iournalists' They existto assist in Cambodia. journalists, their assistance been has but very limited due to the lack of cooperathereis and because tion from journalists, no press councilto help guide them. Mostly, they interveneonly after a occurred.Camboproblemhasalready
58 Asr^ JouRNALTsM 2002

"Ntwm*m3rm$*p.Yt* #wffinsffiyt*xmt t* $3##pXffi bs ffi rcurnffiiist $s #ffi*y ffi *$tt$t bmtt*n *hmrx tm


F ft F*lgserrf r t r , t
M **m*srE

in government-held records, exceptfor any information which causes harm to nationalsecurity...", Article I 2 and which states that "the press shall not any information publish or reproduce that may affectnational securityand political stability.The employer,editor, or author of the articlemay be subjected a fine of5,000,000 to to 1,000,000 rielswithout takinginto accountpossible punishmentunder criminal law." Somejournalistssaythat the terms 'national securityand political stability" arevagueand needto be clearlydefined.Journalists alsosaythat they should not be punished under penalor criminal law for their articles because theywrote somethingthat if individual claimedwas not true, an then they reserve right to make the correctionsafterwards. Eachassociation now gaugingits is abiliry to improvejournalists'professionaland ethicalbehavior. Um Sarin of the CambodianAssociation for (CAPI) Protection ofJournalists expressed optimism that the Cambodian press canovercome present its problems. 'Although therearestill problems Iike unbalanced reportingamong journalists, Cambodian overall,they arefreeto express their opinion and freeto findt the truth." saidUm Sarin. journalistsneedmore Cambodian protectionand training so that they can get on the right track and thisyill help reducethe mistakes that occurred in 2001 from happening againin 2002 and beyond.There havebeen callsfor journaliststo be more patient,

journalism and that they respect ethics.Somejournalistshaveappealed to foreignjournalismorganizations to help them address their problems. Pen Samithy of CCJ suggests t h a t C a m b o d i as h o u l d h a v ea n institutionto monitor journalism p r a c t i c e . h i s s h o u l db e d o n e s t e p T b y s t e p . F o r e x a m p l e :f i r s t w e h a v e t o a s ka l l j o u r n a l i s t s o t t o n a m e n crime victims or perpetratorswho a r e u n d e r I 8 y e a r so l d . L a t e r w e h a v et o a n n o u n c et h a t , t h e r e a r e , sey,20 newspapers which will a b i d eb y t h i s r u l e , w h i l e t h e r e s t can still improve their observance of it. This would have an effect mostly on advertisers. But we cannot havea codeand ask all journaliststo abideby it if we do not havea body to enforceit. Thirdlp therefore, thereshould be a press council to help journalistsrespect journalismethics.Journalists alsoneed help on management and finances to makesuretheir newspapers survive can and standon their own. This help should comefrom a local body. Samithysaidthat one could not just appealto journaliststo stop their malpractice because morality is what we cannotjust forcesomeone to respect. needtime to makethe \(e personawareof his or her mistake. 'All big institutionsareplaguedby corruption.Corruptionis not a monopolyof journalists.But it would be good ifwe can reducecorruption in our ranks,and we haveto do this ahead othergovernment of institutions" saidPenSamithy."Nowadays, somepeopleevensaythat to be a

journalist is only a litde betterthan to be a beggar." The ministry of information is partly to blamefor certainpractices by journalists. jourThe ministry accuses nalistsof malpractice onlywhen they write storiescritical of the ruling party. It doesnot carewho elsejournalists attack-or whether their actswere in line with journalismethicsor not. In order to stop wrongdoing by journalists,thereis a call for significant contributionsto help journalists instead ofjust punishingthem. For example,to setup a cheapprinting houseto help somenewspapers, well as press centerwherejournalistscan as a meet, access Internet, usecomputthe e-mail. ers,and sendand receive A lot oftraining through shortor havebeen termedcourses seminars provided journalists, mostof but thosewho attend the courses could not go into journalismbecause there arenot many newsorganizations to acceptthem, Or some attend the to what.iournalism courses understand is, but do not really mean to enter the profession. Sometraining courses have beenconductedby the Royal University of Phnom Penhand the Cambodian CommunicationInstitute.These were fwo-weekto six'month long coufses. Journalismtraining doeshelp journalists. One of the results such of training is that someof thosewho have beenso trained areat leastableto write reports.r balanced Men Kimsengis Cambodianconespondent Presse. of Agence France
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sonp )hnana Cusmo rcporter: activists and East I'innr President journalisls becanc
and Duggan, Howarth Di Collins Bob Jenny

I EmrTrmon \\f \ a independence,grouPofyoung ITIEN EastTimorgained in X f people,whohad beenactivists the independence aweeklymagazine.{nitially struggle, started publishing Y Y They begantheir work in they received money from a funding agency. (United Nationstansitional Administraa newsroomthe UNTAET th€m gave tion in EastTimor)lent them.Anotherdonor organization as scanners a vehicle, well asfinancialassisand computers, printers, cameto a halt.The Then the contributions tancefor staffwages. therewasno magazine forced to let someof its staffgo because was The equipmentin the longeranymoneyto paythem their wages. them to but officeneeded be repaired, therewasno way of repairing therewereno spare parts. because
writerslookedfor work of the magazine's suchasworkwith NGOs in other places, or working on UNTAET:funded they projects.As a consequence, could for the magazine. onlyworkpart-time did The magazine not havean editorialboard.The staffrarelyheldan the editorialmeeting. Because staffdid not haveanyjournalistictraining,the magazine not very professionally was side,the done. On the business was magazine initially publishedthanla to the foreign aid, but did not haveany aboutthe costs plan or any ideas business involvedin publishing. No one was for responsible marketingthe magazine except the or for looking for advertisers members the editorialstaffthemselves. of soonbecame a The weeklymagazine monthly publication,then a tri-monthly. ceased existbecause to its It eventually editor decidedto return to his villageto therewere become farmer. However, a other groupsthat wantedto contribute to the localmedia. Hopefully therewere or otherdonor organizations people willing to lend a helpinghand. for The mediaareoften praised playingan important role in the

However,the young peopleperse'\fhat they veredwith the magazine. they madeup for in lackedin wages They usedtheir own deter.mination. money(moneytheir familygavethem) in Some to keepthe magazine business.


Ash 2002 JoURNTNM

In transitionto democracy. EastTimor,it is hoped,information canbe disseminated,and peoplecancommunicatewith eachother through the media, However, ofthe East at this time, suchexpectations Timor mediaareunrealistic.At the mediaaretoo momentthe EastTimorese occupiedwith survivalto do what is expected ofthe media. The problem of the print mediain EastTimor is a fundamentalonelimited funds. Howevet lack oftraining is alsoaproblem. Most newspapers en consist betwe 4 and l0 journalists, of journalists mostofwhom became without much knowledgeofjournalism. side,which Then thereis the business

to mostpublicationsdo not seem take enough. seriously Almost all the print mediain East Timor arestrugglingtosurvive,hoping that therewill be enoughmoneyto print their newspapers pay their journaland ists,or to just covertheir operational expenses. this context,ofwhat In relevance journalismethicsfor the are 'luxury' to mediain EastTimor? It is a journalismethics beconcerned about when the main concernfor almostall of mediais survival-will the EastTimor's newspaper publishedtomorrow,will be journalistsbe paid, will peoplebuy the ethics(covering newspaper? Journalism both sides, beingfaia checkingand reirrelevant checking information) become when the simplest tasks ofjournalism, suchasmeetingdeadlines and gettinga layoutdone, aredifficult enoughfor the of mostly untrainedmediapractitioners EastTimor.

