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NewsLab: Development Reporting at the Dawei SEZ

Published on
17 Mar 2016
1 April 2016, 05:00 PM, EDT info.ejn [at]

Myanmar’s ever-widening borders have lured investments to the seaside community of Dawei on a scale beyond anything previously seen in Southeast Asia.The Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) envisions nearly 200 square kilometers of industrial development, a deep-sea port and road, rail and pipeline links to neighboring Thailand and beyond. Mekong Partnership for the Environment is bringing 12-15 journalists on an educational trip to learn about SEZ planning, visit sites, meet communities and experts, understand the company’s and government’s views, learn about the science – and learn how to tell balanced, independent, accurate stories about regional development decisions.

Mekong Matters is a network of regional journalists reporting on development and environmental issues. Participants in will be able to access network resources including mentoring, story funds, network events, workshops and news and data websites.

A word document version of this event description and application is available here

When : 

The event is scheduled (tentively) for May 23-27, 2016 

Where : 

Dawei, Myanmar. See recent coverage of this area at

Who should apply for this training opportunity?

Print, broadcast or social media journalists. Editors. Senior reporters. Environmental or business reporters. Likely including journalists from:

  • Myanmar (6-8 participants)
  • Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam (6-10 participants)

What will the selected participants do?

  • Learn about industry, transportation and energy choices, environmental and social benefits and costs, community participation, Environmental Impact Assessments
  • Work in a simulated newsroom to build skills through story planning, interviewing, and discussing story angles, balance, sources etc. with trainers and peers
  • Develop stories ideas to be independently published in their home media outlets
  • Visit communities, affected areas, and the project sites
  • Meet and interview community members, project investors/developers, civil society organisations and government (tentative)

Who is facilitating this training?

  • Jeff Rutherford: experienced journalism trainer with Internews, Thailand-based sustainability expert

  • Internews/Earth Journalism Network trainers and journalists

  • Advisors from Pact / Mekong Partnership for the Environment, local organisations


The deadline for applications is April 1, 2016 at 5pm EDT.

Mekong Partnership for the Environment supports constructive engagement among civil society, governments and business to promote responsible development in the Mekong region. We aim to increase access to information about the costs and benefits of development projects. We are implemented by Pact, with partners including Internews. Our primary donor is the United States Agency for International Development.

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