AS THE world marks Press Freedom Week (3-9 May 2009), it is most fitting to review situations in Asia where that freedom remains an elusive dream. Burma is one such critical situation that we should all keep to heart.

Forty-seven years ago in 1962, a military junta grabbed power, and arrested and detained for long periods of time leading opposition leaders and independent journalists. Over a hundred Burmese journalists today live and write from exile, while their colleagues in country continue to endure restrictive and punitive media edicts.

To make matters worse, a year ago on May 2, a Category-3 cyclone, Nargis, exacted a disaster: 140,000 were killed and 2.3 million were rendered homeless.

Our latest story is a modest contribution of the PCIJ in support of the campaign for press freedom and access to information across Asia. This story by Tita C. Valderama, PCIJ training director, is one of several produced by Asian journalists who attended the 2008 Fellowship Program (on Burma) of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance or SEAPA. The stories will come out in book form very soon.

Read on at

1 Response to Where journalism is a living hell


The Equalizer

May 11th, 2009 at 11:25 am

A swarm of little birdies are now reporting that Nestle is allegedly flexing its advertising muscle and threatening to pull out ads from newspapers that have the courage to publish negative reports about it.

The larger question that looms, however, is why Nestle might be going to such lengths to muzzle the media? One would think that such an upstanding company would simply want to set the record straight and lay the issue to rest.

Isn’t it simpler to just air their side of the story instead of bombarding the press with threats? Is this what an ethical company does?

What is it they are trying to hide?

Isn’t it ironic that in its attempt to suppress reports about its alleged bullying of its distributors, it now seems they have taken to bullying the press?

Comment Form