SEAPA pilots regional exchange program

SEAPA recently piloted its regional Journalist Exchange Program, with the internship of two Burmese journalists to two renowned Indonesian media organizations for two weeks in April.

The two journalists from Mandalay and Yangon joined the Jakarta-based Viva news portal and The Jakarta Post, for 2 weeks in April to learn, observe and practice the professional reporting style in Indonesia.

The program was conceived as a way to develop regionalized journalism beginning with encouraging Burmese reporters to learn about how media in countries with greater press freedom, in the context of the relaxation of media restrictions in the country.

During their stay in the host organizations, participants learnt about Indonesian socio-political issues in the real-time context of journalism, and met and interacted with different stakeholders in the Indonesian media.

It is also an opportunity to write about their country situations for an audience living in a different political context.

They discussed and received guidance from the editors of the host organizations provided local perspectives common issues faced by both Burma and Indonesia such as conflicts, and religion and ethnicity .

The program provides an opportunity for the region journalists to step outside the boxes of day-to-day reporting in their respective countries, in order to stir up new creative and professional approaches.

Also, the program aims to develop and strengthen partnerships between newsrooms across the Southeast Asian region by allowing participating journalists and media to directly interact.

Read their stories

By Kyaw Ye Lynn:

Can Myanmar overcome painful transition like Indonesia?

[Burma] Media freedom still fragile

Participants profiles

1 Aye Thandar HtunMs. Aye Thandar Htun, 30, is a senior reporter of The Voice weekly news journal’s Mandalay, branch-office. Writing under the by-line “Mel Tint”, she covers national socio-political news, divisional parliament and regional governments, as well as regional issues.

She joined The Voice weekly in 2011 and at present, she also takes responsibility to develop story ideas and to edit the stories of six colleagues in the branch office. The Voice is one of the highest circulation news journals in the country, currently publishing both daily and weekly editions. She earned a bachelor degree in Law, and diploma in International Relations in 2008. In 2009, she started reporting with Shwe Mandalay Journal.

For this program, Aye Thandar joined the Jakarta-based Viva online news from 1-16 April.

kyawyelynnMr. Kyaw Ye Lynn, 31, is a Yangon-based desk editor of Popular Myanmar News. In 2011, he started his journalist career with the Myanmar Times, through its three-month internship program. Later that year, he participated in a three-month journalism training conducted by Asian Fame Media Group, which owns Popular Myanmar News journal.

Lynn covers wide range of socio-political issues ranging from health, the economy, to local and regional election news. In February 2014, he visited Thailand to observe the election amidst its political turmoil.

Lynn, whose hometown is Pa-thein township, the capital of Ayeyarwaddy Region, received a bachelor degree of Mathematics in 2005 from the University of Distance Education in Pathein.