AMIC  Newsletter: September 2013

From Whistleblowing to Nuclear Accidents      

01 Should  whistleblowers, such as the American intelligence analyst Edward Snowden and US  Army Private Bradley Manning, be treated as heroes or traitors?


The debate on Government  secrecy and the public’s ‘right to know’ is given an airing in the latest  edition of AMIC’s quality, quarterly journal, Media Asia. In an article on  recent global controversies which have placed the spotlight on the power of  individuals to expose high-level corruption and other activities, Suruchi  Mazumdar examines the rationale for protecting whistleblowers and also  questions Asia’s ‘patchy record’ in this field.


Also in Media Asia Volume 40, No.  3, Editor-in-Chief, Professor Cherian George, interviews Asian-American scholar  Dr. Kyu Ho Youm on the influence of America’s First Amendment values and the  issue of free speech in Asia.  Media Asia also features insights on Media  and Gender by Universiti Sains Malaysia Deputy Dean, Dr. Azwan Azmawati, while Amartya  Sen’s value to media scholars is a topic explored by Professor Shakuntala Rao  of the State University of New York.


Research papers included in  this issue looks at a wide range of mass communication fields.  Among these,  Dr. Theodore Fernando, of the Open University of Sri Lanka, examines the  influence of editorial cartoons on that country’s recent national elections,  while Dr. Khairiah Rahman, of the Auckland University of Technology, discusses  crisis communication and media reportage in light of issues surrounding a  disruption to Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system. Japan’s nuclear accident  woes are examined by Dr. Muneo Kaigo and Ms. Dragana Lazic as they take a  closer look in their research paper at US press coverage of the Fukushima  nuclear power plant accident.  

Media Asia Vol. 40, No. 3,  also offers readers case files on health communication, a comparative analysis  on advertising in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and book reviews of recent  noteworthy publications. Media Asia is available for purchase on-line at

Prestigious AJF Programme for 2014 Now Open         2

The Singapore-based Asia  Journalism Fellowship (AJF) programme is now seeking applications from mid-career  journalists from throughout Asia for its 2014 round.


The  AJF provides  opportunities for 15 exceptional media professionals to undertake three months  of studies and to pursue individual projects at the Wee Kim Wee School of  Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.  The Fellowships are fully sponsored by         the Temasek Foundation and NTU.

“We are eager to welcome our next cohort of Fellows,” said AJF Director Dr. Cherian  George. “Every year, they arrive as strangers from more than a dozen Asian  countries. After three months, they leave enriched by the programme and by one  another, and the knowledge that they are part of a special fraternity.”   The programme allows Fellows to take part in seminars and workshops designed to  sharpen professional skills and deepen their understanding of key trends  shaping their profession. Eased of their usual deadline pressures, Fellows also  get to work on an independent project and pursue their intellectual interests,  guided by professors and other experts on and off campus.

Professor Charles Salmon, Acting Chair of the Wee Kim Wee School, notes that “Fellows  will be able to make use of the School's wealth of learning resources, tap the  expertise of colleagues who are breaking new ground in communication research,  and interact with outstanding students. The AJF programme is one of the  true highlights of the year in our School, and we look forward to meeting a new  group of inspiring professionals from all over Asia who share our passion for  journalism and media.”   The Wee Kim Wee School is home to the WAN-IFRA Newsplex Asia, a prototype  newsroom for developing strategies for getting the most out of media  convergence. AJF’s 2014 programme will include workshops that take advantage of  this new facility. AJF also provides access to key newsmakers in  Singapore's public sector, business community and civil society, offering  insights into the challenges faced by one of Asia's most cosmopolitan hub  cities.  "Year after year, the AJF Fellows have shared how the programme has helped  them professionally and personally,” said Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of  Temasek Foundation. “It has been enriching to see how the Fellows engage each  other in lively discussions on the social, economic and political issues of the  day in their communities.”   So far, 77 journalists from 15 different Asian nations have taken part in the AJF.  Applicants for the 2014 programme, which will run from 17 March to 6 June, should  have at least five years’ of experience and be poised to make a difference in  their profession and their home country on their return. Applicants are welcome  from any news medium – newspapers, magazines, television, radio or the web.

