A special investigation into image-based abuse in Asia has been released by a network of leading journalists supported by JNI’s Asian Stories initiative.
Asia has been a global technological leader for years. But its success has had dark consequences.
A growing number of image-based abuse cases — where intimate images or videos are shared online without a person’s consent — have created a lucrative industry.
In some cases, criminals use private information to blackmail women and children into performing sexually explicit acts on camera.
Thousands of victims, including children, have been exploited and traumatised. But the practice has proved difficult to police, especially across borders.
JNI brought together some of the region’s leading journalists to collaborate on a special investigation into the issue, as part of its Asian Stories initiative.
Over the coming weeks the investigation will publish a number more feature articles, podcasts, and a documentary that exposes the legal loopholes exploited by industry.
Journalists from five organisations in four countries are working together for the series:
- South China Morning Post in Hong Kong
- Korea Times
- Tempo in Indonesia
- Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
- ABS-CBN in the Philippines
Raquel Carvalho, the South China Morning Post‘s Asia Correspondent, said the first published stories were the result of six months’ work.
“This investigation took us to about 10 different countries, where we conducted interviews with survivors of image-based abuse,” she said.
“It will hopefully shine a light on the extent of image-based abuse and the different forms that may take, while also showing how important it is to address this increasingly prevalent issue and the plight of survivors.”
The Institute is funding more cross-border reporting collaborations as part of its Asian Stories project.
The collaborations aim to increase the quality and quantity of reporting on regional issues, as well as developing a network of quality, independent journalists throughout Asia.
Asia is home to half the world’s population. Its economy is bigger than the rest of the world’s combined. It is a growing source of technological innovation and its cultural influence is expanding.
Asia is once again at the centre of the world. The world’s story is now an Asian story. But to tell that story the world needs great journalism — great journalism from Asia and great journalism about Asia.
Media coverage of the region does not always keep pace with its importance. Journalism in Asia is often focuses on domestic issues and collaborations by Asian media on regional issues are still relatively rare.
Asian Stories is JNI’s multi-year, multi-dimensional effort to help Asian and international journalists tell the region’s most important stories in intelligent and compelling ways.
It aims to encourage rich engagement between media in the region and counterparts outside it.