Kan Thar, 2018 winner
RFA Burmese reporter Kan Thar Kan Thar covers Shan State, a remote, rugged and dangerous area that makes up approximately one-quarter of Myanmar. He does this by himself on his motorcycle travelling from mountain village to mountain village.
Kan Thar is a self-taught journalist who has an instinctual understanding of how to tell the stories of his fellow Burmese. He began his career about five years ago as a photographer for journalists who had come to Shan State to report on religious violence. He then taught himself how to write news by carefully scrutinizing news articles in the papers. In 2013 he became a freelance reporter until he joined RFA Burmese 2 ½ years ago. Since then Kan Thar has covered ethnic wars, drug abuse and trafficking, the murder of villagers by the Burmese military, and the lives of IDPs (Internally Displaced People).
He produced one of his most insightful reports in October of 2017 when he delved into the pathetic world of drug abuse and trafficking in Shan State near the infamous Golden Triangle.