Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Attacks on the free press in Asia

Bloomberg has a nice piece on freedom of the press in Asia (see here)It outlines problems in one country after another. 

Hanif has consistently decried a culture of impunity that is enabled by
the media’s apathy, if not complicity. He has also warned how these
entwined evils steadily creep in from the atrocity-rich borderlands to
the uncaring heartland. “Even in the darkest of times,” Hannah Arendt
once wrote, “we have the right to expect some illumination.” Yet
journalistic institutions, pressured by political, military and
commercial interests, increasingly seem too frail to oblige. The
responsibility falls, frequently and unfairly, on such individual
dissenters as Hanif, whose courage and integrity make them all the more
vulnerable in these dark times.

I would argue that we have much the same process going on in the west.  It is not as bloody or violent.  And the internet makes it more difficult to suppress information.  But the illumination is so often tainted with ideological spin (right, left, middle) that we often want to discount everything.  


  1. I consider near any piece of literature, or, in this case, report to contain bias. Whoever is putting forth information has his/her own distinct purpose for issuing it. Luckily, I think the internet is a powerful tool in finding the truth that "lies somewhere in the middle". I believe that it is only through the inspection of numerous sources that we can identify biases/slants and find the "truth".

  2. I agree with Nick, it seems as though any article contains at most the partial truth (if any at all). Even articles that are based solely on statistics can be biased, as numbers are easily manipulated. It's getting harder and harder to determine what a "credible" source is.

  3. I have been paying close attention to how Beijing has been slowing expanding its influence in Hong Kong and its decline in freedom of the media is no doubt connected to Beijing's growing influence. It will be important to pay close attention to how Hong Kong transforms in the next several decades.

  4. I think while it is harder these days to find "credible" sources, today's increasingly more transparent communication also allows for the truth be told, especially in Asian countries when people tend to believe any printed carefully censored sources of information.