the are low. Consequently Incomes ve"ry mediaarenot a prioriry for the East Timorese, Furthermorg,there are the oflangageand addedobstacles of literacy. Some34o/o the East Timoreseare illiterate. occupation, During theIndonesian relatively stable, when the economywas newspaper therewasonly one daily SuaraTimor-Timur(STT) 2(published since1993,it changedits nameto Suara in TimorLorosae 2000). It wasnot very profitable. \fhen the newspaperwas ti1t;$:e:p:P:.%.%I6t€;e-re:*%1;%%:io:o:lsle:9:$lolt!doiqo:!'iil:@Ioleie'lete;! Suara Ti rnor- Tirnur it had a itrculation of Timor 1,500. Most of its readers and UN's Sergio Vieira Mello East de wereIndoneA Rams-Horta:counForeign MinisterJose (civil servants traders) and siannationals try in transition who had stableincomes.After theyleft a , J e n n yD u g g a nB o b H o w a r t h n d D i C o l l i n s East Timor,media readership declined.Apparently,the East the Timorese cannotreplace as Indonesians mediaconsumers. mu$ have Media consumers of stableincomesand be capable In media. East consuming Timor. thosewho meetth€se working for Managingthe mediain EastTimor to criteriaaremosdy expatriates UNTA-ET and internationalNGOs. is ensure their continuedexistence an There areapproximately10,000of these for impossible task.The prospects selfpeople- more than the circulationofall sustaining mediaarealmostzero,not to or the print mediain EastTimor. They prospects the mention *re business (US$5,000 10,000 ofmaking a profit. How canthe- havehigh incomes chances a month) but they arenot the potential ifthere is press journalismdevelop and the marketand theycmnot replace or no profit from newspaper sales, from market.which leftwith the Indonesian Any about advertisements? discussion nationals.3 lfith sucha smdl potential ofa the maintenance codeofjournalism ethicsin EastTimor,adoptingstandards marketfor mediaconsumption,the high in numberof newspapers EastTimor is to measure ethicsof mediaand the journalists newspapers surprising.But these in economically who work of is surviveonlybecause supportfrom environments and politicallyunstable Without this assisagencies. funding cleuly impossible. stopprinting. tance theywould surely The first problem that must be SuaraTimor In fact manyformer in overcome bythe press EastTimor is who haveexperienced Timur journalists the tiny publicof the media.The (S77has management modernpress population East of Timor is 800,000. with Kompasworked in co-operation However,asmany as100,000areliving are daily in Indonesia) the largest in'W'estTimor.rUnder the asrefirgees in unsuccessful managingtheir own administrationof the UNTALI newspapers.{ Comparedwith the period slow. economic development remains


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politicalelite. of democrary EastTimor's when there occl.tpation, of Indonesian in the wasonlyone newspaper, expansion Journalists/Activists EastTimor ofjournalism is that the purpose ofmedia in EastTimor is overwhelming. believe number to givevoicethe sufferingof the East But ofwhat useis the increased that only that Timorese.They believe ofprint mediain EastTimor to the Until now,onlytwo dulies,Suara rypeofjournalism is valid, especially locals? during the transitionperiod. The quality are arrdTimor Pasr,5 TirnorLorosae print mediaisweakened of EastTimor's The other to considered beprofessional. spirit is not when this aggressive as are newspapers regarded mereNGO by complemented journalismskills. pamphlets. pamphleteering. Apart from the SuaraTimor Tirnur Journalismbecomes get How canthe EastTimorese informajournalists, Timor'sjournalmostof East tion about the work methodsof the istsareformer universityand NGO Their baclground in activismis politicaleliteincludingUNTAET what activists. what aretheirwork their style is their mandate, still verystrongand influences etc.? and of reportingandwriting. They suddenly programs their failures, journdists,despite needto be critical,but not the to become chose Journalists to aggressive obtain this necessarily fact that they lack experienceand journalists Timorese journalism. They are information. East about knowledge to havea tendency write "opinionated opposition. In filled with the spirit of news." Theseopinionsof the paperand the the pastthey opposed Indonesian thejournaliss areoftenmoreprominent govirnment/military. Now they are than the informantt opinion. critical of UNTAET ETTA, and the The problemofthe "NGO journalforeignNGO's operatingin Dili. They the ist" hasalsothreatened solidaritv the alsoquestion commitmentto

journalists.At among$Fa$Timorese the fust Timor lorosa'eJournalists on Association @-lA) Congress6 10-14 200 1, the "professional" January journalistsquesdoned anendanceby the "amateur" journaliss. fuound 140 many journalists from 14 mediaorganizations including from this Congress, attended districtsoutsideDili. If one dividedthe journalists into two groups,professional so and amateur, that only thosedeemed could attendthe Congress, professional would have the number of attendees than 40. beenless of relatingto the status Problems journalists professional amateur or as Not long persisted afterthe Congress. ended,therewasa afterthe Congress rumor that someofTLJA members intendedto form a new "professional" journalists' with to association compete TLjA (which wasin sympathywith NGO journalists)7. In theory,thereis nothing wrong anotherjournalists' with establishing

N a m eo f P u b l i c a t i o n


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JouRNusMAsn 2002

i S R a d i o t a t i o n sn E a s tT i m o r UNTAET Radio
t'.36di61,,RTX'':,1:. -:1,:,1.r11'l i.'',:.,'.'- :: . I

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B Radio BC '1,: ,Ra.d]o Australria , i: , RTP(Portugis) Ameriea] 116g,,ivoice,of

association. Howevet EastTimor is too small a country for more than one journalists' association. According to behind rumors there were many reasons the idea. The main reasonwas that most of the TLJA founders were not "professional" journalists.As such, some membersof theTLJA leadershipdid not consider the associationto be a real professionalassociation.These rumors ofa lack of could not be verified because communication and distrust among TLJA leadership.In fact there was even reluctance to talk about the rumor. Otelio Ote, amember of theTLJA leadership, denied that he planned to createa new journalists' association,but :e did admit that there were internal :roblems inTLJA. Ote said that there 'o'ere different opinions amongst the E:i:;rship about the meaning of ":,r: -essional ournalists".T j irhough the professionalism of ni-:r'TLJA members has been quesu:n.i. there has actually been a lot of and rruL:--ing journalism workshops ,m::-Jed by EastTimorese journalists, *'r*::ler in EastTimor, Indonesia, or vre: ofier countries in the last three ntri:;. Some EastTimorese journalists r-rr:i.ome to understand the principles ir,i,: ::nalism and modern Pressmanageme::- However, the economic situation :ot dd*:s lend support to theseprinciples, in: .: rs difficult for the iournalists to rnplement their new knowledge. EastTimor is currently in its third



by were studios destroyed pre past: oflices television l,lewspaper and from Scenes a violent
in nilitias 1999. lndonesian
203-timor.shtml news/991 www.unesco.orglwebworld/

selfyearofpolitical transitiontowards Newsand informationhave governance. The evenmorenecessary. only become cheapform of mediawith relativelyeasy of is access radio. Accordingto the results the an Asia FoundationSurvey,s medium in mostaccessed EastTimoris radio. RadioUNTAET is the mostpopular are Following theprint media. station. is SuaraTimorLorosae the mostpopular in newspaper thecountry. There is only oneTV stationin East Timor Lorosa'e Timor,Televisaun (TVTl),however, it canonlybe accessed sets, who own television or by people

8 of approximately o/o thepopulation. '\Tidespread to access radiohasyet to mounEastTimor's be in EastTimor. hasmadeit difficult and tainousterrain in to very expensive setuP transmission moment Radio everydistrict. At the UNTAET canonlybe heardin the and of districts Dili, Baucau their environs. of At a gathering EastTimorese journalists meantto draft a declaration I in establishingTLJA December 999, of Horta, Vice President *re Ramos Jose Resistance NationalCouncil for Timorese for (CNRT), whowasresponsible media
,tq1 :'X,: 6]


policy,said,"My philosophywhen it comesto the mediais to let a thousand newspapers radiostations blossom". and, As he had hoped,EastTimor now hastensof media outletsand radio stations. However,it is several not clearhow many will continue, and how many canplay a significantrole in EastTimoraffairs.-J7itha total circulation oflessthan I 0,000 for all ofEast Timort print media(excluding UNTAET publicationThisTimor), if half ofthe papers circulationwereread in by 5 people, then only around25,000 peoplereadnewspapers. The birth of much of EastTimort in new mediaorganizations both print and radio resembles birth of a "test the rubebaby''. Many new mediaoutlets theywereattracted by emerged because the offer offunding and not because

