18 Journalists Awarded Mekong Data Journalism Fellowships in Round Two

The Earth Journalism Network (EJN) and the East-West Center (EWC), in partnership with the Stimson Center, have awarded Fellowships to 18 additional journalists in the Mekong region to enhance their data journalism skills and provide them with guidance and mentorship to report on water security and natural resources. 

As part of the second round of the Mekong Data Journalism Fellowship, reporters will have the opportunity to participate in 40 hours of virtual data journalism training and an additional 40 hours of active self-learning classes and assignments to support the development of high-quality and timely data stories.  The fellows will receive data journalism training in English, with some support provided in Khmer and Burmese languages.

Thibi and Open Development Cambodia, based in Singapore and Cambodia respectively, will lead the training. Both organizations bring with them several years of experience in data analysis, data visualization and the design of data journalism training courses.  

On July 30, 2021, fellows joined a two-day virtual seminar hosted by EWC, where they were introduced to the basics of data journalism and explored themes related to water management and water security. At the seminar, fellows were introduced to resources and networks they could utilize in their future reporting, and had the chance to meet with experts including:

  • Brian Eyler, Southeast Asia Director at the Stimson Center
  • Gustavo Faleiros, Environment Investigations Editor at Pulitzer Center
  • Jeff Opperman, global lead scientist for freshwater at the World Wildlife Fund
  • Piaporn Deetes, campaigns director at the NGO International Rivers
  • Gurman Bhatia, an Indian data journalist

The 18 fellows come from the Mekong Basin countries of Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam:


  • Muyhong Chan, Freelance Journalist, Voice of Democracy
  • Tuy Engly, Freelance Journalist, CamboJA
  • Bopha Phorn, Reporter, Nikkei Asian Review / Al Jazeera
  • Sineat Yon, Freelance Journalist, Voice of Democracy
  • Choulay Mech, Reporter, Voice of Democracy
  • Vicheika Kann, Stringer Reporter, Voice of America Khmer


  • Htoi Awng Maran, Vice Editor-In-Chief, Kachin Waves
  • Myat Nyein Aye, Freelance Journalist


  • Hathairat Phaholtap, Managing Editor, The Isaan Record
  • Kannikar Petchkaew, Radio Commentator and Contributor, FM100CMU / Korat Daily Newspaper
  • Bampen Chaiyarak, Freelance Journalist, The Reporters


  • Van Nguyen, Journalist, Việt Nam News
  • Binh Yen, Reporter, The Gioi Hoi Nhap Magazine      
  • Bao Uyen Vo Kieu, Freelance Journalist, Nguoi Do Thi
  • Mien Nguyen, Journalist, Thanh Nien
  • Le Thu Mach, Freelance journalist, Dan Viet e-newspaper    
  • Thuan Nhin Tan, Freelance Journalist, Southeast Asia Globe
  • Linh Pham, Freelance Journalist, China Dialogue, The Third Pole      

The previous cohort of fellows, comprising 12 journalists from across the Mekong region, completed their data journalism training course in June.

Currently, this initial group of fellows are working on their first data story projects and plan to publish the stories in the next few months. Fellows from the second cohort will also develop a data-driven story for publication with one-on-one mentorship from data and story mentors experienced in covering the Mekong region. Please keep a look out for more updates on the fellows’ work.