Burma Telling Its Own Story: Meet the Fellows

Soe Soe Htoon
Soe Soe Htoon
Julie Turkewitz
Julie Turkewitz
Htoo Tay Zar
Htoo Tay Zar
Neena PathakNeena Pathak
Bruce WallaceBruce Wallace
Diana Markosian
Diana Markosian
Kaye Lin
Kaye Lin
Aye Thiri Sein
Aye Thiri Sein
Van Patrick KingVan Patrick King
Kaung HtetKaung Htet
Natalie KeyssarNatalie Keyssar
Pailin WedelPailin Wedel
Soe Than WinSoe Than Win
Jonathan WuJohnny Wu
Nan Tin HtweNan Tin Htwe
Tin Aung KyawTin Aung Kyaw

Diana Markosian is a documentary photographer and writer. Her reporting has taken her from Russia's North Caucasus mountains, to the ancient Silk Road in Tajikistan and overland to the remote Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.Diana's images have appeared in The New York Times, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Foreign Policy, Foto8, Time.com, World Policy Journal, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, amongst others. Her work has been recognized by a diverse range of organizations including UNICEF, AnthropoGraphia, Ian Parry Scholarship, Marie Claire Int'l, National Press Photography Association, Columbia University and Getty Images. In 2011, Diana's image of the terrorist mother was awarded photo of the year by Reuters. She holds a masters from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Htoo Tay Zar is a photojournalist based in Yangon, Myanmar. He graduated from Mandalay University with a degree in Physics in 2009. He was one of the pioneer bloggers in Myanmar and followed his passion to become a full-time photojournalist. He has worked for European Pressphoto Agency, and some of his photography projects have been featured in International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and Al Jazeera. He was also one of the finalists selected for Photojournalists Under 25 by The Boston Globe in March 2013. He is interested in social issues and is currently working on personal projects.

Julie Turkewitz is a Brooklyn-based journalist and a contributor to The New York Times and The Atlantic. Her interest in Burma began in a tiny apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she met a family from Burma that had recently resettled in her small college town. She spent a year documenting their lives. In New York, she writes about unionizing car wash workers, blind photographers and charismatic clergymen, among other topics. She has a strong commitment to social justice and a love for storytelling. Previously, she wrote about AIDS and homelessness for the nonprofit Housing Works. She speaks Spanish and sometimes takes pictures. To read more, please visit JulieTurkewitz.com.

Soe Soe Htoon is a 29-year-old journalist living in Yangon. She was born and grew up in Nyaungdone Township which is situated in Myanmar's delta region. Currently, Soe Soe is working as a senior news reporter as well as producer at Myanmar National TV, where she is responsible for news packages and the biweekly 5-minute "News In Photos" weekly program. She has also been a contributor for local news publication True News Journal, among others. In 2010, Soe Soe graduated with a Master of International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong. She is primarily interested in social affairs and business news reporting.

Ei Ei Toe Lwin is a senior reporter at the English and Myanmar language newspaper, Myanmar Times, where she has worked since 2010. She covers general news as well as current affairs, including stories about the environment, politics and ethnic affairs. She received her Master of Research in International Relations from Dagon University in 2008. As a reporter, Ei Ei Tow Lwin has attended journalism courses both in Myanmar and Thailand, with a special focus on reporting about the environment, elections, and public policy. Still, most of her experience comes from learning on the job. Ei Ei Tow Lwin speaks English and some German. She intends to dedicate her career to journalism.