theywant to respondto the peoplet needs and interests.Grantsfrom funding agencies donor countries and to EastTimor haveproducedinstant journalists and instantmediawho lack both long term motivationaswell as strongprinciples. This is understandable. EastTimor is still in a transitionalstage.It hasyet to recover from the destruction that following its independence occurred from Indonesia.Thereis not yet any supportfor the growth and development of media. Assistance through grants certainlyhelpsin the meantime,However, it is alsocreates insteadof dependence helping develop robustmedia. a who Massmediarun by activists, high is possess ideals a promisingstart. However, a becoming journalistfor the sake idealismis not enough.Amongst of
NG0'sand foreignbusinesses, the at momenttheseadds offerenough f i n a n c i ah e l pf o r D i l i ' sp r i n t m e d i a , l however dutiesand the UNTAET's w D r e s e n c e i n t e r n a t i o n NlG 0 ' s i l l of a the shortlyend.This threatens existence Dili'smedia. See lrawan of P K S a p t o n oL a p o r a n r o g r a m o n s u l t a s i , (Report the Mediadi Timor Lorosae on Mediain EastTimor)for The Asia F o u n d a t i o n ,a y2 0 0 1 . M TimorTimur One group of former Suara j o u r n a l i s t s ,n d e rt h e e d i t o r i as h i p o f u l p h S a l v a d oJ . X i m e n e s u b l i s h ets e r Another daily, SuaraTimorLorosae. grouppublishes TimorPost. To the a t h i s m o m e n tb o t h p a p e r s r e s t i l l f d e p e n d e no n f o r e i g n u n d i n g . t published three Timor Postis currently times a weekunderthe editorship ol H u g od a C o s t aa n d V i c eC h i e fE d i t o r O t e l i oO t e . T h e C o n g r e s sw h i c h w a s a t t e n d e d , b y s p e a k e r s n d o b s e r v e r sr o m a f s e v e r a lc o u n t r i e s f o r m u l a t e da , C o d e o f E t h i c sa n d a w o r k p r o . g r a m . V i r g i l i o a S i l v aG u t e r r e s , d e d i t o r o l L a l e n o ka T e t u m - l a n g u a g e , w e e k l y w a s e l e c t e dp r e s i d e n t . T h e , c o n g r e s s l o s e dw i t h a c e r e m o n y c w h i c ho r d a i n e d n e o t D i l i ' sr o a d s o

joumaliss, therearesome who see these journalismasa "part-timejob". In the end theywill choose anotherfield, and that theyarenot suitable somewill realize for journalism. As a result,the total numberofprin/radio mediawilllessen for to a numbermore appropriate the needs and capaciry the market. of and Mediat role in educating mobilizingthepublicisveryimportant. But, that role canonly be fulfilledif the mediaarecredibleand areableto report in with and interpretevents accordance journalismethics.East Timor'smedia of havea theoretical understanding journalismethics. However,theyareyet to translate theoryinto practice.I Indonesia andis LukasLuuarso is basedin of a memberof the board of directors the Pres Southeast'4sian Alliance.

Datafrom Easi Timor Transitory E , A d m i n i s t r a t i o(n T T A )a p p r o x i m a t e l y 70/o oI EastTimorese.are unemployed or do not havea permanent income, n 6 0 / o o t t h e p o p u l a t i o i s l i v i n gb e l o w the povertyline. 0n March26. 1999.members the of I n d o n e s i a n - s u p p o r t eldt i ag r o u p mi i stormedthe officesof SuaraTimorTimur,the main daily newspaper, s m a s h i n g q u i p m e na n d t h e p r e m i s e s e t in retaliation againstwhat they saw as 'antagonistic' reporting. Suara TimorTimurwas a privatenewpaper owedby o r o . l n d o n e s ib u s i n e s s m eS a l v a d o r a n Soares and was the main source of l o c a lp r i n t n e w su n d e rI n d o n e s i arn l e . u the Afterthe August30 Referendum, p r o - i n t e g r a t i o ni l i t i at o r c h e d h a t m w was left of the officesof SuarallmorTimur. The printingpressand other p r o d u c t i o n q u i p m e nw e r ec o m p l e t e l y e t destroyed. A l l o r i n t m e d i ai n D i l i i s w r i t t e n n i I n d o n e s i a nh e t w o d a i l y p a p e r s t, TimorLorosae and Timor Post Suara includeseveral articles, English however thesehavefailedin getting expatriates buy the newspapers. to Onepart of EastTimor'sprint media's incomecomesfrom foreignfunding and advertisements from UNTAET,
64 Ash 2002 JouRN{rsM

w i t h t h e n a m e " P r e s sF r e e d o m ( Avenue" Avenida a Liberdade e d d l m p r e n s a )i,n h o n o r o f D u t c h j o u r n a l i s S a n d e rT h o n e s n d t a j t T i m o r e s eo u r n a l i s B e n e d i t o G u t e r r e sb o t h k i l l e dd u r i n gt h e , p o s t - r e f e r e n d u m l e n c en 1 9 9 9 . vio i to According OtelioOte, in the last TLJACongress, manyof the partici. pantswerenot journalists.Somehigh w s c h o o l t u d e n t s h o p u b l i s h' w a l l s id b u l l e t i n ' a l sp a r t i c i p a t e n t h e o Congress and voted in favorof Virgilio (Lalenok's Guterres Editor)for the presidency. them as Ote classified journalists" "activist sincethey were o n n o t " p r o f e s s i o nja lu r n a l i s t si " t h e strictsense. As a matterof fact, it is n o t e a s yt o d e s c r i b e h i c hj o u r n a l i s t s w as a r e p r o f e s s i o n a l n d w h i c ha r e n o t i n as EastTimor. lf we usethe expertise v a l i dc r i t e r i a o r p r o f e s s i o n a l i stm e n f h, are most of EastTimor'sjournalists s. n o t p r o f e s s i o n a lS a t r i o o A r i s m u n a n d aR,e p o r t n M e n t o r i n g r E a s tT i m o r ' s o u r n a l i s tA s s o c i a t i o n J s p r o g r a mS o u t h e a sA s i a nP r e s s , t ( Cl A l l i a n c eS E A P A ) - U N E SJ uOy,2 0 0 1 . Natronal of Survey EastTimor the of Cncerning Knowledge Voters (First Report), The Asia FoundationU S A I DM a y 2 0 0 1 . ,

,Bv DnRuNeE HtRuruRur
I THnrleNp

SSUMING the needfor independent account and
ble massmedia that are

time ableto provide at the same relevant informationand to reflectthe diversiryofviews in freesocities
Is ownershipa centralfactorin the mass mediat independence? Do concentrated ownership, the restricted growth of monopolies, competition, financial dependence, a and regimeofpressregulation distort the capacity the mediato provide of information,and reduce mediaautonomy? A recent'WorldBank study of data from97 countries found that,on the average, governments control thirty percent ofthe top five newspapers and sixtypercentofthe top television stations all overthe world, and own seventy-two percent ofthe largest radiostations. InThailand, the studyfound that the countryt top five newspapers one ar€ hundred percentprivately-owned- but that eighry-percent the television of stationsareownedby the state. The'World Bank studyalsosuggests monopolycontroloverinformation,or leasthigh levels ofstateownership,has reducedthe effectiveness the mediain of

THAINEWSPAPER: priceof private The ncdiaownership. monitoring, reporting,and influencing public sector behavior.Analysisof the study estab97 countriesin the same lishedthat mediain countries with high levels stateownershiparemuch less of free,asmeasured mediafreedom by indexes. This situation, canbe said,often it ffanslates continuingstatecorrupinto less tion, inferioreconomic governance, financialmarkets, fewer developed and politicalrightsfor citizens, poorer socialoutcomes education in and quality oflife. At the same time, we cansaythat privateownership alsorestrictmedia can freedombecause monopolies concenor tratedownershipofthe mediaindustry which enables few organizations and a

publicor private,to control individuals, information will reducethe effectiveness of the mediain improvingthe economic, political,andsocialconditionsthat obtain in the countrieswherethey must function. and Economicpressure competition on amongthe mediathemselves the the otherhandraise followingquestions: * Can advertising revenue from privatesources also concentrated influence content? * Doescompetitionamongprivatelyownedmediafirms makefor effective media? The same'World Bankstudy indicates that statemonopoly over is newspapers television and stations surprisinghigh. In the Bank's surveyof 21 97 countries, ofthem, (all developing) havegovernment monopolies over (40 while43 countries dailynewspapers, developing) havestatemonopolies over local television stations which broadcast news, However,any kind of media ownershipcan hinder the capaciry of mediapractitioners control media to In content. manycountries, policy makers tryto controlthemediacontent through concentrated ownership.r Darurue Hiranruh isdzanfficulty ofcomarts oftheThai munication ofthe Uniuersity Chamberof Comm eandd'irecto erc r ofAS ilt\l MassCommunication Studies Research and Cennr(AMS@R).

