Open Call for Thai-Myanmar Media Fellowship 2023

Since the military seized power on 1st February 2021 in Myanmar, massive human rights violations have been recorded in all areas of the Southeast Asian country. Dozens of thousands of people fled to other places where they attempted to seek refuge, especially in neighboring Thailand. As they suffered through the loss of their basic rights, journalists also lost their freedom of expression and jobs as most cannot report from the ground anymore. While they have to work in exile to continue their mission of bringing the truth to the world, support from peer colleagues from the host country is also very important in terms of professional opportunities and community resilience. 

About the Fellowship

This hybrid fellowship is aiming to bring together Thai and Myanmar journalists and researchers working in diverse mediums. They will share each other’s experiences, learn from senior media professionals and academics, and collaborate on investigative features. Throughout the program, journalists will develop their research and reporting skills while being guided by the organizing team and guest speakers. 

The long-term goal is to create solid editorial partnerships, relationships of trust, and a strong information-sharing collective across borders. 

The fellowship will focus on issues linked to “Thai – Myanmar Business and Human Rights”, and lead to the production and publication of impactful reporting in regional media, with the hope of leading to policy changes and public awareness. 

About the Program 

Twelve participants are expected to develop ideas and work together in small teams comprising four people from different nationalities and skill sets i.e. writing, researching, photographing, video shooting, graphic design, data visualization, etc. Each team will be supported by a seed grant to complete their collective work in a four-month time frame starting in September. 

All participants are expected to participate throughout all sessions of the fellowship workshop. The fellowship will combine formal lectures and active discussions facilitated by experienced guest speakers. Each session will cover a different sub-topic in order to give solid tools to the investigative teams of participants and make their work more impactful and of interest to the general public. Planned sessions include themes such as geo- and chronolocation tools to collect data with open-source software, tracking traces of financial transactions, and identifying names and profiles in armies or companies. 

During the whole session, participants will get a chance to build up trust and active collaboration with fellow journalists. 

After the program, Thai and Myanmar participants are encouraged to collaborate on stories that will move or change their respective societies. The stories will then be shown in various forms to the public as individual features of collective exhibitions/conferences. The organizers will support them by sharing potential interview partners and offering research and methodology advice.  

The activities will be conducted in English with Thai and/or Burmese live translation according to the participants’ and guest speakers’ needs. 

About the Organizers

Visual Rebellion

Visual Rebellion (visualrebellion.org) was launched on International Human Rights Day on December 1st, 2021 as a platform to showcase and support the edited work of journalists, filmmakers, and artists across post-coup Myanmar.

The Visual Rebellion Team grew in an organic way to what it is today: a collective of talented creatives, working together from within Myanmar or in neighboring countries to keep producing high-value content on the reality of life for people in Myanmar and in exile and keep training the next generation of Southeast Asian reporters on transborder regional issues.

The Spirit in Education Movement 

The Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) (https://semasia.org) was founded in 1995 with the aim of offering alternatives to mainstream education that are rooted in personal and societal transformation. 

SEM provides education in Thailand and the wider Southeast Asia region that is based on ecology, the right to livelihood, engaged spirituality, and local wisdom. 

SEM’s main goal to build a more equitable and sustainable society in Myanmar lies primarily in empowering social actors into becoming agents of change, capable of mobilizing wider movements of people sharing a common vision of a just and fair society. 

Requirements

1. Thai and Myanmar journalists/researchers with at least one year of experience in researching, analyzing data, and reporting.  

2. Commit to join all in-person and online sessions of the program. 

3. Commit to work, follow up, and complete publication with your teammates according to the schedule planned. 

4. Have sufficient English language skills for communication within the team and for reporting (interpretation will be provided during training sessions). 

5. Skills such as photography, video editing, or data visualization are a plus. 

6. Able to travel across Thailand.

Expectations from the Fellows

– Participants are expected to produce one investigative story under the key theme of “Thai-Myanmar Business and Human Rights” per team and publish it by 31 December 2023. 

– Each team may produce stories in any medium, including print, online, radio, broadcast, etc, and in any language. 

– Each team is encouraged to shape and pitch the stories to regional and international media outlets to be shared with wider audiences. 

– Published stories should disclose organizers’ support by including this tagline.
This story was produced with the support of the Thai-Myanmar Media Fellowship 2023 organized by Visual Rebellion Myanmar and the Spirit in Education Movement.

Application Process

Please click and fill in all the questions at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TOBUEVYiIiWCQW8B-X9tQ_JjBQa-QrP1yOtqLsecNC0/edit 

The application call is open until 20 August 2023

The final list of selected participants will be confirmed by 28 August 2023. Please note that applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. 

If you have any questions regarding the fellowship program and processes, please email to thmm.mediafellowship@proton.me