The theme of press freedom and professional standards is of perennial interest in the region, both for the criticism directed from the outside and for the concern voiced from within. Many Western proponents of pluralism seek to promote Western-style press freedom in Asia. But this is often at variance with the Asian view.
The differing perceptions of the role of the media in the West and Asia are not confined to officials. Senior journalists in ASEAN have proposed an Asian model of journalism in which the press works with the government to build a national consensus. The national press, as an instrument of nation-building, it is thought, should support development efforts.