JouRNus\rAqr lrl::


Another kind
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Hong Kong newspaper: ProBeijing anti or


Meilla Goncontratl
.By MnrYtN TtNc
Assocnrrorl I HoNc KoNcJounNnlrsrs


Administrative Regionclaimsto be Hong Kong Special supportthis claim. the mediahub of the region.The figures I over 60 Hong Kong is served approximately newspapers, by I which mediaorganizations and 700 otherperiodicals, sixelectronic
providing news broadcasts. and The vigor is alsoembodiedin the oneor two local newspapers, that the localprint media.At the end ofyear number of dailiesin Hong Kong suffices 2001,Hong Konghad15 mass to assure freeflow ofinformation. I the circulationdailies.* Among them, l0 shallarguethat is indeedthe case-but newspapers covered Chinese-language to only for newsof little sensitivity the news mainly localand overseas general which now has Chinese government, in Of and two specialized business. the authorityoverHongkong. newspapers, two main EnglishJanguage broadsheet the and onewasa general financialdaily. other a tabloid-size is Another broadsheet the ChinaDaif Before 1990t, Hong Kong the (Hong Kong edition).** could be placedin one of to On the surface, that seems suggest newspapers according its politics: to threecategories a that there's greatdealof diversiryin the or pro-Beijing,pro-Thiwan neutral. Hong Kong press, which shouldbe a It goodfoundationfor a freepress. seems Howevet theTaiwancampfadedout of in the scene the mid- I 990swhen the that a especially when one argues true 'Western Daif, at one time oneof Hong SingTao by city is usuallycovered only

Elimination urin0' of'Bigltt nGwslalGrc

Kongt most influential newspapers, its abandoned pro-Thiwanpolitics. by This wasaccompanied the closing with, of many smallerdailiessympathetic by, and one evensubsidized theThiwan Kung Sheung Daily News government: (1925 - 1984), \Y'ah KiuYat Pao(1925 - tggS), Hong Kong United Daily News(1992- 1995)and Hong Kong Times(1949 - 1993). The daily newspapers wereleft that in Hong Kongwereeitherpro-Beijingor neutral. Hong Kongstill getssomeTaiwan newsfrom these remainingnewspapers, but the quantity is much lessthan when It the pro-Taiwancampstill existed.*** that, considering how could be argued Taiwanis to Hong Kong and how close important it is to Hong Kongt economy, the quantity of newsaboutThiwanis low disproportionately in the Hong Also, most of theTaiwan Kong press. is coverage straightnewsreportingwith " analysis. little independent the For example, Hong Kong media ofphysicalconfrontationin covercases


Ash 2002 JouRNilsM

Thiwant LegislativeYuen but rarely go into the reasons behind tlose conflicts. in During thepresidendal election Taiwanlastyear,much of the foreign press tried to weigh its importancein the for democratization process Greater China,but the Hong Kong press paid little attentionto that angle.In one recentcase, regularcolumn in a popular a newspaper byMr. Raymond'W'ong, a mediacriticwho is oneof the few Hong Kong analysts ofThiwan, wasreplaced writes about by an academicwho relations beween China and Hone Kong.

Business lsfting
Anothertrendin Hong Kong is the shift of ownershipfrom individual newspaper people business to groups Beforethe with diversified investments. mid-90 s,almostall the eight neutral newspapers wereownedby newspaperown only men.Now, newspaper people 4 out of I I newspapers no explicit with politicalaffiliation.The othersare controlled eitherby businesspeople or business groups. The tableattached showsthat65o/o ofthe mass circulationdailiesin Hong Kong areheld by a listedcompany by or the chairmanofa listedcompany. Updatedinformation on the othersis not listed publicly known. Among these companies, only the holding companyof the OrientalDaily News,theSunand the AppleDailyhave no direct or indirect investment China. in tff/hena newspaper becomes part of a big groupor when it is part of a listed

opportunitiesthat company, business *re a China offerscanbecome factorin news To coverage. put it in a differentway,a a become pawn newspaper could easily or a bargainingchipfor Hong Kong aspi investment rations business people's proprietors in China.Fewnewspaper antagonizwant to see theirpublications ingChina. The shift by SingThoDaily in the mid-1990s aease point.Another is in ofMr. \filly Lam, a example the case is China formerChinaeditorof theSouth (SCMI). Aftera numberof Morning Post metwith President Hong Kong rycoons JiangZemtnin early2000,Mr. Lam asserted a column that somerycoons in werekowtowingto China politically in edgein orderto gaina commercial China. Mr. RobertKuok, the patriarchof the family that controlsthe newspaper, wasoneof the tycoons,and he wrote a letter that waspublishedin the SCMP Months rebuttingMr. Lam's assertion. and he later,Mr. Lam wassidelined eventually resigned from the newspaper. Outsideof the neutralnewspapers, four dailiesarein the pro-Beijingcamp, Pao,Hong namely,ThKungPao,\Ven'Wei Kong Comrnercial Daily and China hi| (Hong Kongedition).In addition, we One of haverwo business newspapers. them, theHongKongEconomic Joumal,is journalist. ownedby a former business The other,rheHongKongEconomic from Times,is by formerjournalists run one ofthe pro-Beijingnewspapers. The lackof emphasis editorial on why thereis very independence explains

little criticismof China in the Hong today.But that doesntmean Kong press has the Hong Kong press nothingin press. commonwith the'$?'estern

0riuen Legacy Maftet
some The Hong Kong mediashare in with its counterparts the similarities 'West. is One of the most remarkable the fiercecompetitionfor marketshare amongthosenon-politicalaffiliated newsPaPers. to This unfortunatelyleads the rise a of sensationalism,significantlegaryof It newspaper. is market-oriented especially ofthe top threeselling true in newspapers Hong Kong.As a matter of fact, the OrientalDaiQ News,the Apph Daily andthe Sun,which occupy to 70 o/o 80 % of the market share,got from readers than other morecomplains competitors. by It is exacerbated the homogeneiry Unlike the of the Hong Kong readers. marketin the United Kingdom or the marketfor the the States, line separating mass newspaper the elite newspaper and is blurred. Given the marketstructure,the will problemof sensationalism be with us by for sometime. It needs be balanced to mediamonitorgroups. non-government a In the long term,we mustcultivate morecriticalreadership throughmedia And we must do it quickly education. and beforeour newspapers our readers set become in their habits.I Mah Yin Ting chairstheHong KongJournalists '4ssociation.

