The Bangkok Post managed to avoid Prime Minister Thaksin’s wrath “at a time when less august watchdogs within the Thai press were being systematically silenced,” says Philip J. Cunningham, who writes for the South China Morning Post and other publications in Asia. But in February the Post’s editor, Veera Pratheepchaikul, lost his job when government officials applied pressure on the paper’s management because of stories deemed too critical of Thaksin. As Veera tells Cunningham, “What is happening now is worse than under the military regimes because now Thailand is democratic, and this isn’t supposed to happen.”

In China, the role the Internet plays in dissemination of news and opinion is large and controversial. Two individuals who closely follow the interplay between government attempts to limit the Internet’s reach within China and its evolving growth as a key communication tool write about these issues. Xiao Qiang, director of the Berkeley China Internet Project at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, describes how “the transformative effect of the Internet has already set China on an irreversible course toward greater openness and public participation in its social and political life,” and Jonathan Zittrain, cofounder of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, urges Western news organizations to use technology to work “to circumvent Internet filtering from its side, instead of requiring that those trying to get to news figure out ways to reach blocked sites on their own.”

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