Pailin Wedel spent three years as the Asia Interactive Producer for the Associated Press -- where she covered big stories such as the Japan tsunami crisis, the rise of Kim Jong Un and Thailand floods using online interactivity -- she decided she needed to get back in the field. She is now a freelance producer, videographer and photographer spending half her time in Bangkok and the other half in Yangon. Prior to joining the AP, she was a freelance multimedia journalist and trainer in Bangkok where she covered Thai political turmoil using interactive panoramas, online infographics and online video narratives for clients including the Washington Post, ZDF and GlobalPost. Before going back to Thailand, where she grew up, she worked at the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, as a photojournalist and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Aye Thiri Sein (also known as Nyo Mie Thinn) was an avid reader and writer as a child. Drawn to creative writing, Aye challenged herself to construct her own stories. However, witnessing the political unest shifts in Burma during her youth ultimately influenced Aye to pursue a career in journalism. Her intention was to convey honest and important information to local citizens who might not have access to it otherwise. Aye received a history degree in 2003. Since then, she has sought to expand her skills as a journalist by attending workshops and writing seminars in Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Poland and the Philippines, including the Creative Non-Fiction Writing Training at the American Center, Japan-South East Asia Network of Exchange for Journalist and Youths Program, and a News Reporting and Writing Course by Thomson Reuters Foundation in Yangon. Professionally speaking, Aye worked as a freelance journalist with Trust News Weekly before receiving a position at True News Weekly, in 2008, as an editor. She reports on and edits a variety of news disciplines from politics to business to social news.

Kaye Lin is a multimedia journalist for Voice of America (Burmese service) based in Washington DC. Lin came to the United States at age six from Burma (also known as Myanmar). She wanted to become a journalist because she wanted to use the media as a tool to inform people about the oppression worldwide. Lin says, " The media is seen as a great catalyst in moving societies, and I’ve always wanted to be part of a community that instigates change." Through VOA, she has covered many different stories ranging from humanitarian issues to House and Senate hearings. She has worked with journalists, celebrities, politicians and icons. Last summer, she had the opportunity to follow Burma’s most famous dissident, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on her European tour, and in the autumn met with Burma’s President Thein Sein in New York, both of whom were named #1 on Foreign Policy’s 100 Global Thinkers of 2012. She says she is most proud of the two stories she created on Burma’s political prisoners in which she got to meet the protagonist of her story, comedian Zarganar, when he came to accept awards from Amnesty International and other organizations in DC. Lin graduated from Boston University where she majored in Journalism and Sociology.

Natalie Keyssar is a photojournalist based in Brooklyn, New York. She is a regular contributor to the The Wall Street Journal. Her work has also appeared in Salon, Utne, De Standaard Magazine, and the New York Times, among other publications. She received a BFA from the Pratt Institute in 2008. In 2009, she began to pursue
photojournalism, which fused her love for visual storytelling with her deep interest in social justice, and the events, large and small, that shape history. Her personal work has focused on a range of topics, from white supremacists in the United States, to daily life in disputed Western Sahara. Her most recent project, Just for Now: A Year in Tent City, documented a community of homeless people and their battle against eviction in a town with no shelters. Originally published in The Wall Street Journal, it has received awards from American Photography 29, and the National Press Photographer's Association. More work can be seen on her website at nataliekeyssar.com.

Nan Tin Htwe was born in a small village in Southern Shan state where minority ethnic groups like Danu, Palaung, Taungyoe and Pa-O lives. Her mother is Danu and her father is Burmese with some Kayin blood. She’s proud of where she comes from and of being a journalist who represents a minority ethnic group in Myanmar which lives in under-developed areas. Nan started working as a journalist in Oct 2010 at The Myanmar Times. Just one month after she became a reporter, an historic event happened: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from under house arrest and she was there to cover the story. Nan has participated in the Edward R.Murrow Program for journalist in the United States organized by U.S. Department of State. During that time, she met with journalists from more than 100 countries across the world and was the only Myanmar journalist there. Now Nan Tin Htwe covers politics, conflict, press freedom and breaking news. She has covered stories about the Kachin conflict, opium in Shan state, and also the recent sectarian violence. In the future, Nan wants to be an investigative and war journalist.

Ben Schreckinger is a freelance writer and reporter. He recently completed a year-long Atlantic Media Fellowship in Washington, D.C., covering politics and public policy for National Journal in the 2012 election and beyond. He has written for Slate, The Boston Globe Ideas section, and the Associated Press, among others. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, where he served as editor-in-chief and president of The Brown Daily Herald. In 2011, he won the Robert Novak Collegiate Journalism Award. He is originally from Boston.

Johnny Wu is a documentary filmmaker. His work has taken him from the plains of North Dakota's badlands, to the capital cities of Burma and Banlgadesh. Johnny's work has appeared in publications for Tufts University, GlobalPost, Kickstarter, The Institute for Global Leadership, among other avenues. He hold a bachelors degree from Tufts University in International Relations and Film Studies.