* The 15 mass circulateddailies in Hong Kongare: AppleDaily,ChinaDaily,Hong KongCommercial Daily, Hong Kong Daily News, Hong Times,HongKongiMail, Ming Pao Daily News,OtientalDaily News,Slng Pao, Slng lao KongEconomic Journal,HongKongEconomic Daily, SouthChinaMorningPost, Ia KunEPao, The Sun and WenWei Pao. of locallyafter Chinaresumed sovereignty HongKongin July 1997. Apart from the fact Daily(HongKongedition)published "* China whetherit is a masscirculated analysts focuses more on Chinanews,its circulation also queriedby individual ihat the newspaper l o c a ln e w s p a p e n H o n gK o n g . ir *** lt is worth mentioning provide news.However, the spacein covering Taiwan that the pro-Beijing newspapers more prominent propaganda strategy. contentis in line with the Chinese
nsu JouRNAuslr 2002 67


Stock market capitalization of holding c o m p a n yi n thousands of HK$* ($K) Revenue Direct lnvestmentin Mainland C h in a Holding Company


Major Shareholder

SouthChina Morning ost P -Oriental D a i l yN e w s -The Sun
A p p l eD a i l y

1 ,968,74r (1 2months up to 30/06/01)
2,445,876 1,181,533 (6 months to up 30/09/01) Oriental Press Group Limited
Next Media Limited

KerryGroup Limited (34.28%) LamWeiChen andFamily (65.1,7%)
Chairman Lai: CheeYing, Jimmy


218,20r (6 months to up 30/9/0r)
573,323 (6 months to up 30/9/01) Printing Company

Ming Pao Enterprize Ltd Corporation

Ming Pao

Tiong Chairman HiewKing (63.3916) China Strategic

-Sing Tao Daily - Hong Kong iMail

648,490 (6 months to up 30/9/Ot)

Tao Printing Sing (The Holdings Company Group sold Limited mostof the sharerecently.) Emperor Technology Venture Ltd

GlobalChina Technology (74.5%)

Hong Kong Daily News

( 2 3 7 , 7 7 36 m o n t h u pt o s 30/9/0r)

Emperor Int'l (34.94%)which i st h em a j o r of shareholder (China Emperor Concept) China Strategic Holdings Ltd. (65To)

Sing Pao

"As of Feb.8, 2002, as publishedin the HongKongEconomicJournal
68 Asr^ 2002 JouRNMsM




ByReuvnx Rnsuro
I Meuvsn

T-I H I-l

ARLYIN 1993, new a English-languagedaily newspaper launched was

in Malaysia. It was called the Sun, and it went so far as to

clone the logo of the famous



British tabloid of that name. The Sunwas owned bythe Berjaya Corporationof tycoonVincentThn. Tucked amongThn's extensive holdings wasa singlepublishinglicense, granted years earlier a minor entertainment for papercalledl/rw ThrilL subsequently renamed Malaysian the Pasr,and abandoned languishing since. and ever Resolutely resurrected the Szz,the as new daily tabloid positioneditselfasa third-parryalternative rhe nationt ro dominant English-language dailies, the Star md the New StraitsTimes(NSI). In Malaysias notoriouslyrestrictive press environment,the Szz wasthe first new national dailyin thequarter-cenrury sincethe Starwx born. Regardless its of ownership,the new paperpresented itselfasa feistyindependent voice, unafraidof non-partisan political cover4ge. As a marketingploy,this mayhave beenonly necessary an environment in controlledby establishment heavyweighs. Insofarasit intruded into editorialdecision-making, however, was it

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to provedisastrous. The early90swerepolitically portentous timesfor Malaysia, with the country's then-finance minisrer, Anwar Ibrahim, poisedto affirm his ascent ro the depurypresidency ofthe ruling parry andhence, consequence by ofprecedent, the depury premiership the nation.In of order to do this, Anwar had to oust GhafarBaba, then the deputypresident of Umno (the United MalaysNational Organisation) and depuryprime minister to DatukSeriDr. MahathirMohamad. Thnt Berjaya Corporationwaswidely pejceived amongthoseclosely as linked to the ambitious youngpolitician,and Thnt new newspaper naturallyseen was aswithin Anwar'ssphere influence.If of the Saz had wantedto shockitselfinto a new readership, then, it couldnt have donebetterthan to run a headline declaring Mahathirt supportfor Ghafar in the run-up to that yeart party elections. It was,aswith so many of these

Asra JouRNAUsM 2002 69


pivotalevents, mistake. a Mahathir had scrupulously avoidedpicking favorites in what had become acrimonious an campaign, dividing his parry on questions ofage and competence. one At press conference, however, wasasked he what would happenif he wereincapacitatedfor any reason. replied,a little He testily,that should anysuch thing happento him, he would obviouslybe succeeded his current deputy. by Somehow, the Sunt front pagethe on next day,this became headline:"PM the BACKSGFIAFAR". The upshotof this lapseofjudgment wasthe removalofsomehalf-a-dozen senior editors and the hiring of a new team underAndy Ng, who supervised a monthlong shutdownduring which the Sazwascomprehensively redesigned, repositioned, and, in early1994, relaunched into a nation that had in the meantime celebrated Anwar Ibrahim's victory overGhafarBabaand consequenr namingasMalaysiat depury prime minister. The timing could not havebeen betterfor the new paper,sincethe first half of the 90smarkedMalaysiatbiggest economic boom in modernhistory, Swimming purposefullyin the rising dde, the Sun underNgwas ableto increase circulationfrom under 8,000 its in that first awkwardyearro ten times that by 1999. This gainwasmostly at the expense of theNew SnaitsTimes,whose circulation droppedbysome40,000 copies in that time, but wasnonetheless also attributableto the Szz'sformula ofplainspoken(thoughmuch less cavalier), journalconsumer-and youth-oriented ism delivered a tight, light, urbane in package. Lookinggoodin 2000, theSun received anothersurgeof interest with the entry of businessman Tong Kooi Ong, whoseNexnewsCorporationheld

an activeinterestin the Malaysian business weeklyhe Edge. (The Edge haditselfwritten the biggest success storyin Malapiat media industry.Launchedin 1994 asa business monitol theweeklyturned profit a within six years the sffengthsof on impeccable editorialstandards, topdrawerdesignand focused marketing.) \TithTongt gambit for the Suncame a brief interregnumduringwhich the Edge's editorscollaborated top with Ng and his team.The resultwastruly innovativeamongMalaysian daily newspapers. Szz positioneditselfto The spanthe divide betweenthe print and electronic media,tappingliaisons with thewelterof e-media sources newly enabledby the Internet revolution. This deepened newspaper's the content and broadened generational its appeal, and helpedit gainsomemileage in virtual Net-marketingwith no Web presence its own nor the wherewithal of to setoneuP.

The Sun'scirculation climb steeoened;the landmarkof 100,000copies per daybeckoned evermoretantalizingly. Then the dealbetweenTongt Nexnews andThnt Berjaya through. Many saw fell this more asa consequence ofthr: tangled web ofpolitical connections Malaysia's in corporate mediaownership, than of any inherentflaw in the dealasa business model. Decoupledonceagain,theEdgewent on to firrther its plansfor regional expansion Singapore Hong Kong to and while the Sun returnedtobuilding its circulationthroughlivelyjournalismand creative marketing. Then, like a bolt from the blue,came lastyear's Christmas Day Massacre. In anotherofthoseincomprehensible lapses ofjudgment, the Sun'sDecember 25 issue front-paged reportclaimingto a haveuncovered plot to assassinate a the country'sprime ministerand his depury (by now ofcourse,no longerAnwar but Abdullah Ahmad Badawi).





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It provedto bewhat we Malaysians call "coffee-talk" not uncommon,but unfounded;perhaps genuinein sentiment,utterlyvaporous substance. in That someone mayhavesaidsomething to this effectmay havebeentrue. The effectitselfihowever, not. On such was razor'sedges Malaysianeditors place do their trust.The Selz's topmosteditorial managers resigned immediately, their experience allowingthem to pre-empt what must haveseemed inevitablethe minute the phonesbeganringing that morning. By the New Yeat it wasclearthat the shakeup timewould be considerably this morecomprehensive the last,Senior than Berjaya Corporationexecutives stepped in to conductwhat quickly turned out to be the virtual stripping of the entireeditorialfloor. More newspapert than 400 journalistsand otherworkers werelet go. .The spectacle valiantMalaysian ofa newspaper imploding afterseven years' struggle the expenditure USD50 and of million wasdilatedby sideshows: trade union protests against non-paymentof bonuses, honk-if-you-care placardpickets by the gates; rumor that the new the management going to install a was fishpondby the fronr door for good luck, substitutingfor 40 reporrers as manyfish. But the Sunwasnotdone. Crucially, ownerVincent Thn and bidderTong Kooi Ongseemed havearrivedat a to dealthat will allow them ro share overlordship the newspaper, of thus preemptingany recurrence controversy of overownership. The third new editorial teamin theSun's eventfulfirst decade has takenover,led by veteran sZainon Ahmad, RNadeswaran and Philip Karuppiah.Theyhead a teamofbarely a dozenreporters, working on relaunching the Sun asa free newspaper. Nadeswaran's longexperience a as

