Journalists in Haiti demand protection after reporter killed

A local journalist tries throws water on a burning vehicle that belongs to Radio Tele-Ginen in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, June 10, 2019. (AP)
Updated 12 June 2019

Journalists in Haiti demand protection after reporter killed

  • It noted that freelance photographer Vladjimir Legagneur has been missing since March while on assignment

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Attacks on journalists in Haiti are escalating, and the slaying of a radio reporter prompted media organizations on Tuesday to renew demands that police protect them and give them space to work.
An unidentified gunman shot Rospide Pétion as he drove home late Monday in a car owned by Radio Sans Fin. The 45-year-old reporter had just finished a radio program in which he talked about corruption allegations against the administration of President Jovenel Moïse.
“These days are not good for journalists and media,” Frantz Duval, editor of the newspaper Le Nouvelliste, tweeted Tuesday.
Moïse issued a statement Tuesday calling the killing a “heinous act” that weighed heavily on Haiti’s press. “I vehemently condemn this villainous crime,” said the president, who also criticized other attacks on local media organizations.
Pétion was married and had three children.
The shooting came amid days of sometimes violent street protests calling for the resignation of Moïse, during which several journalists have been attacked. Some protesters accuse some media outlets of being pro-government.
On Sunday, a photographer with Le Nouvelliste was injured by a rubber bullet, and protesters tried to attack a videographer with Radio Television Nationale D’Haiti. On Monday, reporters with Radio Tele Ginen were targeted with rocks as protesters vandalized their cars.
Haitian media organizations called on people to stop attacking reporters.
“The press is for everyone. To inform everyone. In all kinds of situations,” they said in a statement, adding that everyone is free to follow whatever media they choose.
Reporters Without Borders issued a statement saying Haitian authorities must investigate Pétion’s killing and bring those responsible to justice.
“It is also the government’s job to guarantee the safety of journalists covering the protests,” the organization said. “They have a key role to play in the current turmoil.”
It noted that freelance photographer Vladjimir Legagneur has been missing since March while on assignment.


Tech firms asked to set up centers to fight ‘fake news’ in Southeast Asia

Updated 3 min 49 sec ago

Tech firms asked to set up centers to fight ‘fake news’ in Southeast Asia

  • Other Southeast Asian governments have also recently made efforts to exert more control over online content

BANGKOK: Thailand is proposing that tech companies set up centers in each of the 10 Southeast Asian countries to curb the flow of “fake news” and fake accounts, the country’s telecoms regulator said on Monday.

Such centers would also work as a shortcut for governments to flag misinformation more easily to providers of over-the-top (OTT) service — any digital service done through the internet, including social media — so that they could comply by taking it down faster, said the Thai regulator.

“Thailand has proposed that OTT companies set up a center to verify news,” said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

“We asked if it was possible that the companies authorize each country to oversee such centers and in so doing co-operate directly with them,” Takorn said after a meeting with tech companies earlier on Monday, adding that the companies would have to finance such operations.

The proposal came as telecoms regulators from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were meeting this week in Bangkok with an aim to come up with regional guidelines to regulate OTT platforms, including taxation policies.

The meeting with Takorn on Monday was attended by tech giants including Facebook, messaging app operator Line Corp, Amazon and Netflix, he said.

The proposal would be discussed further during the ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators’ Council (ATRC) this week, he added. Takorn said the “coordination and verification centers” would also support a plan by Thailand’s new digital minister to prioritize anti-fake news efforts and regulate various kinds of content on websites and social media.

Digital Minister Puttipong Punnakanta said in a Facebook post last month that he would set up a “fake news centers” to take down online content from child pornography to insults against the country’s monarchy, in addition to tackling “fake news” and “fake accounts.”

In another Facebook post, Puttipong said he “volunteered to purge content hurtful to Thais. Digital media should be clean.”

Other Southeast Asian governments have also recently made efforts to exert more control over online content and taken a tough stance against misinformation.

Singapore passed an anti-fake news bill in May, forcing online media platforms to correct or remove content the government considers to be false.