Issues and challenges for online media in South-East Asia

July 23, 2017

Thirty representatives from community media in South-East Asia have attended a three-day forum in Bangkok to talk about business models, news pluralism, data journalism and fake news.

Organised as part of the 4M Asia project, the forum brought together 30 representatives from community media in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam on 10-13 July 2017.

It formed the first step of a training programme which will go on to feature three training sessions on specific topics to be held in September and October 2017. The sessions will focus respectively on community radio, printed and online journalism, and blogs and community websites.

At the forum, participants discussed the issues and challenges facing community media in the region, together with some ten invited guests who included lawyers, sociologists, freelance journalists and staff from major national media organisations such as Malaysiakini and Indonesia's Tempo.

They were also able to exchange views on a wide range of topics, such as business models, legal matters, news pluralism, relations between journalists, experts and citizens within the media, intercommunity networking, the role of women, young people and minorities, data journalism, fake news and citizen journalism.

The event was also an ideal opportunity to share practical knowledge and experience. A "World Café" also gave the 30 journalists a chance to talk about the limitations they face, enabling the trainers to fine-tune the programme for the upcoming workshops.

Journalist and videographer Bernadine Dela Cuadra, from Tudla Productions in the Philippines, said,
"This was an unforgettable experience. The diversity of the participants gave me the chance to learn a huge amount. I'm really grateful to be in this group and be part of CFI's 4M Asia project, which helps to bring all of us in South-East Asia together."

The forum was arranged in partnership with Thailand's Foundation for Community Educational Media (FCEM), an organisation which is made up of the Media learning Center and the Prachataï online newspaper. It was led jointly by FCEM Executive Director Chiranuch Premchaiporn and by Joris Zylberman, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the French online media provide Asialyst.