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newspaperman includes editing the shortlived KlangValleyfree tabloid the Leaderinthe mid-90s. constructed He a community-based papeqwith strong editorialattentionto consumer affairs and municipalmanagement. crucial Its adJoadingwas enough,however, not andthe Lea*rlasted barelytwo years beforebeingimmolatedin thefuian financial crisis. 'With moremass-transit systems havingcomeonline in Malaysia's biggest conurbation since then,andwith thesuccess Metro in London and Parisand of Todayin Singapore, the.lzz's new managers mayreckonthat the ad-driven free-paper modelnow hasa betterchance ofsuwiving. In the meantime,the Szrz's recent flounderinghasgivena fillip to theNew StraitsTimes, which haschosenthis year to remakeitselfundernewly installed G roup Editor-in-ChiefAbdullah Ahmad. Having haltedthe circulation slidethat had marredthe.A/SZs previous I 3 yearsunderhis predecessor Abdul KadirJasin(now chairmanof national newsagency Bernama), Abdullah has dec)ared objecttve retutilngthe an of nation's oldestnewspaper irs earlier to

circulation someI 80,000. of He wiselyrefrainedfrom declaring a circulation war againstrheStar, now uncontested Malaysiatleading as English-language wifl x rhiirnewspaper, circulation approaching 300,000- as much asboth the Staranddre.\.Sf combined20 years ago. The Srarssuccess provedrhe has growth of Malaysiannewspaper readership the continuing heakhof and the newsmarket,despitethe many complextravails assailing press. is the It this, perhaps, that drivesentrepreneurs suchasMncentThnandTongKooi Ong to continuelooking to localmediaasa business venturedespitethe burdensome political baggage goes that with the territory. Malapianentrepreneurs, o<eortives and media practitionen alikeagree thelongon termpotential society ofa ofseadily advancing education aneconomy in reooveringwell recession from andpoised to prosper thefunue.Suchoptimismhelp in theMalapian pras industrycontend with theendless ver<ations oresent. ofthe I RebmanRasbidisa colurnnist oftheMelay siannewsTaper Srraits New Times.

AsA 2002 il JouRNesM

competitionlawsto checkany aggressive behavioramongmedia I Srucnpone competitors. wasannounced It that the Ministry ofTiade and Industry HE aspiration for freer media requiresthat the necessary may look into sucha law. legal, social and political environment is presentasvari Meanwhile, therewasan attempt ablesto support its developmenr.The economic dimenby someconcerned Singaporeans set to s i o n i s i m p o r t a n t . B u t s p a c ec r e a t e d b y e c o n o m i c i n v e s t m e n t up a mediawatchgroup to raise standards and encourage reporting a l o n e c a n b e t a k e n a w a y ,o r c a n s h r i n k e a s i l y i n t h e e v e n t o f fair following the issuance newspaper of a n e c o n o m i c d o w n t u r n i f t h e o t h er p i l l a r s f o r m e d i a d e v e l and television licenses. direct In o p m e n t a r e n o t i n p l a c e t o e n s u r e p r e s sf r e e d o m a n d i n d e response, PAPadministration the p e n d e n t m e d i a . T h a t s e e m st o b e t h e S i n g a p o r e c a s e . countered that it will prompr irs own 'S7hen the People's Action Party including its flagshipEnglishdaily, appointedmediawatchdog,*re (PAP)governmentannouncedin June the StraitsTimesandChinese, Malay Publications AdvisoryCommittee,or 2000 that it would issue additional and Thmil papers. PAC, to be more watchful overlocal medialicensesto the governmentMediaCorp introducedthe free papers and to report regularlyon linked companies Singapore Press tabloid Today andan additionalsports trendsin reporting.Meanwhile,the Holdings (SPH) and MediaCorp so channel,CityTV. The Singapore Media Group at the Feedback Unit eachcould startadditional broadcastBroadcastingAuthority alsogranted a government department up by set ing and print projects,therewas much MediaCorp rwo digital television the PAP to solicit responses various on optimism.The long-standing monopo- (DTV) licenses allowing it to install issues from the public- setout to also liesof SPH in print mediaand DTV setsin buses and run a commerdiscuss current mediadevelopments. MediaCorp hegemonyin broadcast cial DTV service. MediaCorp further The PAPgovernment, while seemed poisedfor new internal announced plansfor aregional24issuing newlicenses, continued to competition.The imminent presence hour newstelevisionchannel,Channel introducelegislation control foreign to of more mediaproductsin the market NewsAsia, be carriedby cable to broadcast and print mediafrom led commentators to immediately operators and go Asiawideon Seprerfi- interferingwith local politics.They claim that internal comperition among ber 18. Plans included Internet claimedthat they neededto ensure the media groups would result in freer broadcast envisioned to cover Europe. that in the light of many foreign mediain Singapore. the end of By Staffingin variousoverseas bureaus reportingagencies relocating to 2001, however, initial enthusiasm wasincreased, the with Singaporean Singapore, reporting of Singapore the was giving way to some somber correspondents localjournalists and news,especially politics,is doneby of economic realities. from the homecountries. local mediaand not foreign.The Soon after the new licenseswere At the startof the medialiberaliza- extentofregulationto control issued, SPH launchedMediatVorks* a tion proiectit wasalsoannouncedthat information flow evenwent asfar as televlslon arm to manage two new the cableTV industry monopolizedby legislating guidelines for restrictingthe channels, one in English and the other Singapore CableVision, which hasthe useof the Internetand SMS during in Mandarin. It further implemented exclusive license which expires on election periodsin 2001. Although plansto bring out rwo print publica2002, would be reviewed. The expiry from the foreign therewere reactions tions,Project Eyeball(ayuppie lifestyle of this exclusive license coincides with mediaand a coupleof localNGOs to (a tabloid) andStreats daily giveaway a ban on privateownershipof satellite the PAPt measutes. therewasa paper).It alsolauncheda web portal dishes that lapses year.These this predictable silencefrom the PAC and ,4siaOne, which hoststhe online developments spiraledinto discussions the Feedback Unit. There waslittle editionsof the group'ssix newspapers, about the needto introducemedia reaction members rhe publicor by of
72 Air^ JouRNAusM 2002

ByJnves Govez



the local mediato rhese moves. industry.That therewerealready signs Nevertheless, expectation the that of a mediadownturn camewith the the mediawill be freer,eventhough closure Singapore of Press Holdingt misplaced, wasstrong.This view was ProjectEyebal/.Startedwith much held eventhough the lawssurroundfanfareasan "lnternet" newspaper ing mediacontrol were not changed. targeting the young professional, this Proponents this view premisedtheir endeavorthat had both a print and of observations "increased" on coverage of Internet versionfoldedwithin a year, civil society initiatives,opposition citing business reasons. high news Its party activities, and alternative lifesryle standpriceof S$0.80did not go well issues the addidonal news"space" in with readers the numberof copies and created the new media products, by sold per day remainedlow throughout For the ownersand managers the of its existence. new mediaproducts, inclusionof the It wassomehowironic that soon alternative newswasseenasa necessary after,the privatecitizens'mediawatch ingredientin sellingmediaproductsin initiative to monitor mediareportsin an increasingly crowdedmarket. Singapore alsofoldedin September Additional mediaproductsalso 2001.The project,entitled created morejobsand broughtin Media-Watch, registered a nonwas as journalists. younger This new blood profit organization inJune 2001 and brought in alternative news,evenif washoping to raise US$122,000for their older and senioreditorsstill reits operations. However,funding wrote their stories dismissed or someof institutionsstayed away,claiming that them asnot being "hard" news.It was the work that Media\7atchwasabout a common complaint among the to embarkupon waspolitical. Senior youngjournaliststhat the storiesrhey working journalistsdismissed need the filed wereoften re-written and for any mediamonitoring by claiming "tamed"beyondrecognition that theywerealready sometimes professional. by their editors. Partlyin pursuitof a Thus, Media\Tatcht first and only "better"job and partly because of public statement wasabout the shortfreedoms, greater more localjournalists lived ProjectEyeball. movedto regionaland international Two months down the road, more mediacompanies. MediaCorp lost bad newswas to hit the industry. In several its newsreaders the BBC. of to November 2001, SPH announced that CNBC and CNN. it was axing 96 staffmembers. But at no time wasmedialiberaliza- AsiaOneLtd- its web arm tion premised a freermedia.If anyon announced that it had tolay off23 of thing, the reason introducing local for I 1l employees de-listitself, and competitionanchored the presence Seventy-three on of380 jobs from its ofa largeadvertising revenue pie. It is television broadcast unit, Media\7orks, this foundation, on which the launch were alsoaxed.The bulk of iob cuts of more mediaprojectswasbased, that wasatTV'Works, the Englishlanis now crumbling and the additional guage channelof Media'W'orks. In "space" the new mediaproducts,as in December 2001, its freetabloid, a result,standsto suffera serback. Streats its publication from 7 to 6 cut In Singapore, economic the daysa week. downturnhashurt adverrising In January 2002, MediaCorp revenues the lifeline of the media announced that its mostly spor[s

