May Thingyan Hein

May Thingyan Hein
Honorable chairman, distinguished guests and fellow journalists,

This is a time of great trouble in my country. This award will encourage journalists to cover the news, despite the dangers.

I live in a country where basic human rights are totally neglected. We Burmese journalists have to work very hard.

In order to publish, there are many difficult steps. The most difficult step is to pass the government’s Censor Board. The Censor Board has rules and regulations. There is no freedom of press to expose what is really happening.

Also, it is difficult to get people to talk to us. They are scared they will get into trouble. I try to explain how important it is to tell the truth. But most people will not talk to me. If I do get approval, the source usually will not allow me to publish their name or show their picture. They want to be anonymous. Anonymous sources will not pass the Censor Board. I also feel responsible. I do not want them to get into trouble.

I decided to become a journalist when I first read about Watergate in the United States and how journalists informed the American people. I understood that everyone has the right to know the truth, and that journalists have one of the most important jobs in society. So I started writing as a journalist to tell the truth. I focus on important news because the people of Burma get almost no information about their own country.

Even though it is difficult, many journalists in my country devote themselves to working in this field. Like me, they are inspired by Aung San Su Kyi. She is a model for women and for journalists.

I want to thank my fellow journalists for their bravery. Therefore, I promise to continue the struggle to protect the rights of the people of Burma to know the truth.

Thank you for your support.