The Media in Post-2016 Myanmar: Changing Roles, Changing Attitudes
About the Seminar
Since the National League for Democracy government took office on 31 March 2016, expectations for a continued widening of space for media to report and serve a monitoring role in the country’s reforms have come across some stumbling blocks. There are changing attitudes towards the role of the media as a participant and a monitoring voice in Myanmar’s democratic transition. The media in Myanmar also faces new challenges to report intelligently – and intelligibly – on different aspects of economic policy, complex administrative issues at both central and state levels, the nuances of civil-military relations, as well as reporting on conflicts and areas affected by these conflicts. Discussions by leading media practitioners in Myanmar, on how the public receives and reacts to reporting and analyses by the media, and developments in Myanmar regarding the media’s role as well as the different biases that may influence reporting, may help to identify the obstacles and opportunities for the media’s space in the run-up to the 2020 elections.
About the Speakers
Mratt Kyaw Thu started his career at Unity Weekly News in 2010. Then from 2012 to 2014, he worked as senior reporter and editor at Mizzima Media Group as political and crime sections editor. Then he also worked at The Myanmar Times and got honorable mention for his reporting on Students Crackdown. Later he joined Frontier Myanmar as it established in 2015. He mainly focuses on conflicts, war and political religious areas. He was awarded AFP’s Kate Webb Prize for 2017 for his reporting of ethnic strife and frontline reporting in Rakhine State and Shan State. He is now working as freelance journalist and mostly writing for international news agencies and local newspapers.
Kyaw Min Swe has being working as a journalist over 20 years long. He started as a reporter as well as a photographer at Living Color Magazine, chief editor of three publications, Living Color Magazine, The Voice Weekly and The Voice Daily. He voluntarily worked as Secretary of Myanmar Interim Press Council from 2012 September to 2015. He taught Journalism in Myanmar Egress Capacity Development Center from 2006 to 2013.
He also shared the role of media and it’s a duty in the process of democratization and peacebuilding in several forums, workshops inside and outside of the country. He was elected as councilor of Myanmar Press Council in 2018. He is now working as Chief Editor of The Voice Weekly Journal and Executive Director of Myanmar Journalism Institute. He regularly writes op-ed articles, editorials in The Voice Weekly Journal and The Voice Daily newspaper.
He is a Journalism Fellow of WPI- World Press Institute based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S of 2012 and 2012 Fellow of ICFJ- International Center for Journalists based in Washington DC. He graduated as the Bachelor Degree of Arts in Myanmar language from the University of the Distance Education, Yangon in 1997 and got a Diploma degree of Development Study from the University of Economics, Yangon in 2004.
He was put in the blacklist of Ministry of Information due to he received an interview with an exile media, RFA- Radio Free Asia in 2004. He was sued by Ministry of Mining with defamation law in 2012. He was detained over two months in the notorious Insein prison after the military sued him by 66 (D) of Telecommunication Law in 2017.
Nwet Kay Khine who hold M.A in Erasmus Mundus Masters: Journalism, Media and Globalisation started her career as a journalist early 2005 and became international affairs editor in Living Color Media based in Yangon. Her pen name is known as a contributor of several publications where she discusses theories and practices of development Myanmar and other countries in comparison. In 2012, she expanded her work in development areas as local representative of Heinrich Boell Foundation which mainly focuses on the environmental advocacy and democratic change in Myanmar. Recently, she was Head of Arts in the British Council Myanmar. She is also a board member of Airavati Foundation which is founded by Ramon Magsaysay award winner of 2013, Lahpai Seng Raw and Pynna Institute. In 2019, she completed her doctoral study in Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University.
Nyein Ei Ei Htwe is one of the editors from the Myanmar Times daily newspaper and weekly journal both in Myanmar and English editions. She joined the Myanmar Times since late 2008 in order to attend the translation course for news and features. Then, she was offered as reporter for the journals together with the training of basic journalism course by American Embassy.
She focused to cover the real stories of people lives with the angle of Human Rights, Women, Child, Disabled and also LGBT Rights and chose as lifestyle section reporter but differently, not covering about gossips or celebrities popping news. On the other hand, she covered the Sport news especially traditional boxing competitions. She continued her journalist carrier as senior reporter, sub-feature editor, deputy editor-lifestyle and got chance to share the new reporters for the Myanmar Times how to write features course by UNESCO in 2014. Then, she hosted some basic news reporting courses in ethnic areas. She worked as Media Coordinator for the Myanmar Times, too in 2016 for transforming digital media platform. She worked as part-time media coordinator, news analyst, consultant for some international media organizations, too. She produced several in-depth news features about women, migrants, child labors, LGBTs and so on and joined some international journalism workshops and explores the journalism until now.
Ye Htut is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He was Myanmar’s Minister for Information (2014-2016), and spokesperson for the Myanmar President (2013-2016). A graduate of the Defense Services Academy, he retired as lieutenant colonel in the Myanmar Armed Forces in 2005 and took up the post of Deputy Director-General in the Ministry of Information. He served in the Ministry as Director-General (2009), then Deputy Minister (2012) before his appointment as the President’s spokesperson and Union Minister. His research at ISEAS focuses on lessons from the reform process initiated by the Union Solidarity and Development Party administration’s term during 2011-2016.