Media and the 2020 Elections in Myanmar


About the Webinar

The National League for Democracy’s term in office over 2016 to 2020 has presented the media in Myanmar with several topics for comment and analysis. Some of these topics, such as the implications of various economic reform measures and the Rohingya issue, captured widespread attention domestically and internationally. News articles and reports on administrative issues at both central and state levels, civil-military relations over constitutional reform and the ongoing engagements between ethnic armed groups and the Tatmadaw also continued to provide topical context for dedicated Myanmar watchers. Reporting on the government’s performance has taken on a new significance in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the country’s socio-economic health and the upcoming general elections on November 8.

This webinar will hear insider views on how mainstream and new media in Myanmar report on issues that are deemed important in the country’s transition. Panellists at this webinar will also address the question of whether or how media reporting in an election year informs and influences voters’ views and attitudes, especially those of young (and first-time) voters.

The webinar is a continuation of the ISEAS Myanmar Studies Programme’s discussions on media and its role in Myanmar. Previous discussions in 2018 and 2019 looked at the media in Myanmar’s post-2016 landscape, and the changing role of and attitudes towards the media in Myanmar. These discussions were convened with support from the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation.

About the Speakers

Ms Thinzar Shunlei Yi is a youth advocate and activist based in Yangon. Thinzar received the US State Department’s “Emerging Young Leaders Award” in 2016, and the “Women of the Future South East Asia” award in 2019, and is an inaugural selectied #ObamaLeader for Asia Pacific. She co-founded the “Under 30 Dialogue” TV show with Mizzima TV, and serves as the show’s weekly host, discussing political issues with prominent youth leaders. Thinzar is currently an advocacy lead at Asian Youth Peace Network (AYPN), and works with Action Committee for Democracy Development (ACDD) as an Advocacy Coordinator.

Mr Sein Win is Chief Editor at Mizzima Media. Concurrently, he heads the Myanmar Center for Investigative Journalism. Sein Win had previously been Managing Editor at Mizzima News from 2001 to 2013, before taking up mentorship and training of young journalists in Myanmar as Training Director for the Myanmar Journalism Institute. He is also a former Journalism Advisor for Internews Myanmar.

Mr Swe Win is Editor-in-Chief of the Yangon-based investigative news outlet Myanmar Now. He received the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, in recognition of his “undaunted commitment to practice independent, ethical, and socially engaged journalism in Myanmar.” A prisoner of conscience from 1998 to 2005, he has worked as a senior reporter for the Irrawaddy Magazine. In 2017, Swe Win was sued for defamation and briefly jailed after he criticized the ultranationalist Buddhist Monk Ashin Wirathu for fomenting hate. The case was dropped in July 2019.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Set up a Zoom account, using the following link:
3. Click on the unique link in your email.

For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Oct 06 2020


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm