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Supporting Freedom of Expression in Myanmar

Supporting Freedom of Expression in Myanmar

Supporting Freedom of Expression in Myanmar

20 Top, Young Journalists to Partake in the "Burma Telling Its Own Story" Cultural Exchange & Journalism Fellowship

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty talented young American and Burmese journalists from the fields of print, photo, audio, and video have been selected to participate in a two-week cultural exchange and journalism fellowship in Myanmar through a not-for-profit partnership between the Open Hands Initiative, The GroundTruth Project, and GlobalPost.

"On this day, World Press Freedom Day, we are honored to be inviting a team of incredibly talented young people to play a part in the advancement of press freedom in Myanmar," said Open Hands Initiative Founder and Chairman Jay T. Snyder. He added, "This is an historic period in time for Burma.  We hope that with this fellowship we will not only help provide critical training to these young professionals, but also help support and encourage the bourgeoning of increased freedom of expression in the country." 

The partners would like to enthusiastically congratulate the outstanding finalists for the "Burma Telling Its Own Story" fellowship, chosen from a competitive pool of more than 400 applicants.  Below are the finalists:

  • Aye Thiri Sein, News Editor at True News Weekly covering social issues and business.
  • Ben Schreckinger, National Journal Fellow at Atlantic media Company 
  • Bruce Wallace, freelance radio broadcaster for PRI's The World, NPR's All Things Considered
  • Diana Markosian, award winning photojournalist and contributor for The NY Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal and CNN
  • Ei Ei Toe Lwin, reporter for Myanmar Times covering the environment, politics, and ethnic conflict
  • Htoo Tay Zar, voted one of the "Top Photographers Under 25" by the Boston Globe
  • Julie Turkewitz, freelance multimedia journalist recognized by UWIRE as one of the top 100 college journalists in the U.S.
  • Kaung Htet, head of the photography at Myanmar Times and a freelancer for The Times, The Guardian and Reuters.
  • Kaye Lin, a Burmese-American videographer and radio broadcaster for Voice of America and a reporter for Asian Fortune.
  • Mary X. Dennis, Burmese-American multimedia journalist who has contributed to Condition One, The Beijinger Magazine, and Reader's Digest Asia
  • Nan Tin Htwe, Edward R. Murrow Journalism Fellow and freelance reporter covering breaking news, politics, and conflict
  • Natalie Keyssar, multi-award winning photojournalist currently freelancing for The Wall Street Journal
  • Neena Pathak, Associate Editor at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University
  • Pailin Wedel, Lead Interactive Producer for the Asia Region at Associated Press
  • Sarah Fitzpatrick, Associate Producer at CBS News's Investigative Unit
  • Soe Soe Htoon, Producer for Myanmar National Television
  • Soe Than Win, photographer for Agence France Presse
  • Swe Win, a freelance reporter covering stories about Myanmar for the International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera. 
  • Tin Aung Kyaw, reporter for the Burmese Service of BBC World
  • Van P. King, freelancer with experience reporting from Ethiopia and Japan

The reporting fellowship will be led by a team of some of Asia's leading foreign correspondents: Charles Sennott, Executive Editor of GlobalPost and Director of The GroundTruth Project; Gary Knight, Founder of VII Photo Agency and Director of The Program for Narrative & Documentary Practice at Tufts University; Philip Blenskinsop, award winning photojournalist in Southeast Asia; Marc Laban, Founder of Asia Works, Michael Sullivan, Correspondent for NPR Southeast Asia; and Denis Gray, longtime bureau chief for Associated Press.

Together, these team leaders will teach the young reporters technical skills and explore the country's most important issues through one week of field reporting. Each team of fellows will journey throughout Myanmar covering the dramatic changes taking place in the country as well as undertaking "people-to-people diplomacy."

The program will also include guest lectures by AP's Bureau Chief in Burma Aye Aye Win, Burma expert and author Bertil Lintner, historian and author Thant Myint-U, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  

The reporting fellows' work will be featured as a GlobalPost Special Report and will be made available to GlobalPost editorial partners, including, CBS News and more than 75 newspapers around the world.

Canon is supporting the "Burma Telling Its Own Story" fellowship by generously providing camera and video equipment for the training that will give the fellows access to the most advanced digital imaging technology.  

The Open Hands Initiative is in its fourth year sponsoring international people-to-people exchanges with the mission of increasing respect and understanding between the people of the United States and the world. For more information about the "Burma Telling Its Own Story" fellowship, the participants, and the mission of Open Hands Initiative and its partners, please visit

SOURCE Open Hands Initiative

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