Asia Centre signs MOU with Soochow University’s Human Rights Centre

Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre and Professor Jau-hwa Chen, Director, Chang Fo Chuan, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, Soochow University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 12 May 2019, in Taipei, Taiwan. The MOU signing stems from Asia Centre’s participation in previous activities at Soochow University. For instance in November 2018, Dr. Gomez presented at a roundtable discussion the findings from the Centre’s book “The UPR of Southeast Asia: Civil Society Perspectives”. In March 2019, Dr. Gomez visited the Chang Fo Chuan, Centre for the Study of Human Rights at Soochow University to discuss…

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Orientation on Fake News and Disinformation in Southeast Asia

On Monday 29 April 2019, Asia Centre hosted Indonesian Embassy’s Education and Cultural Attaché Prof. Dr. Mustari M.Pd. and a group of International Relations students from Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia as part of the Centre’s engagement with Indonesia.The visit started with an introduction about the work of Asia Centre by Yawee Butrkrawee (Programme Coordinator), followed by a presentation on the Centre’s three year project on Fake News and Freedom of Expression in Southeast Asia, provided by Tessa Alleblas (Research & Grants Officer).  Lively discussions with the students ensued and focused on how exactly fake news is defined, global media…

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Media Literacy As a Tool Against Fake News in Malaysia

Media literacy could be the new stratagem for Malaysia instead of the Fake News Bill, however the role of governments in such programmes needs to be carefully evaluated. On Tuesday 16 April Asia Centre, University of Nottingham and Gerakbudaya Bookshop jointly organized the seminar entitled the Fake News Industry: Developments in SEA & Malaysia. Participants examined the various non-legal measures put in place to tackle issues surrounding fake news affecting Malaysia and the wider region. Apart from fact-checking, the suggestion that gained most traction was media literacy programmes. Some of the ideas concerned going beyond media literacy for university students to training…

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Vague Fake News Laws Lead To Over Criminalisation In South East Asia

Since 2017, ASEAN member states have either introduced new legislation, revised existing laws or are using current regulations to penalise individuals and organisations for disseminating fake news often citing the need to curb hate speech as a primary reason. However, the definition of what is “fake” in the provisions of these legal measures is vague. Furthermore, the government’s central role in defining what is fake news within these laws deepens the problem. A key issue is that once these legislations are in place, it allows individuals and organisations to be accused of transgressing such laws. As most laws on fake…

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IFC #5: Southeast Asia in the Age of Disinformation

On 21 March 2019, Asia Centre and Stenden Thailand co-hosted the fifth International Faculty Club which focused on Southeast Asia in the Age of Disinformation. In Southeast Asia, there are more than 400 million Internet users. Since January 2019, internet penetration is 63% and social media penetration is 61%. These numbers show that people increasingly consume media on digital media and social media platforms, instead of traditional media. As content creation on social media is immediate and not subject to regulations, it can easily be used to spread fake news and disinformation. The IFC gave insight into how disinformation is…

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Asia Centre signs MOU with NSHM Knowledge Campus in Kolkata

Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre and Cecil Anthony, Chief Mentor, NSHM Knowledge Campus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 8 March 2019 in Kolkata, India to further cooperation between the two institutions. The signing took place during NSHM Knowledge Campus’s International Conference on Media and Society on 8 and 9 March 2019. During the Inauguration Session of the event, Dr Gomez said that the MOU can help NHSM Knowledge Campus extend its reach to Southeast Asia.At the International Conference, Asia Centre was the official partner for the Technical Session “Media & Human Rights” on 9…

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Asia Centre seals MOU with Indonesia’s Satya Wacana Christian University

Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, ASIA Centre and Professor Neil Semuel Rupidara, Rector, Satya Wacana Christian University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 5 March 2019 in Semarang, Indonesia. The MOU outlined the area of collaborations that covered research, joint events, trainings and internship. The partnership was signed following the two entities' first joint general studies panel.Entitled “Religion, Media and Politics in Southeast Asia”, the event was organised in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Science and Communications, Faculty of Theology and the Centre for the Study of Religion, Pluralism and Democracy. Attended by 100 students and…

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ASIA Centre inks MOU with Calcutta University

Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre and Professor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee, Vice Chancellor, Calcutta University’s signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 8 February 2019 in Kolkata, India.The MOU signing was part of the Government of West Bengal’s push for its universities to collaborate with knowledge partners abroad.  The event was witnessed by Kolkata’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banarjee during the 5th Bengal Global Business Summit that took place on 7-8 February 2019. For ASIA Centre, the MOU signings form part of the Centre’s strategy to engage externally and build more partnerships globally.Asia Centre will be undertaking more…

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Quality Journalism Not Effective Against Fake News

Quality journalism has been thrown up in discussions that search for measures to combat fake news on social media. Proponents argue that if quality journalism is boosted, the proliferation of fake news and its consumption can be mitigated if not overcome. However, it is unclear if the promotion of quality journalism alone is indeed an effective answer. Emerging evidence suggests that quality journalism boosting is no match to the viral power of fake news over online platforms. In Southeast Asia, there is a trust deficit in traditional journalism or mainstream media in many countries due to government control. Even when…

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Asia Centre engages with Indian Universities and Think-Tanks

Over February to March 2019, Asia Centre will participate in several meetings organised by Indian universities and think-tanks in Kolkata. Kicking-off, Dr. James Gomez, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Centre will be Calcutta’s University delegate to the Bengal Global Business Summit on 7th and 8th February 2019. The annual flagship event, organized by Government of West Bengal, is positioned as the business gateway to South-East Asia and North-East India. During the occasion, Asia Centre will sign an Memorandum of Understanding with Calcutta University to formalise cooperation between the two entities. A month later, from 8 to 9 March 2019, Tessa…

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