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East-West Center Media Conference 2008

Bangkok, Thailand

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Keep the conversation going!

February 27th, 2008 · Comments Off

Our hope is that this, and future conferences, will operate in the “virtual” as well as the real world.

That is, we can highlight what happens at the conference and invite participation from East West Center friends and alumni around the globe.

Take a tour of this blog site and read capsule reports on all the major talks and panel discussions. After each one is a place for you to respond: agree, disagree or push the conversation forward.

For a richer experience, look on the left side of this page and find links to: Audio files (downloadable) of the major speeches, full news stories on some of the key events, Power Point presentations, a slideshow of snapshots from the conference and even a video report on the conversation with Apple Daily publisher Jimmy Lai.

After all that, it’s time to hear from you.

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Listen, download the major speeches

February 14th, 2008 · Comments Off

To stimulate more discussion, we’ve posted the complete audio of several of the major presentations at the Bangkok conference.

To hear what speakers had to say, click on the links below. You can listen to the files or download them to your own Mp3 player. Here they are right after this jump: [Read more →]

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Changing Asia media world poses challenges, opportunities at the same timne

February 3rd, 2008 · Comments Off

Asia is experiencing a media boom, from an explosion of somewhat more independent newspapers and broadcast outlets to the emergence of completely different forms of information sharing – the “new media.”

But with that boom comes creeping homogenization of content, the “dumbing down” of programming and an emphasis on entertainment over public affairs.

That was one message delivered at the Center’s Bangkok Media Conference by Sheila Coronel, director of the Tony Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University and a pioneering investigative journalist in the Philippines. [Read more →]

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For better facts, take a tour through fiction

January 23rd, 2008 · Comments Off

This may sound like anathema to some, but one of the best things a serious journalist in Asia might consider doing is take a page from the workbook of fiction novelists.

This was the friendly advice given to journalists and others on the closing night of the Bangkok Media Conference. It came from Christopher Moore, a Bangkok-based author of popular thrillers and other novels set in Asia. [Read more →]

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The ‘blogging revolution’ in China

January 23rd, 2008 · Comments Off

For a look at the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied this talk, go here.

To hear an audio version of the presentation, go HERE

Forget the old media.

The way the world will communicate and get its news can be found deep in the interconnected and viral blogosphere, according to China’s Isaac Mao, co-founder of Beijing’s Social Brain Foundation and co-founder of cnblog.org, one of China’s earliest experiments in grassroots publishing.

While the entire world will change as blogging connects and informs people in new ways, the impact will particularly vivid in China, Mao told a lunch meeting of the Bangkok Media Conference.

That’s because rather than attempting to reform or change existing media institutions, still largely state-controlled, China’s 145 million! bloggers simply go around the old media and find their audience a different way, he said. [Read more →]

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Media asleep at the wheel on huge international story

January 23rd, 2008 · 3 Comments

The news media, both in the United States and around the world, are “asleep at the switch” when it comes to stories involving some of the biggest threats to human existence ever known, according to
a leading American specialist on infectious diseases.

Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a frequent writer on such topics as avian flu and bioterrorism, said the media’s failure is that it does not put such topics in context.

While the media have done lots of immediate reporting on Asian bird flu, bioterrorism and other such issues, it has largely failed to understand the terrifying consequences of such matters, he said. [Read more →]

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Want to know China’s future? Try Taiwan

January 23rd, 2008 · Comments Off

If reporters – or anyone for that matter – wish to see a positive vision of the future China, they should visit Taiwan today, one of Hong Kong’s leading media figures told the Center’s Bangkok media conference yesterday.

Jimmy Lai, founder of Next Media Ltd., which publishes the popular newspaper Apple along with a number of other publications, argued that Taiwan’s democratic institutions and rule of law are where China will eventually have to go if it hopes to survive.

“Taiwan will become the international hub of China because because in Taiwan, you have the protection of rule of law and freedom of information, which will make Taiwan a gem,” he said. [Read more →]

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Tiny voices are heard on global stage

January 23rd, 2008 · Comments Off

They may be mostly tiny, underpopulated and remote, but the Islands of the Pacific are right in the middle of some of today’s biggest international issues, journalists at the Center’s Bangkok media conference learned Wednesday.

Among the issues sweeping across the high islands and atolls of the Pacific: Competition between Mainland China and Taiwan and, of course, global warming.

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The future of journalism from inside the ‘Apple’

January 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off

Journalists, particularly American ones, got a hard dose of earthy, pragmatic and perhaps even visionary thinking today (Wednesday, Bangkok time) from one of Asia’s most successful media barons.

Jimmy Lai, the blunt and engaging founder of Hong Kong’s Next Media Ltd. and publisher of the popular Apple Daily newspaper, told the group that it is change-or-die time for journalism.

This means, he said, changing the technology of how we deliver news as well as being willing to rethink the very notion of what news is. [Read more →]

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An Olympian journalistic challenge

January 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off

The summer Olympics in Beijing this summer will be spectacular for athletes and spectators, but perhaps a bit less so for journalists covering the games.

That was one message from a panel on covering the Olympics this week at the Center’s Bangkok Media Conference.

Despite promises of new press freedoms, both for international reporters and the local media, the games will be a journalistic challenge, panelists said.

China is anxious to put on its best face for the Olympics, and that will mean anything but the sunniest of reporting will take extra effort, the panel said. [Read more →]

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