The Listening Post

Myanmar: Journalists Paying the Price for Reporting Genocide

The sentencing of two Reuters reporters in Myanmar. Plus, the British media and their monarchy.

On The Listening Post this week: The sentencing of two Reuters reporters and the failed promise of media reform in Myanmar. Plus, the British media and their monarchy.

Myanmar: Journalists Paying the Price for Reporting Genocide

Earlier this week two Burmese journalists working for Reuters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were sentenced by a judge in Myanmar to seven years in jail for obtaining state secrets as they researched the killing of 10 Rohingya men in 2017. If the sentences appear harsh, add to that the testimony by a police witness alleging that the journalists were in fact victims of a police set up.

The story of the ethnic violence against minority Rohingya in Myanmar has been in the headlines for more than a year now, during which time international media have had their access to the country severely restricted and much of the local media have taken the government and military’s side over the treatment of the Rohingya.

The Listening Post‘s Meenakshi Ravi reports on the case of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the very high price journalists in Myanmar pay if they report unfavourably on the military.


Kevin Krolicki – Asia editor, Reuters
Anna Roberts – executive director, Burma Campaign UK
Kyaw Win – executive director, Burma Human Rights Network
Toe Zaw Latt – Myanmar bureau chief, Democratic Voice of Burma

On our radar

Barbara Serra speaks to producer Tariq Nafi about the new social media law approved by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt – with additional analysis from journalist Amr Khalifa – and the New York Times’ publication of an explosive op-ed by an anonymous White House official.

Deference over scrutiny? Media and Monarchy in the United Kingdom

The royal wedding that took place in Windsor four months ago played like a scene from a fairy-tale. And the media lapped it up. Events like these play a part in the British royal family’s ongoing effort to rebrand itself.

Like Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton back in 2011, the televised nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have helped Buckingham Palace repair its public image, which was badly damaged following the death of Princess Diana in 1997. But what about the role played by the intermediaries – journalists – in this royal rebranding?

The pomp and pageantry might mean little more than ratings and clicks for international media, but Britain’s fourth estate is supposed to hold the country’s elite to account. And they don’t come much more elite or privileged than the House of Windsor, funded by the taxpayer. But is the royal reporting British audiences usually get long on deference and short on scrutiny?

The Listening Post‘s Daniel Turi reports on the relationship between media and monarchy in the UK.


Tim Ewart – former royal editor, ITV
Katie Nicholl – royal correspondent, Mail on Sunday; author, ‘Harry: Life, Loss and Love’
Dawn Foster – columnist, The Guardian
Laura Clancy – lecturer in media and cultural studies, Lancaster University