Mar 112014

YANGON (March 10, 2014) – How will the regional media landscape be impacted by the planned American drawdown of troops in Afghanistan later this year? That was the question pondered by an international panel of journalists at the East-West Center’sInternatinal Media Conference in Yangon, Myanmar.

Moderated by Washington Post foreign policy blogger Maxwell Fisher, the panel looked at how the media in Afghanistan, India, Iraq and Pakistan has covered the war, and what local media are focusing on as the U.S. prepares to withdraw most of its troops from Afghanistan more than a dozen years after invading the country in the wake of 9/11.

Afghan journalist Najiba AyubiNajiba Ayubi, director of The Killid Group, a media company based in Kabul, said she believes the narrative coming out of Afghanistan is inaccurate. “It’s a pity that not only the Afghan public, but also the world public must consume dramatic news and statements saying the U.S. will leave and there will be a new Civil War and al-Qaida will become strong again,” she said. “I do not think the U.S. Army will draw down from Afghanistan in a way that will affect U.S. interests in the region. This is the subtext. Of course, the U.S. would prefer to be kindly invited to stay and to use the military bases.”

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Mar 112014

YANGON (March 11, 2014) – At a session today of the East-West Center International Media Conference, a group of foreign correspondents discussed the challenges they and their colleagues face as they try to do their jobs.

Jim Brooke, the incoming editor of Cambodia Daily, noted recent struggles involving the intentional targeting of journalists. “The Ukrainian riot police were apparently aiming at photographers,” he said. “You had 167 journalists injured. There was a consensus that photographers were being targeted.” He advised attendees working in such conflict zones or areas that may be dangerous to “do [your work] quick. Do it clean. Do it fast … if you go in and out, you can report a story without getting caught.” Continue reading »

Mar 112014

YANGON (March 11, 2014) – Journalists working in countries experiencing a transition to democracy spoke to attendees at the East-West Center’s Media Conference today on challenges they face in doing their work.

A common theme brought up by the journalists was a lack of institutional support. Moayyed Ali Jafri, a correspondent with Pakistan’s The News International Daily, said that security for journalists has been a major issue, with the police and intelligence services sometimes being complicit in violence against reporters. “Once you report, you’re kind of on your own,” he said. Continue reading »

Mar 112014

YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are fast becoming standard tools in newsrooms. But social media merely provides scraps of information; journalism puts it into context. A panel of digital journalists discuss  “How to Discover, Validate and Distill the Best of Social Media for Reporting“: the tools they use to sift through the noise on social media; how to discover and verify fake, non-factual content; contextualize hate speech and potentially defamatory material; and build the right team workflow processes to ensure fair and balanced reporting.

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Mar 102014

YANGON (March 11, 2014) A panel of journalists and experts on the Korean Peninsula discussed the challenges of reporting in this area at the East-West Center International Media conference in Yangon, Myanmar. (Watch video of the panel)

Journalists said that reporting news on North Korea, the most isolated country in the world, is difficult, and that they heavily rely on outside sources for their reports. Steven Boroweic, a journalist based in Seoul, said his sources include North Korean refugees, experts and activists. Information from such groups cannot always be verified, he acknowledged, while some activists have their own agendas. Continue reading »

Mar 102014

The downsizing of overseas news bureaus and a dwindling number of staffed correspondent positions give freelancers new opportunities to cover stories in far-flung locations. But many independents lack structural support and safety nets while in the field, and communication with the newsroom is often frustrating. A panel of experienced freelancers address these dilemmas with the intention of bolstering cooperation between media professionals.

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Mar 102014

Casey Morell, part of the Missouri School of Journalism coverage team for the 2014 East-West Center International Media Conference in Yangon, files a radio report on the conference for the BBC World Service.

Feb 132014

Admission to special pre-conference luncheon
will be included with full conference registration

ASSK-300Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will address “Challenges of a Free Press in Emerging and Established Democracies” on Sunday, March 9 at a special pre-conference luncheon in connection with the upcoming East-West Center International Media Conference in Yangon.

