International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) President Chris Warren said yesterday the federation will continue to give full support to Taiwanese journalists in their efforts to exercise their rights to cover international events.
Warren made the remarks at the end of a four-day international seminar in Taipei in which 40 delegates from 20 Asian countries exchanged views on the theme of "Media and Democracy: The Challenges in Asia."
While Warren and his Asian colleagues were in town, they heard President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) complain that Taiwanese reporters had been blocked from covering the World Health Assembly in Geneva for the second year in a row last May.
Over the past four days, they also discussed how to boost women journalists' rights, and the current democratic and journalistic challenges occurring in Nepal.
Lu Tung-hsi (呂東熹), president of the Taiwan Journalists Association, said the forum has helped Taiwanese media workers to understand the latest developments in many Asian countries and also given them a chance to form a network with their Asian colleagues.
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A Philippine delegate reported that six Philippine reporters have been killed this year, a dire warning of the physical dangers confronting his colleagues at home.
He also pointed to a moral dilemma for Philippine media workers who have to struggle for survival in an environment where they themselves are hit with poverty.
Thailand is facing a different challenge, according to Supinya Klangnarong, who reported that she was being sued by Shin Corp, a telecom company owned by the relatives of the Thai premier, for an article she wrote for the Thai Post. She said that if she loses the lawsuit, she could be jailed for two years and fined US$10 million.
Her case became a focus of the four-day seminar as well as Taiwan media.
Warren met with her in private after the seminar to see how the IFJ offer support here in her legal battle.