Full details about the programme are available at  The application deadline is 25 October.

Digital Journalism Under The Spotlight

The shift of journalism to the digital stage is the focus  of the inaugural Digital Journalism World 2013 conference to be held next month in  Singapore (7-8 October).


The conference seeks to highlight new approaches to  journalism as the profession embraces new technologies and innovations in the  digital sphere, while leaving old paradigms behind.


Topics for discussion include Visual Storytelling,  Working with Social Media & Citizen Journalism,  Understanding Digital Ethics, Integrative  Models of Mainstream and Online News, the Rise of Mobile Journalism and New  Tools of Change, and New Newsroom Workflows.


AMIC  is a media partner of Digital Journalism World 2013. More conference details  at:

Tokyo to Host Ripe Conference
1Visions  for the future of public service broadcasting will be discussed at next year’s  RIPE@2014 conference in Tokyo.


Jointly  co-hosted by Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), the national broadcaster, and Keio  University’s  Institute for Media and  Communication Research, the RIPE @2014 event takes the theme Public Service Media (PSM) Across Boundaries.


RIPE  is an acronym for Revisionary  Interpretations of Public Enterprise, a collaborative project launched in  2001 to enable scholars and public broadcasters to discuss the future of public  service broadcasting. The Tokyo conference will be the 7th biennial RIPE  conference (27th-29th August, 2014) and the first ever RIPE  meeting held in Asia.


Under  the theme PSM across Boundaries,  scholars and practitioners of public service media from Europe, North America  and the Asia-Pacific region will exchange opinions and  views on challenges PSM is facing in the era of globalization and  digitalization. It will particularly explore Asian perspectives and conditions  of PSM.  


The Call for Papers for the  conference is now open and organizers are inviting contributions on a range of  dimensions, including cross-boundary issues in PSM policy and governance, transnational  audiences, citizen journalism, convergence, and PSM in new and young  democracies. Abstract submissions are due by 10th January, 2014. For  more details, please visit     

CSC Awards Seek Nominations

‘Unsung heroes’ are being  sought by the University of Queensland in Australia for its annual  Communication and Social Change Award.


The Award acknowledges  outstanding and innovative individuals and organisations using communication  and ICTs in communities to create meaningful change and facilitate social,  economic and technological development.


The Award is the only one of  its kind in the world and recognises those who have demonstrated extraordinary  commitment to using communication to transform and empower marginalised  communities. It is an initiative of the Centre for Communication for Social  Change (CfCSC) at the School of Journalism and Communication, within the  University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.


The Award is judged in an individual and an organisational category and  consists of a cash prize of AUD$2500 and a travel package to participate in the  Award ceremony in Brisbane. Those awarded can be either practitioners working  in the field, or theorists.

Nominations for the  Communication for Social Change Awards 2014 close on Friday November 29.  More details at:

AMIC Partners with UNESCO in Global Forum
01AMIC has been selected as a  regional partner for UNESCO’s Global  Forum on Media and Gender to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in December.


The conference, which will  bring together hundreds of leaders and  decision-makers in media, human rights and civil society organisations,  governments, UN agencies, and business firms, will evaluate trends in gender  inequalities in the media and formulate collective and creative solutions to  reduce gender disparities.


According to UNESCO,  the Global Forum is part of broader and continuing efforts to empower women and  reduce gender inequalities, given the potential of both elements to advance  economic and social development. The urgency of this event is reflected not  just in the timing but also in the issues to be discussed and the calibre of  international stakeholders being brought together to build a coalition to push  for action to reduce gender inequities in the media.


The Global Forum on Media and  Gender (2-4 December) will be hosted by the Kingdom of Thailand  National Commission for UNESCO and the Thammasat University. More details at:



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