Neena Pathak is the Associate Editor at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, which focuses on human rights and social justice issues.  She is currently attending the Transom Story Workshop, affiliated with Atlantic Public Media and WCAI – The Cape and Islands NPR station, to study radio production. Prior to this, she worked as a nutrition educator for the University of Pennsylvania's Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, where she taught high school students about media literacy and healthy cooking in response to the diet-related disease epidemic in West Philadelphia. She has created multimedia pieces on farmer suicides in Maharashtra, India, women’s social movements during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, and international solidarity efforts in Chiapas, Mexico. Neena earned her Masters in Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, while teaching high school English in the School District of Philadelphia as a member of Teach for America. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and International and Global Studies, and a minor in Spanish.   

Bruce Wallace is a freelance journalist and multimedia producer, with particular interest in international, human rights, religion, and arts-and-culture reporting. He works regularly for PRI’s The World, and has also contributed to All Things Considered, Marketplace Morning Report, The New York Times Magazine, and The Washington Post. He has an MS from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and a BA from Kenyon College. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, and is eager to return to the Shan noodle shop on Bogyoke Aung San near Bo Myat Htun in Yangon. 

Soe Than Win holds a degree in physics, but found his passion as a photographer. He currently works as a photojournalist for Agence France-Press

Van Patrick King is a freelance journalist currently based in New York City. He is a graduate of Amherst College and has experience reporting in North and East Africa, working most recently as a contributor to Zoma Magazine and the Daily Monitor. Along with international affairs, economics, and culture, Van Patrick is interested in issues facing the developing world, from access to health care to the effects of international aid. He has experience reporting on African diasporic communities, international development and economics, and international art and music.

Kaung Htet is the chief photographer and photo editor at The Myanmar Times News Journal, the only journal in Myanmar published in English as well as in Burmese. After obtaining his medical degree from Institute of Medicine 1, Yangon, Kaung changed career paths. He began working as a freelance photographer before joining the The Myanmar Times staff in May 2009. Kaung’s work has appeared in The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, Getty Images, Reuters, South East Asian Globe and Getty Images among other publications. Kaung also works for International Non Governmental Organizations such as MSF (Holland), OXFAM, CARE, FXB and many more. Kaung has done assignment together with many photographers from Magnum and National Geographic for the book "7 days in Myanmar" by Editions Didier Millet (Edm). Kaung currently resides in Yangon, Myanmar and covers major news events throughout the country.

Sarah Fitzpatrick is the Associate Producer for the CBS News Investigative Unit, where she reports national investigative stories for all CBS News platforms. Raised in Zurich and London, Fitzpatrick received her B.A. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in International Affairs and Anthropology. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a Stabile Fellow in Investigative Reporting and co-recipient of the Patsy Pulitzer Preston Fellowship for Innovation in Journalism for her video documentary thesis on the overmedication of foster children. The project was developed into a segment for PBS's Need to Know, which aired nationally in January 2010. Fitzpatrick has contributed reporting to The Washington Post, The New York Times and Hong Kong Magazine.

Tin Aung Kyaw is currently a reporter for the Burmese Service of BBC. Prior to joining the BBC, Tin Aung Kyaw served as the executive editor of Living Color Magazine, a publication of The Voice Weekly. In addition to working as a freelance reporter, he has been a staff editor and report for 7 Days News Journal and Flower News.

Kyaw Myo Min was born in Hopin in Kachin State in the northern part of Myanmar. He is 35 years old. In 2003, Kyaw Myo Min graduated from Myitkyina University with a degree in mathematics. Currently, Kyaw Myo Min works at Radio Free Asia (RFA) on its Burmese service  as a radio and TV journalist. He also works as a photographer for related news. In his career as a reporter, he has covered many stories about conflict, civilian war between Myanmar Government and KIO (Kachin Independence Organization), as well as environmental issues, politics, ethnic affairs and some general news. Prior to joining RFA, Kyaw worked as a staff reporter at The Yangon Times and Flower News from 2005 to 2006 and as a freelance journalist in 2007.