Shawn W. Crispin/CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative

CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative Shawn W. Crispin is based in Bangkok, Thailand, where he has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 15 years. He has led CPJ missions throughout the region and is the author of several CPJ special reports.

ABS-CBN newsroom

ABS-CBN head of news describes losses to journalists, Philippine public amid station closure

Regina Reyes says she had a “journalist’s premonition” that something bad would happen the day before Philippine authorities ordered her ABS-CBN news station to cease and desist operations on May 5. That evening, ABS-CBN, the nation’s largest news organization, said goodbye to its viewing audience and signed off the air. “Up to now, that screen…

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A man collects supplies over barbed wire in the coronavirus lockdown area of Selayang Baru, outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 26, 2020. A journalist faces prison time over her social media posts on the health crisis. (AP/Vincent Thian)

Malaysian journalist faces six years in prison over COVID-19 Facebook posts

When Malaysian journalist Wan Noor Hayati Wan Alias criticized a government decision to allow a cruise ship with Chinese tourists to dock and disembark at the coastal city of Penang in late January, a time when China was at the epicenter of the COVID-19 global pandemic, she was criminally charged with causing a public panic.

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Vietnamese blogger Tran Thi Nga is adjusting to life in the U.S. after authorities ordered her into forced exile as a condition of her early release from prison. Nga served three years of a nine-year sentence over her reporting. (Family photo)

Freedom at a high cost for Vietnamese blogger Tran Thi Nga

When Vietnamese blogger Tran Thi Nga was arrested by authorities on January 21, 2017, she did not know at the time it would likely be the last time she would ever be in her home in northern Ha Nam province.

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A market stall sells newspapers in Yangon, in June 2019. Journalists in Myanmar say their reporting is still met with legal action and censorship. (CPJ/Shawn Crispin)

From conflict zones to courtrooms, Myanmar’s journalists are under fire

Hopes for greater press freedom when Myanmar moved to quasi-democratic rule were quickly quashed with the jailing in 2017 of two Reuters reporters. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have their freedom again, but journalists and press freedom activists who met with CPJ’s Senior Southeast Asia Representative Shawn Crispin in Yangon in June said that…

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Journalists pictured in the Manila offices of Rappler, in January 2018. The outlet is one of four Philippine media groups smeared in a campaign that alleges they are in the pay of the CIA. (Reuters/Dondi Tawatao)

Rappler-CIA plot claim is attempt to cut funding, Philippine journalists say

First were the politically motivated state charges that funding provided to the news website Rappler by a U.S. philanthropic foundation represented a violation of constitutional provisions barring foreign control or ownership of Philippine media.

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A rally calling for greater press freedom in Manila in January 2018. Philippine journalists say President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to intimidate the media. (AFP/Ted Aljibe)

Mission Journal: Duterte leads tri-pronged attack on press amid condemnation of controversial policies

Pia Randa is in Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte’s crosshairs. At presidential press conferences, Duterte has repeatedly singled out the reporter by name and referred to Rappler, the news site where she works, as “fake news” and her reporting as “corrupt” and “biased” against his administration.

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A Myanmar border guard stands next to fencing near Maungdaw, Rakhine state, where structures to process Rohingya refugees are being built. Local and international journalists face challenges reporting on the crisis and other politically sensitive issues. (AFP/Cape Diamond)

Threats, arrests, and access denied as Myanmar backtracks on press freedom

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Esther Htusan is no longer safe to report from her home country, Myanmar. The Associated Press reporter fled the country late last year after being threatened for her critical reporting on various topics that authorities deem sensitive, from the ethnic Rohingya refugee exodus, the military’s controversial counterinsurgency operations in Rakhine State, to…

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A protester wears a T-shirt denouncing Myanmar's telecommunications law in January 2017. The law is used to stifle online criticism and reporting. (AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

Myanmar: One year under Suu Kyi, press freedom lags behind democratic progress

When Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her long-persecuted National League for Democracy party won elected office in November 2015, bringing an end to nearly five decades of authoritarian military rule, many local journalists saw the democratic result as a de facto win for press freedom.

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Vietnamese blogger Dang Xuan Dieu is forced to live in exile as part of conditions for his early prison release. (Family handout)

‘I wanted to stay and fight for my beliefs’ says jailed Vietnamese blogger forced into exile

Vietnamese journalist and religious activist Dang Xuan Dieu was granted early release January 12 from a 13-year prison sentence on anti-state charges filed over his critical reporting. As with recent early releases of other jailed Vietnamese journalists, Dieu was forced to immediately board a plane and go into exile as a condition for his freedom.

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Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks to the press in September 2015. News outlets that critically covered allegations in the 1MDB scandal are facing censorship and pressure. (Reuters/Olivia Harris)

Closure of news site underscores Malaysia’s press freedom crisis amid 1MDB scandal

On March 14, The Malaysian Insider abruptly closed its editorial operations less than a month after the state media regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, blocked local access to its news site.

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