03/26/2024, 17.11
Send to a friend

Journalists from ASEAN countries create a network to expose corruption

by Steve Suwannarat

Launched a few days ago in Manila, Journalists Against Corruption brings together professionals from major Southeast Asian media. With the exception of Singapore, the region is regularly at the bottom of world rankings.

Manila (AsiaNews) – A group of journalists committed to investigating and reporting corruption from several countries in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Timor Leste[*] met in Manila on 20 March where they set up the Journalists Against Corruption (JAC) network.

The group includes some 35 professionals from major Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, East Timorese, and Philippine media. Their goal is to work together to expose graft but also to upscale national and regional investigative cooperation and training.

The Swedish government, the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) contributed to the initiative.

UNODC is responsible for implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the only universally recognised legally binding tool against corruption.

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) was also actively involved in the project.

Daniele Marchesi, head of the UNODC office in the Philippines, outlined the reasons for the newly created network.

“Investigative journalists shine a light on hidden corruption, holding those in power accountable and bringing injustices to the forefront of the public discourse,” Marchesi said.

"In regions like Southeast Asia, your stories can bring about change, influence policies, and inspire collective action against corruption,” he told journalists at the launch.

The Swedish Embassy in the Philippines stressed that an independent and free media are essential traits of the JAC network.

With the exception of Singapore, ASEAN member countries are ranked relatively low on the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index of government anti-corruption efforts.

The World Bank's specific indicator recently pointed out that, among ASEAN members, only Singapore fares well in terms of control of corruption, while Laos is at the bottom.

Transparency International's Corruption in ASEAN report of 2020 singles out two factors that explain this situation, namely the persistence of authoritarian tendencies in individuals and groups who see corruption a tool of control and the growing presence of powerful groups who use their influence to secure favourable policies, by influencing lawmaking and voting.

[*] Timor Leste has not yet been admitted to the regional organisation.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
National Commission for Women asks for 'immediate action' in the nun rape case in Kerala
07/02/2019 17:28
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
Moscow veto on extending UN investigations on chemical weapons in Syria
25/10/2017 09:20
Protest against press censorship
Asia holds record for highest number of journalists imprisoned in 2022
14/12/2022 11:58


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”