Burmese Media in Transition

Lisa Brooten


This article offers an assessment of media and their role in the ongoing political transition in Myanmar, and an overview of lessons learned from other countries undergoing transition. It demonstrates how media function in this process as active agents of stability, restraint, change, or all three, and assesses how Myanmar’s experiences reinforce or challenge common assumptions about democratic transition. The discussion draws from interviews over many years with journalists, editors, advocacy groups, and policy makers and participant observation in media offices and at media-related events. The research examines the origins of the recent changes, the importance of history, the role of civil society—including ethnic and formerly exile media—and issues of political economy and media diversity.


Burma, Myanmar, media reform, transition, journalism, democratization, media policy, ethnic media, media diversity

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