televisionchannelCity TV wasbeing shut down and someof its programs transferred other existingchannels. to It cut seven percentofits work force by laying off 200 employees and cutting the salaries remainingstaff of members a bid to cut costs. this in In context,the initial euphoriathat sugnew competitionlawsfor media gested wasneededhasdied down. Neirher is theretalk of introducing competition to the monopoly held by Singapore CableVision for cableTV.An additional and little known fact is that manytinyweb-based projects provide to entertainment alternative news and that sprungup suddenlyinwakeof the just Internetboomhave asquicklydiedas the dotcombubbleburst. T h e i m p a c to f r h e e c o n o m i c d o w n t u r n o n S i n g a p o r e e d i ai s m c l e a r . h e a d d i t i o n a ls p a c e r e a t e d T c i n t h e m e d i a t h a t f e a t u r e da l t e r n a t i v e r e p o r t a g es s h r i n k i n g .I n t h a t i s e n s e v e nt h e l i m i t e d g a i n , e without legal reform for a free m e d i a ,i s u n l i k e l y t o g r o w f u r t h e r . T h o s el a i d - o f f a r e y o u n g e rj o u r n a l i s t sw i t h n e w i d e a s ;t h e o l d e r a n d c o n s e r v a t i v e e sr e m a i n .I n t e r m s on o f r u l e st h e r e h a v eb e e nm o r e r u l e s t h a n r e a lf r e e d o m s o r t h e m e d i a . f Unless fiere isanother economic upsurge, thereis unlikelyto bemoremedia products emerge theSingapore to in marketin theshon run. Giventhat the necesary legd, socialandpoliticalvariables arenot in place supporta freemedia, to likelyto continuero lag Singapore is behindin this area. I A slighdy different versionof this articleappeared the January in 2002 issueof the lrrawaddy,the Thailand-based publication of Burmese exiles. ofThinh Cente JamesGomezisthefounder (,4sia).

fsn2}O2 JouRNALTsM



RSFnotedan almost50 percent in rise eachcategory compared the previous to year's statistics. Almost 500 journalists werearrested jailedin 2001, an and increase from329 in 2000. to More than700 journalists were A CCORDING ro theCommirree (CPJ), AProtect Journalists 2001saw attacked threatened year. or last the deathof 37 journalists, J morethan I Bangladesh the mostnumberof has theyearbefore,At least of themwere journalists 25 attacked with more than I 30. murdered, Memberfactions the ruling parry of Eight journalistsdied in Afghanistan committedalmostall ofthe attacla. in 2001, the mostnumberof deaths a in RSFalsonotedthat attacks against single journalists countrysince1999when ten wereoccurring moreoftenand journalists died in the strife-tornAfrican are"almostneverinvestigated serious, in countryofSierra Leone. jailed ways." This trend, says RSF, Journalists andreleased sustained Anotherjournalist, Marc Brunereau, -fHE "no hasbecome surprise the feeling that PAST four years sawa steady succumbed severe to woundssustained by I decline thenumberofjourndists of impuniryenjoyed the perpetrators in tlvo years before.A free-lance reporter, growsstronger." arrested jailed, However,that and Brunereau covered Afghanistan the war Insanca ofpress censorship also numberrose dramatically from 8l to for several years. last with thesuspension of 118 in 2001, CPJnotedthat the arrests, incereased year The numberof deaths increased almost media 400 organizations. Turkqf's which occurred afterthe September dramatically the country because in of government audiovisual monitorirg ag.nry attaclaagainst United States the in the United Sratesledretaliatory attacls Eritrea in andNepal,werenot reported RTUK temporarilysuspended than more against theAl Qaidanerwork,the alleged the media. 100television andradio sations andpres perpetrators the attaclain the US last of China,alreadyholding most the agencies. Incitingto violence infringeand September L I numberofjournalists jail for thepast in mentofstate securitywere mainre$ons the CPJnoted,howwer,thatthejournalisrc threeyears,arrested jailedanother and hhind thedosures. killedlastyear not cover in did eightjournalists 2001,bringingthe combat. Despite risein press the freedom journalists. totd to 35 imprisoned violations,RSFreportedthat no journalists Fortunately, some were journalists Second targeted most werekilled in Africa and the released 2001, includingt\Yo in Middle Eastfor perfiorming ADDITION to thejournalists their dury. TN recipients CPJt International of Press Icovering thewar in Afghanisran, Awards. Ethiopiareleased eight journalists covering crimeand corruption Freedom journalists afteran intensive campaign by werethe second mosttargeted 2001. in r Thailand the organization's Africa program. CPJExecutive DirectorAnnCooper Anotherpositive in dwelopment press said,"Journalists covering war in the freedom also was noticed Yugoslavia, in Sytra, Afghanistan showedextraordinary journalists andSrilankawhere experienced a courage, we shouldalsoremember but freerenvironmentto repoftthenewsthan in ,Tf!7O that journalists aroundthe world who Far Eastern Economic prwiousyears. uncovered corrupt,illegal acts, graft and Reuiew(FEER) reporters have I at high levels powerweremurdered of .|- beenordered deported from with impuniry." Thailand lastF ebrvary iz,reports the '\Whaher CCORDING to Reporters Sans (CPJ). theperpetrators paramiliare Committeeto Protect n Journalists A.Frontiers (RSF), number the oF tarygoupsin Cambodia corupt officials or In lettersto PrimeMinisterThaksin killedin 2001 remained journaliss inThailand,themessagedear: is iournalists Shinawatra February22, last CPJand almostthe same 2000. However,the as who repononillegal activitiawill receivea Reporters sans Frontiires(RSF)expressed numberof journalists attacked or deatlr sentence," Cooper said. concernoverthe threatofdeportation .jailed, threatened censored sharolv. and rose CPI alsonotedthatwhile most journalists against Shawn'WlCrispin and

yeal 2001a dismal foriounalists

journalists killed covering conflictwere murdered,the same patternwasalsoseen in the Philippines. In 2001,two journalists werekilled asa direct resultof their work in the media. RolandoUretaofDYKR in Aklan provinceand Candelario Cayona of DXLL in Zamboanga City, Philippines,wereboth killedfor airing comments criticalof localgovernment, police,the military,and other groups involvedin illegalactivities,Ureta died 3 January and Cayona,on May 30.

