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Beyond Borders | A Time of Heat: War and Conflict in Myanmar and Ukraine, Philippine Elections and Strange Weather
It's been a time of heat. I don't mean just the summer, which has been a suffocating one - but also a very strange one. Unfamiliar because 21-degree Celsius weather does not descend 1.5 weeks before supposed-to-be steaming Songkran, the Thai new year. But we live in, and worry about, these climate-extreme times.
There are other points of heat - the violence in Myanmar persists. "Things are getting worse day by day. All the prices are high," one of our Myanmar news contributors wailed. We have three Myanmar stories below.
While huge contrasts exist between Myanmar and Ukraine, some of the similarities do strike you about the updated ways of war: Russian soldiers demand to see residents' phones in the Ukrainian towns they occupy, just as security forces do in Myanmar.
This note too has some pickings around gender, though International Women's Day just passed in March. I share a book I wrote, 'Gender on Our News Radar: A View from Southeast Asia', about gender-informed journalism and how it can improve accuracy, currency, relevance and sensitivity in news work. It's published by Fojo Media Institute.
Elsewhere, the political heat has been intense, even incendiary, in the Philippines, with a month left to national elections in May. "Wait, wait, I don't understand. How can people want to vote for Marcos?" is the frequent question posed to me by non-Filipino friends and colleagues.
Meantime, it's the time to remember that Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word indicating change or movement. So, may you move well, and safely, in traditional new year! That's Songkran in Thailand, Pi Mai in Laos, Thingyan in Myanmar :)
Founder/editor - Reporting ASEAN | Bangkok
By KO THET PAING
In these 'herstories', Myanmar women tell us, in their words, how they are finding their own ways of being part of continuing resistance against the military since the 2021 coup.
By JOHANNA SON
As refugees, asylum seekers, exiles or people waiting it out in other countries after Myanmar's 2021 coup, the newest additions to the country's huge diaspora are grappling with anxiety while away, taking up junior jobs, sending financial aid home and to the anti-coup resistance - and hoping their time away is temporary .
read here in Burmese
Living and working in exile may be safer for Myanmar's journalists, but they are worried about being able to making a decent living (and life) from their embattled profession, insights from a Reporting ASEAN survey show.
CONVICTION SEASON? There were at least 6 convictions of journalists in March. Majority were for incitement under Sec 505 (a) of the Penal Code, with jail sentences of 2-3 years. But a few have gotten longer sentences of over 8 years, and on charges under the counter-terrorism law, which bring heavier penalties. A number of jailed journalists also faced new charges on top of previous ones.
2 The Philippines
Funny but serious is how cartoons have been in the political conversations in the Philippines, which votes for a new president in May. Visual artist Kapitan Tambay talks to Reporting ASEAN about visual storytelling.
If you haven't yet noticed, the conversations around gender in news and public spaces have been changing - in ways that were hard to imagine even a few years ago. Drawing from news realities, this 64-page book by Johanna Son explains how gender-informed storytelling is an investment in spotting and producing ing nuanced, engaging news reports.
eBook to read and download
Sexual Harassment Not a Big Problem, News Managers Say. But Staff Experience Shows Otherwise – Survey — www.reportingasean.net We all know that sexual harassment exists in news work, but the insights offered by this WAN-IFRA survey tell us more about how it is viewed, understood and addressed (or not so).
What do you visualize when you read words such as “person,” “people” or “individual”? Chances are the image in your head is of a man, not a woman. If so, you are not alone.
What I Heard From Passengers on the Last Train Out of Russia — www.politico.com For a month after the invasion of Ukraine, the high-speed Allegro train carried disaffected Russians to Helsinki. On Sunday, that final rail connection to Europe was severed.