Media controls are a complicated business. We are all aware of the overt control exerted over the media in markets where the media is owned or “affiliated” with the government or where access to the Internet is filtered through a firewall. But, in markets across Asia less overt but equally effective techniques are used to keep the media under control or out of the picture. These techniques often take the form of legal or administrative barriers to operations.
Just in the last month, one book has been banned from publication, a book of editorial cartoons, and several print publications have had their publishing license challenged. In a media environment where media business models are already fragile, independent media operators can be crushed by the high costs of defending themselves against these media challenges.