Many netizens worldwide have long realised that the Internet is not completely without fetters, but those in Thailand say a three-year-old law is now practically choking Thai self-expression and right to information in cyberspace.
Thailand's media are not very happy these days, and it's not only because of an emergency decree that turns three months old next week.
Resentment here toward the foreign media had been simmering in the wake of the Thai government's crackdown against protesters in May, but it nearly came to a boil when Thai panelists aired their frustrations recently about what they called western bias, misunderstandings of the Thai political culture and reporting that tried to fit events into a bad-versus-evil contest.
After months of turmoil, silence – albeit an uneasy one – has finally fallen over the streets of Bangkok. But the shouting continues in cyberspace as Thais and even foreign residents bicker and debate over what this South-east Asian country has just experienced, as well as about the challenges it continues to face.
As big a story as this week's crackdown on anti-government protests in Thailand is the significant number of journalists killed or hurt, and media professionals and organisations threatened during the country's most serious political conflict in years.
Two months into Thailand's anti-government protests and as an army-led blockade is underway to end them, the media are struggling with challenges to their credibility and perceptions of bias in the South-east Asian country's gravest political stalemate in years.
Newspapers threatened with lawsuits across borders. Journalists feeling lost as they seek redress in cases where the state is less than impartial in investigating the killings of journalists. Media caught in attempts to use religion to curtail room for public debate.
Despite issues of discrimination and violence hounding ethnic minorities, they continue to lack ‘voice' in the mainstream press and suffer prejudices from journalists themselves.
The English language, as a medium for reporting in the region, is both a boon and a bane for many countries in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of getting ‘heard' or generally being ignored by the global community.
Many parents are scratching their heads as they watch youngsters in the Asia- Pacific region create often-private online worlds, feeling lost over how to be a part of it and oversee their Internet lives.
For press freedom advocates, it was bad enough, though not totally surprising, to hear that the government had shut down the opposition media amid the state of emergency in the Thai capital. But alarming to them is the gagging even of independent news sites.
Second-class legislators. A different political species in the Philippines' rough- and-tumble - and very personalistic - brand of electoral politics.
Often described as too square and boring, Philippine presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III reaches out to the music-television generation as a smiling, hip-hop rapper in his television advertisement.
Anyone who is still trying to look for neutrality or balance in the Thai media in these days of political ferment, ahead of large anti-government protests expected in the capital, has a pretty tough job.
Not even religious advocates and leaders and can say no to the power of online media, whose call they are heeding in order to spread various messages of spirituality.
Festive days are here again in the Philippine political scene as 10 presidential candidates – ranging from the son of a former president to an environmentalist, a Christian minister and a former actor – battle it out for the voters' ‘yes' come May 10.
The changing ‘face' of the media landscape in the Mekong region is eliciting both excitement and fear from observers and professionals alike.
Elections are always a period of intense coverage by the Thai media. The sheer surfeit of stories on candidates of every political stripe and selected issues is guaranteed to raise media visibility a notch or two higher.
How countries can develop and provide key services to their citizens while acting responsibly in limiting emissions is a balancing act for many Asian countries, including those in the Mekong region.
As the countdown to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit draws to a close, gender and climate change advocates are doubling their efforts to make sure that 23 gender-related paragraphs in the negotiating text will make it to the new treaty that will be hammered out in December.
They may be in their twilight years but Asia's senior citizens are not ready to be left behind — and forgotten — by the wide, wired world.