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The RodneyTasker. AmericanCrispin is also.EEERI Bangkokbureauchiefwhile Tasker alsopresident is the Englishman of the ForeignJournalists Club of Thailand. journalis$were The Thailand-based after a declared threatto nationalsecuriry their articleentitled'A Right Royal tensions Headache," which discussed the between king and the Prime Minister'soffice,werepublishedin the The 10 of January issue the magazine. articleusedcommentsKing Bhumibol Adulyadejmadein public about the as PrimeMinister that wereseen critical ofhis office. claimedthat TheThai government press lawsin the country forbid the FEERs criticismofthe monarchy. havebeenconfiscated JanuaryI 0 issues and arebannedfrom the country. of ofthe March 2-8 issue The Copies to Economist,which madereferences also the RoyalFamily,havealsobeenbanned. Reports from Thailand saydeportawould begin only after tion procedures theThai interior ministersignsa formal order. CPJthus requested Prime the Minister to askInterior Minister Purachai Piemsomboon rejectthe deportation to orderof the two journalistsand disavow a government blacklistofjournalists which the W'orldPress Freedom Committeereported alsoincludesthe names 44 other foreignjournalists. of in RSFalsorevealed a letterto the secretary-general ofASMN (Association AsianNations) that a group of Southeast who analyzedthe :r-lLa.i senators. : ftnsrve ardcle,did not find it critical of the King and thus found no basisto deportits authors. Howevet a CPJreportsaidthat Piemsomboon claimedthe matterwasan immigration issue not the result of and animositybetween PrimeMinister the and the magazine.He alsocalledfor on mediato stopspeculating the link

the issues. PrimeMinister between t'aro Thaksin Shinawatra deniedany has knowledge the deportationorder. of The journalists received revocation notices theirThai visas February of last 22, the same dayThai newspapers reportedtheir inclusionin the blacklist. is The magazine's management appealing order. the A joint statement theThai by fusociation(TJA) and the Journalists Alliance(SEAPA) Southeast fuian Press concernand denounced alsoexpressed jourthe useoFtheblacklist prevent to nalistsfrom performingtheir duties.The the statement alsodemanded removalof from the alleged thejournalists'names list, which it saidcould havea "negative impacton Thailandt internationalimage and country". asa democratic media-free freedom organizations also Other press sentiments. voicedthe same In additiontoTasker Crispin, Philip and publisher and RerzinandMichaelVadkiotis, were placed dilrr. of FffiRrespectively also bladdisr on thecountry's

programs airedan interviewwith Sq.Ldr. one Prasong Soonsiri.Soonsiri, of Priqe sff MinisterThalsin Shinawaua's ongest critics,criticizedhis handlingof rheFar Reuiew issuqwherein Eatem Econornic wereordereddeponed two journalists afterwriting a storythat discussed King Bhumibol tensions between Adulyadejand the PrimeMinister. (See story) FM 90.5 is a governmentrelated ownedcompany. affiliatecable The radioprogram's newsprogramairedoverUBC 8-Nation as TV, which airssimultaneously the radio program,wascut short due to saidCPJ. Another technical problems, newsprogramcalled"LokYam radio Chao" ("The \TorldThis Morning") was alsobannedafterit airedquotesfrom the 10. FEERaniclelastJanuary The hostof the programsaidthat the government "appeared" haveorderedthe ban. to claimedpolitical A Nation statement of interference behindthe censorship was to the programs.It alsothreatened cease its politicalcoverage commentary and "politicalnewsproductionwill be unless freefrom all formsof interference, directlyor indirectly." by the T)ROGRAMS produced Yongchaiyudh Chavalit DeputyPremier I Nation MultimediaGroupwere the sationstopped broadcasing saidthe orderedoff the air by the Thailand it not programs becausealegedlyhas paidits Defense DepartmentlastMarch 5 allocation fee. frequency because newsprograms the airedcritical Press Alliance A SoutheastAsian againstThailandtPrime comments (SEAPA)reportsaidthat the Houseof Minister,saidReporters FrontiEres san the would investigate Representatives (RSF)and the Committeeto Protect mishandlingof governmenttalleged (CPj). The Department Journalists in "unreasonably media,includingits interference media alleged that the comments affairsand the violation of the basic criticizedthe government."Variouspress rightsand freedoms ofthe people.A call includingthe freedomorganizations, wasalsomadeto study on how to (CTJ) Confederation ofThai Journalists the improvethe relationship between of and the'WorldAssociation Newspaand government media.A petitionfiled EditorsForum flWAN-\flEF), pers-World Thai Association, by theThaiJournalists haveexpressed concernoYerthe andtre BroadcastJournalistsAssociation censorship. for to Committee Campaign MediaReform FM 90.5 managementwas to told lastMarch l I promptedtheinvesrigacion. radioprograms broadcasting discontinue The Nation MultimediaGroup is producedby the group afterthe

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camp. The childrenwereallegedly not allowedto return to their familiesafter East Timor gained independence. r Taiwan Deplu denounced both articles as fabrications. CPJsaid,"This actionis a clear -frHE NationalSecuriry attemptto punishMurdoch forwriting Bureau stories that criticizegovernment policies". I NSB) ofThiwanordered rhe RSFnoted that this is the first time since conftr."tion ofan issue weekly ofa former Indonesian President Suharto was magazine March20, saidReporters last (RSF).The NCB raided ousted that a iournalist beenbanned has Frontibres sans fromworkingin Indonesia. the officesof Next andconfiscated Deplu had previouslyrequested 160,000copies the magazinet the of March r Indonesia Sydney Morning Heraldto find a 2l issue beforeit couldbe distributed. replacement Murdoch when he tried for claimingthe edition "endangered to renewhisvisalastNovember. nationalsecurity." However,complaints from the However, somecopies managed still three TN LETTERSofconcern, management the newspaper, to appear newsstands on of afterthe I internarional press freedomorganizamagazine's printed anothersetof Murdoch, AustralianForeignMinister staff tionsdenounced banningofan the copies an undisclosed at AlexanderDowner and Australian printer. journalistfrom working in Australian The issue featured articleon the Ambassador Indonesia to an RichardSmith Indonesia March I 0. last existence ofsecretbank accounts ofa compelled Deplu to extend validiry the The Committeeto Protect Journalists lormerpresidenr finance to spying of his visato March 10,2002. (CP), Reporters Frontibres (RSF) sans missions China. The moneywould in The department hopedthat the and the Southeast fuian Press Alliance alsobe usedto bribe diplomatsin three-monthextension would allow (SEAPA) expressed concernoverthe particularcountries. enoughtime for the newspaper find to non-renewal theworking visaof of NSB alsosearched homeof the the anotherjournalistto replace Murdoch LindsayMurdoch, a foreigncorresponauthor,HsuethChing-Liang. NSB whichwas not the case, dent for theSydney MorningHeraldand claimedthat charges may be filed against rheMelbourneAge. Murdoch reapplied his visa for both the magazine Ching-Liang. and renewalin Singapore instead but received \Tithout a working visa,Murdoch Asimilar articleappeared the in visa hasbasically beenbannedfiom perform- a multiple business for oneyear. He Thiwanese daily China Zzes but NSB hopedthat thevisawouldauthorize his ing his dutiesin the country. officialssaidit would not confiscate nor reportingin Indonesia.However, Indonesiatforeigndepartment, file charges against newspaper. the DeplusDirectorof Information and Deplu, offeredno official explanation for Officialssaidthat it had pre-approved Media'Wahid Supriyadi warnedhim that not grantingMurdoch a visabut was the articlebeforeit waspublished. he would be deported shouldhe told that rwo articles hadwritten the he continuereportingin Indonesia. previous yearpromptedthe recommenr East Timor SEAPAnoted that Deplu once dation to rejecthis application.The prohibitedjournalists from reporring in articles reportedly angered Indonethe Aceh,Maluku and Papua inJanuary sianmilitary. The first articleappeared May 14. 200I . It alsonoteda trendin Southeast on fuia towardsthe banningof foreign an CONSTITUTIONforEasrTimor It reported incidentwhichinvolved A It inThailand soldiermurderinga baby journalists. citedincidents -A*"r recentlyadopted, themedia an armedforces but and Malaysiain which foreignmagazines Movementvillage. The monitoring organization Article l9 noted in a FreeAceh and correspondents wereconfiscated . or otherarticlediscussed fateof 130 the with concernthat its provisions on blacklisted. EastTimorese childrenin orphanages in freedomofexpression and ofthe press 'hre Murdoch hadbeenreporting on Indonesiawhohad beentakenfrom seriously flawed." Java, for their familiesin a'WestTimorese refugee Indonesia the pastthreeyears.I Although the Constitution respecrs

oneof thelargest mostindependent and mediaorganizations Thailand. in

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these freedoms, only information that has "impartial" will be allowed. beendeemed Sucha condition could weakenthe freedom in stipulated theprovision. Althoughsome restrictions to freedomof expression permissible are underinternational Article19t law fi.rrther readingof the Constitutiond provisions revealed lawmakers that could abuse to enactstringentdefamation it journalists lawsagainst criticizing government officials.

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Ireedoms tullyItotccted not itl G0nsuuti0n


Asr^ JouRNALTsM 2002

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