October 02, 2017

Presentation to look at human rights reporting in Myanmar

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A presentation next week in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media will look at media coverage of the continuing conflict in Myanmar.

Lisa Brooten, associate professor, will present “Blindspots in Human Rights Reporting: Victims, Savages, Saviors and the Rohingya of Myanmar.” The presentation is at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5, in the Communications Building, Room 1032. The event is part of “First Thursdays at 3:30,” the department’s presentation of ongoing faculty research.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The presentation will provide an overview of media representations in mainstream U.S. news outlets and Reuters wire stories of the situation facing hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya as they flee Myanmar, formerly Burma, Brooten said.

Reports indicate that Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, a top United Nations human rights official, recently urged the majority Buddhist nation to end its “cruel military operation” against the primarily Muslim Rohingya, who are denied citizenship. The U.N. official said the situation now “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” according to reports.

The presentation will examine news produced in covering the conflict and the coverage’s impact on efforts in resolving the conflict. Brooten’s research interests include the Burmese independent media in opposition to the country’s military dictatorship and media reform efforts there.