Following the recent political reforms and opening of public discourse, there has been an explosion of new media in Myanmar, but too few trained journalists and insufficient media infrastructure to facilitate quality coverage of the country’s most pressing issues.
To address Myanmar’s social issues, Internews is supporting strategic use of ICT by civil society organizations and the media and working to increase their collaboration with the tech community. Special events such as hackathons encourage the tech community to seek solutions to social problems and work with media to get information to local communities in innovative ways.
Internews has also established the Myanmar News Lab so that the independent media sector in Myanmar can play a crucial role in both the continuing transition to a fully democratic state and in the success of the on-going peace talks. The News Lab will act as both a newsroom and training center where an emerging cadre of professional reporters can improve their skills and also produce a dramatically increased flow of timely content on the peace-making and peace-building processes. The Lab is funded by the European Commission and EuropeAid.
For ten years, Internews brought journalists from all of Myanmar’s ethnic minority states to its Journalism School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and many alumni have gone on to become ethnic media leaders in the years since. Today, Internews offers peer-to-peer exchange programs to promote knowledge sharing between journalists of all ethnicities.