lørdag 5. mars 2022

Ukraine conflict highlights gaps in media freedoms, allegiances across Asia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is being portrayed in varying ways by news outlets serving nearly two billion readers in East and Southeast Asia. Chinese media are offering Moscow-friendly coverage and censoring the rest, while some of its more democratic neighbors are delivering balanced and occasionally pro-Ukraine reporting.

Over the past week, RFA and affiliated BenarNews surveyed news media coverage of the crisis in the countries we cover that run the gamut from Marxist-Leninist governments in China, Vietnam, North Korea and Laos, to more liberal countries in Southeast Asia, where audiences often sample news media that would be familiar to people in the West. Those countries are carrying international wire reports and hosting lively debate. They also focus on the plight of their expatriates living and working in Ukraine.

Predictably, the region’s more authoritarian nations have much more controlled messaging, reflecting historic ties between Moscow and its Communist friends in Asia - apparent at this week’s UN General Assembly 141-5 vote in favor of condemning the invasion of Ukraine, where China, Laos and Vietnam all abstained. North Korea, which has the most closed media of any nation in the world, voted against the U.N. measure and has been mostly silent on Ukraine.