The Associated Press on Saturday formally opened a bureau in Yangon, Myanmar, the first international news agency permitted to operate full time in the country, which has relaxed its longtime restrictions on media amid a wave of democratic reforms.
AP is now positioned to expand its coverage of the unfolding transition in Myanmar, across all media platforms, for its members and customers around the world. It became one of the first two international news organizations to be legally registered in the country also known as Burma.
AP journalists already had begun working from a new office in Yangon late last year while authorities prepared rules allowing international news bureaus to open. Also registered in Myanmar today was the Japanese television network NHK.
Six multiformat journalists will staff the new AP bureau. Among them is Aye Aye Win, an award-winning correspondent who has reported from her native country for the AP since 1989. She took over the job from another AP veteran -- her father, U Sein Win -- who had covered the country for AP for 20 years and who was jailed by a previous government. Aye Aye Win was honored for courage in 2008 by the International Women's Media Foundation.
“AP has a proud history of reportage from Myanmar, and the new multimedia bureau marks the beginning of an even more robust commitment,” said AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt. “We hope to build on our efforts and cover the important changes there for many years to come.”
Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said: “We take great pride in our independent and impartial reporting, and coverage of Myanmar has been a priority for many years. A full-time, multimedia bureau staffed by talented local and international journalists will enable AP to provide even more coverage of the historic changes underway.
AP operates in more than 280 locations in 110 countries and is committed to covering the world for its global client base. The new bureau in Myanmar follows AP’s opening of a bureau in Pyongyang, North Korea, in January 2012, when it became the first Western news organization to operate full time in the mostly shrouded communist state.