Burma faces a humanitarian crisis amid an information blackout. Since the military junta’s takeover, local media has endured a relentless crackdown despite a desperate need for reliable news. Join us for a virtual conversation on journalism’s role and Burma’s uncertain future as part of Radio Free Asia’s 25th-anniversary event series.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Burma Derek Mitchell, President of the National Democratic Institute, will moderate an expert panel to tackle these questions with Aye Chan Naing, Democratic Voice of Burma’s Executive Director, Aye Aye Mon, RFA Burmese Service editor and former Naypyitaw Bureau Chief, and Karin Deutsch Karlekar, Director of PEN America’s Free Expression At Risk Programs.
The event will also feature RFA President Bay Fang’s interview with exiled pioneering Burmese journalist Nathan Maung, who co-founded Kamayut Media, RFA’s first local media partner in Burma. After being arrested by the junta, Maung — a U.S. citizen — was jailed for several months before being deported to the United States this year.
When RFA opened its Yangon office in 2012, it was the first foreign outlet to establish an in-country bureau just as press freedom restrictions were loosening Burma — a precursor to democratic hopes and reform that were upended this year.