Press Freedom Index: M’sia drops a rank, affected by China media control model

Source: Malaysiakini

Image taken from Mkini

Malaysia has come in at 145th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, falling one rank from last year.

The country’s score, 47.41, also worsened from last year with an increase of 0.52. According to the index, a higher score indicates deteriorating press freedom.

“Several proposed amendments would reinforce the already draconian Official Secrets Act 1972 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, posing additional threats to the Malaysian media’s freedom to cover the 2018 general election.

“Bloggers are closely monitored by the authorities, who can prosecute them for spreading ‘false news’, a euphemism for criticism of the government,” read the report on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Read more

Putrajaya to deliberate self-regulation for media, PPPA amendment post-elections

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, March 13 — The federal government is prepared to engage news editors to discuss the possibility of a self-regulating media body, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He added that the government will also look at improvements to the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) after the 14th general elections.

“We must make sure that the freedom to write and publish is not very restrictive according to current guidelines,” Zahid said during a luncheon with the editors here.

He said he recognised the need to improve provisions of the PPPA as well as adopt changes that address the current climate in the news industry. Read more

Journalism body: Fake news law threatens media freedom

Source: Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged the government to drop the proposed law against fake news due for debate in the current Parliament session.

In a statement today, RSF said the proposed law had “all the hallmarks of a new government weapon for suppressing media freedom”.

It said the bill had been finalised by a special committee – comprising representatives of the government, police, National Security Council and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) – set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak on Jan 30 after he and his government declared war on “fake news”.

It also noted that there were already sufficient laws – such as Article 8A of the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act and Article 233 (1) of the 1998 Communications and Multimedia Act – which penalised the dissemination of false news and information.

Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said: “It is not the government’s job to determine the truth of the reporting that is the product of journalistic work. Read more

Recognise our efforts by letting us report freely, journalists tell minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Media practitioners welcomed today a federal minister’s proposal for a National Journalists’ Day to celebrate their profession, but said it should not deviate from the fundamental constraints they face in carrying out their job daily.

The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) said that it “cautiously welcomed” the idea mooted by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak yesterday.

“While recognition for the work that journalists do and the role of the Fourth Estate is welcomed, IoJ stresses that such celebrations should not distract from fundamental issues concerning media freedom,” it said in a statement.

It pointed out that Malaysia still ranks only 146th in the World Press Freedom Index, and that journalists still face threats of criminal action by authorities, including the use of Sedition Act, in their line of work. Read more

Freedom of the Press Index: Press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015

Source: Asian Correspondent

Source: Freedom House

Source: Freedom House

TODAY marks the observance of World Press Freedom Day, which only serves to highlight the sobering fact that last year saw the global level of press freedom sink to its lowest point in 12 years, according to the Freedom of the Press 2016 index.

The index was released as part of the Freedom of the Press 2016 report, which put the global average score for press freedom at 48.9 – its lowest since 2003.

The annual report, which is published by U.S.-based non-profit Freedom House, went on to say that only 13 percent of world’s population enjoys free press; while 41 percent had partly free press, and 46 percent had no free press.

The report’s director of research, Jennifer Dunham, said that journalists around the world are facing an increasingly hostile media environment, be it through oppressive laws, pressure from governments and corporate entities, or physical endangerment.

“Governments used security or anti-terrorism laws as a pretext to silence critical voices, militant groups and criminal gangs used increasingly brazen tactics to intimidate journalists, and media owners attempted to manipulate news content to serve their political or business interests,” she said. Read more

AG questions M’sia’s world press freedom ranking

Source: FMT News

No country has absolute press freedom, says Apandi Ali.

KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Apandi Ali has questioned the World Press Freedom Index 2016 report by Reporters Without Borders, which has placed Malaysia at 146th place out of 180 countries.

“Our firmness in shaping our media’s freedom according to our own mould has been misunderstood by the international community as being indicative of a country that does not hold to democratic principles based on human rights,” Apandi said at a luncheon talk with editors and members of the media here today.

Apandi said according to the World Press Freedom Index, Malaysia’s global score had dropped from 43.29 to 46.57 points this year. According to Reporters Without Borders’ score system, a smaller score indicates greater freedom of the press.

He noted that Reporters Without Borders had reported last year that two-thirds of the countries studied, including the United States and Singapore, had experienced drops in press freedom.

“Taking that into consideration, does this really reflect the level of press freedom in Malaysia?” . Read more

Press freedom in Asia-Pacific has gotten significantly worse – RSF

Source: Asian Correspondent

Pic: Reporters Without Borders

MEDIA freedom has “worsened significantly or stagnated” in most of the Asia-Pacific region, according to the 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

The latest rankings measuring journalistic freedom and independence in 180 countries were released today by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), along with a dire conclusion:

“There has been a deep and disturbing decline in respect for media freedom at both the global and regional levels.”

The rankings, which have been released annually since 2002, has seen an overall decline in freedom of information from 2013 to 2016, falling 13.6 percent. Every continent’s score has also suffered a drop in this year’s report.

“It is unfortunately clear that many of the world’s leaders are developing a form of paranoia about legitimate journalism,” said RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire. Read more