About the Authors (Volume 2, 2023)

Myo Thawdar (pseudonym) is a journalist with nearly two decades’ experience working in the media field. In early 2006 she joined a local media house as an intern and went on to become an editor, media trainer and researcher. She has actively participated in media freedom and development work with different organizations. From October to December 2021 she worked for Athan, a research-based activist organization, focusing on freedom of expression.

Lisa Brooten is Associate Professor of Media Studies in the College of Arts and Media at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her research focuses, broadly, on media, repression and resistance in the U.S. and Southeast Asia. She co-edited the 2019 book, Myanmar Media in Transition: Legacies, Challenges and Change with Jane McElhone and Gayathry Venkiteswaran.

Jane Madlyn McElhone is a Canadian-British journalist and independent consultant specializing in media development and free expression; strategic project development and evaluation; and human rights and migration. She has done extensive work on Burma/Myanmar, including for the Media De-velopment Investment Fund, PEN America, Open Society Foundations, UNESCO and Internews. She co-edited the 2019 book Myanmar Media in Transition: Legacies, Challenges and Change with Lisa Brooten and Gayathry Venkiteswaran. Other recent publications include The Business of Digital Media in Post-Coup Myanmar (MDIF, 2022); Media Assistance in Burma’s Reform Decade: Lessons Learned from Burma’s Military Coup, part of the five country Media Reform and Political Upheaval series (CIMA/NED, 2022); and Stolen Freedoms: Creative Expression, Historic Resistance and the Myanmar Coup (PEN America, 2021).

Kyaw Swar (pseudonym) is the founder of a news agency based in northern Myanmar. Before that, he was a student leader, researcher and policy consultant for both local and international organizations.

Hsu Htet (collective author pseudonym) stands in for the founders and editors of the Lu Nge Khit media organization based inside Myanmar. The team are all aged in their 30s and have journalism and research backgrounds. Together they continue to support Lu Nge Khit and free media in Myanmar.

Kay Mastenbroek studied communication science at the University of Amsterdam and worked for news and daily affairs shows on Dutch television for five years before starting his own documentary production company. He has directed and produced more than 100 documentaries, mostly in Africa and Asia. He has also directed six short features for children, made in developing countries, using local young actors. From 2014-2021, he trained and coached young filmmakers in Myanmar. Since the coup his focus has been on scriptwriting.

Shwe Yee Oo (pseudonym) is a Yangon journalist with 12 years of experience in the media field and a bachelor’s degree from East Yangon University. She started her career as an intern journalist in 2010, before working for Mizzima as a reporter, assistant editor, and then editor. She worked in media development at an international non-governmental organization until the 2021 coup, when she moved to a liberated area and reported news from there. She now works from Thailand and volunteers her time helping female journalists from Myanmar.

Danny Fenster is a journalist who was managing editor at Frontier Myanmar at the time of the 2021 coup. He is currently their editor-at-large and a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In 2021 Danny spent six months in Insein prison, Yangon, where he was charged with a raft of political charges including sedition and unlawful association before regaining his freedom.