(This blog post was written by Aurelia Moser, an Open News Fellow at Internews in Kenya.)
“There’s no more powerful force in modern society than the news. It shapes how we see the world, what we judge to be good or bad, important or silly, right or wrong.” ~ Alain de Botton, “Have you Heard the News?” Psychologies, 4/2014
Three of us from mySociety’s international team have spent the last few days in Yangon, Myanmar. We’ve come to visit people we’ve been talking to recently about some potential local projects, but we rushed the dates of our visit so we could be present at Myanmar’s first hackathon.
The Listening Post is a collaboration between New Orleans radio station WWNO and Internews that seeks to establish a two-way conversation with residents through which people can both contribute thoughts and commentary about issues in their neighborhoods, and also receive news and information in convenient and accessible ways.
Despite the oft-praised Cinderella story of Burmese democratization, a range of persistent challenges faces independent media in the country. Access to information and the role of parliament in Burma featured prominently in the presentations at an event hosted by Internews on February 26, but the absence of an enabling business environment was a central focus of the conversation.