On The Listening Post this week: With different accounts of the violence in Catalonia, we ask if public TV is serving the people or its political masters. Plus: Vietnam's bloggers under siege.

Catalan Referendum: Media, politics and independence

For the second week in a row, we're taking a look at the media coverage in the aftermath of the independence referendum in Catalonia, where hundreds of would-be voters were injured by police trying to stop an electoral process that the Spanish government deemed unconstitutional.

But with the national and regional broadcasters, Spain's TVE and its Catalan version TV3, serving their political masters in Madrid and Barcelona, a private TV channel, La Sexta, has found itself filling the information gap and drawing criticism from all sides in the process.


Alejandro Caballero, president of the Journalists Committee, TVE
Raquel Sans, presenter, TV3
Ferran Monegal, TV critic, El Periodico
Ana Isabel Fernandez Viso, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

On our radar:

  • In India, at least half a dozen journalists say they may be at risk after being subjected to death threats delivered on the messaging platform, WhatsApp.
  • Google and Facebook have come under criticism over their handling of false news in the aftermath of Las Vegas shooting.
  • Prosecutors in Turkey want to use Interpol's "red notice" to extradite a prominent Turkish journalist now living in exile in Germany.

Vietnam's imperilled bloggers

Since unification in 1975, Vietnam has been governed by a communist party that maintains tight control over the airwaves. However, bloggers pose a challenge to state-sanctioned narratives for one of the largest online audiences in Southeast Asia.

Mainstream outlets are often forced to follow up on stories where bloggers have led the way, sometimes on issues usually declared off-limits by government media managers.

The Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi reports on the supine state of Vietnam's mainstream media and the government's attempts to silence the country's bloggers.


Tran Le Thuy, director, Centre for Media Education and Consultancy
Shawn Crispin, senior Southeast Asia representative, Committee to Protect Journalists
Nguyen Van Hai, exiled Vietnamese blogger

Source: Al Jazeera