Jefferson Fellowships Journalists' Exchange Visiting Myanmar for the First Time


YANGON, MYANMAR (June 25, 2013) -- Sixteen distinguished journalists from 10 Asia Pacific nations, including the U.S., are currently visiting Myanmar on a study tour, as the East-West Center brings its internationally recognized Jefferson Fellowships journalists’ exchange program to the country for the first time in the program’s 46-year history.

During their five-day visit, the group – which includes two Myanmar journalists – will be meeting in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw with officials, business and community leaders, scholars, fellow journalists, and others to learn about the dramatic reform that has been taking place in the country, and to discuss this year’s program theme, “New Leadership in Asia Pacific: Solving Old Problems, Managing New Realities.” In addition, the Jefferson Fellows will have the unique opportunity to engage with Yangon's emerging media sector and provide professional training and regional perspectives to local journalists.

“It’s a powerful indicator of the change that has been occurring in Myanmar that the East-West Center is for the first time able to take international journalists there as part of our media exchange programs,” said EWC Media Programs Manager Susan Kreifels. “We are very excited about this opportunity to facilitate mutually beneficial exchanges between Burmese and international journalists.”

2013 Jefferson Fellows with EWC staff.About the Jefferson Fellows

The Jefferson Fellowships offer U.S. and Asia Pacific journalists an opportunity to broaden their understanding of Asia Pacific issues and build a professional network through a 3-week program of dialogue and travel organized around a special theme. The program is supported by a generous grant from The Freeman Foundation.

The Spring 2013 Jefferson Fellowships program is focusing on "New Leadership in the Asia Pacific: Resolving Old Problems, Managing New Realities," with travel to Honolulu, Tokyo, Beijing and the first-ever visit to Myanmar in the 46-year history of the program.

The participants are:

  • Ms. Lillian Greenfield Cunningham, The Washington Post, Washington, DC, United States
  • Mr. Anak Agung Gde Bagus Wahyu Dhyatmika, Tempo, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Ms. Rosemarie Francisco, Thomson Reuters, Philippines
  • Ms. Del Irani, Australian Broadcasting Corporation News, Australia
  • Ms. Beenish Javed, ARY News, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Ms. Talia Kayali, CNN, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • Mr. Zayar Hlaing, Myanmar Observer Media Group, Yangon, Myanmar
  • Mr. Nyien Thaw Htoo, Today Publishing House, Ltd., Yangon, Myanmar
  • Mr. Roger McShane, The Economist, Washington, DC, United States
  • Mrs. Emily Tomoko Perschbacher, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Mr. Abdul Qahar, Daily Aeen, Daily Times and Friday Times, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Mr. Xuan Qin, Southern Weekly, Beijing, China
  • Mr. Aaron Schachter, Public Radio International’s The World, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Mr. Atul Sethi, The Times of India, New Delhi, India
  • Ms. Andrea Helen Vance, Fairfax Media NZ, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Mr. Kenichi Yamamoto, The Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, Japan