Suu Kyi, who was elected to parliament after being released from years of political house arrest in 2010 amid Myanmar’s dramatic social and political opening, will also announce the launch of her new Suu Foundation, dedicated to education and healthcare in Myanmar.

Admission to the private luncheon will be included with full registration for the conference, and registered participants will receive information on how to RSVP for the luncheon, scheduled for 11 am on March 9.

There’s still time to register and make travel plans for the conference, which runs from March 10 to 12. The conference theme is “Challenges of a Free Press” in Asia, the Pacific and the U.S. Continue reading »

Jan 312014

Special rates for Myanmar residents and competitive scholarships for Myanmar journalists now available for March 10-12 event that is expected to draw hundreds of journalists from 25 nations

With the East-West Center’s International Media Conference in Yangon, Myanmar, now just 6 weeks away, the roster of exciting speakers continues to grow. More than 300 journalists from 25 to 30 countries are expected to attend the conference titled “Challenges of a Free Press.”

Featured speakers now include: (see full list)

  • Umar Cheema, correspondent at The News International in Islamabad and winner of the 2011 Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award
  • Jake Lynch, director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney and co-author of  “Peace Journalism (Conflict & Peacebuilding)”
  • Scott Pham, digital editor for NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit who started one of the first drone journalism programs in the US
  • Surin Pitsuwan, past ASEAN secretary-general
  • Thant Myint-U, renowned Myanmar author
  • U Win Tin, a founder of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and journalist who spent 18 years in prison
  • Jillian York, director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Check out the complete list of confirmed speakers and the current list of keynote topics, and please continue to send your proposals for conference sessions. The next announcement will include the growing list of workshops and participant panels.

We strongly recommend that you make plans to arrive by Sunday morning March 9, to join pre-conference events including a VIP luncheon speaker that we hope to announce soon, as well as the evening opening reception at  Karaweik Palace floating in Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake.

There’s still time to register and make travel plans for the conference! Continue reading »

Dec 202013

Excitement Builds for Myanmar Media Conference

With Myanmar’s dramatic media reforms in the past two years, our upcoming international media conference in Yangon has been drawing a lot of enthusiasm and anticipation.

Dates: March 10-12, 2014
Location: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), No.29, Min Ye Kyawswa Road, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon

Myanmar news readerWe are excited about the keynote speakers who have already confirmed and the topics they will address. We are also developing a diverse and interesting list of afternoon speakers, panels and media workshops that we will share with you soon. Please continue to send your proposals. See other important updates below.

With hundreds of media professionals attending from many countries, the networking opportunities will be tremendous. Additionally, 30 journalists representing all of Myanmar’s ethnic media will attend along with members of the country’s mainstream media.

We encourage you to register soon and look forward to seeing you in Yangon!

Latest Conference Updates:

  • We’re pleased to welcome Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung as our conference co-host. Our other distinguished sponsors include Pacific Century Institute, TODAY Ogilvy & Mather, Mangosteen Public Relations, RedLink Communications, Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong, Dart Centre Asia Pacific, and The Wall Street Journal. See sponsor page.
  • Check out our growing list of keynote speakers and topics.
  • Four unique afternoon field trips will be available for conference participants in Yangon and the surrounding countryside after the closing lunch on March 12 .
  • Arrive by Sunday morning to join pre-conference events including an opening reception on Sunday night, March 9, at the beautiful Karaweik Palace floating in Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake with Shwedagon Pagoda lit in the distance.
  • Special rates for Myanmar residents and scholarship opportunities for local journalists will be announced soon.
  • Please see important updates on hotels and visas.
  • Click the “continue reading” link below for more details, or use the main menu above for updated information.

Don’t wait to secure a hotel room, apply for a visa, or sign up for limited field trip seats. Register now!

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