It is called IVLP Program: promoting civic society through new media or IVLP: Media literacy. The program started from Washington D.C. Then we went to New York, Boston, Kansas City and LA.
In D.C., visited –
1) Meridian Center which organise IVLP
Getting lecturer from a professor about United State’s history and situation
2) Visiting NPR, National Public Radio
Meeting with Public Affair Council on how politicians in U.S use social media
3) Meeting with a college tutor who is an award winning media producer/ developer and writer.
4) Visiting Maryland to see how voting process goes in town
5) Meeting with U.S. Department of States for learning social media
6) Meeting with Pew Research Centre
7) Meeting with Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA)
Notable activities –
Sightseeing Washington DC
In New York, visited –
2) Solution Jornalism Network
3) U.S. Missions to United Nation
Notable activity – Ran 42 KM marathon in Queens, NewYork.
In Boston, visited-
1) Emerson College’s lab for civic tech
2) Harvard’s journalism lab
3) MIT’s lab fo new media
4) Mayor’s office of New Mechanic
5) MudRock, open government data website
In Kansas City, visited –
1) Squaroff, co-working space
2) KCUR-FM Radio Station (Public Radio)
3) KCPT Television
4) Startup Village
5) The Call Newspaper
Notable activities –
Visiting Weston, a small town in Kansas
In L.A, visited –
1) RYOT of Huffington, a 360 degree media producer
2) Office for IVLP in L.A to learn media literacy
3) Mira Costa High school to learn their digital media lab
Notable activities –
Extended travelling by myself
Las Vegas – just a one day stop to go Grand Canyon
Seattle – three days stay
Most of the meetings are in the same subject with what I’m doing. Only few were not. Example, a meeting at Mayor’s office of New Mechanic was not relevant for me. But still I got knowledge how a public organisations work for the city development.
Generally speaking, the trip so much opened my eyes on understanding what is USA and how the media organizations and situations are going on in USA.
Development of Social Media
Meanwhile people in Myanmar are just using Facebook, US citizens are going beyond Facebook by using Snapchat, Reddit, etc. They also has same situation like Myanmar which is people spend more time on Facebook than any other platforms. Even U.S States Department has to use SnapChat officially. On SnapChat, young people are spending time.
Giving the way instead of blocking and ruling
In New York, got chance to meet with a project from U.S. Missions to United Nation. They aim to undergraduate students about digital media, how to use internet, how to do coding, how to product content online, etc. Instead of blocking children from internet content, they just give the way. The questions was why U.S is not including in teaching curriculum. They said it is hard to change the education system which is involved since in the constitution law. So to teach technology, both government and private projects are incorporating. For example, Mark Zuckerberg donated hundreds of millions of dollar to teach coding to children.
U.S is very wide by area and it has big culture diversity as well. In Washington D.C, everyone wear formal dress on week days. The city is very formal. But when in other cities such as Boston and Kansas, it is ok to not wear tie. But I felt that every people from every regions of the country feel that they all are U.S citizens and they are proud to be a U.S citizen. In Myanmar, from every regions, people has conservative feeling upon their cities.
Speaking about art and entertainment, Myanmar should learn how people in U.S feel the art. I saw groups of children in museums. They are with their group leading teacher. Teacher gave them paper and pen to describe what they see in the painting and art materials. From history and from art ther are so much to learn. New York is also the city of art and entertainment. I got chance to watch a story in opera. Well, I need time to be able to feel the class art of U.S.
All are seem to be willing to help us. They really do. I didn’t get chance to meet hundreds of U.S people. But I met and talk with about 25. All are warm and welcome. I got chance to have dinner with a U.S family in Kansas. The couple is cool and they shared how much they are willing to visit Myanmar.
Printing media market is declining in U.S according to reports by Journalism Lab from Harvard and Museum from Washington. That’s true. People’s behaviour of consuming media is changing. People spend more time online. People read more on social media and websites. Media companies in USA has to migrate to digital platform by anyway as well. Some journals which was living more than 100 years has to shut down due to very low revenue.
Public Media is a very new learning experience for me in US because there seem to be no public media in Myanmar. There are so-called public media in Myanmar such as Myanmar Light and Mirror newspaper. But they are really not. How to define if a media is a public media or not depends on the following facts.
The media is not under government and private company’s control.
The media produce and publish content which are not bias for government and commercial companies.
The media is not for commercial. Media rely on donations from donars. Donars can be anyone and any organizations.
Public media’s board of director are selected and nominated by community.
More than public media
There are many other public type school, business, media and so many other organizations. Depending on the title they work under, they do good jobs so far to help the community. Public media is for the people, for the community.
My extended trips
I visited Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. I was lucky to visit one of the world wonder, Grand Canyon. Then I travelled to Seattle. If you ask me which city I love to stay the most in US. I will say Seattle. Seattle has a weather that is really ok for me. In most of the city, the weather is so cold. Seattle has a pleasant weather. The city has snowy mountains, trees, sea water, river water and IT realted business. I got chance to visit University of Washington to take the lecture from a writer who write ‘How Asian Work’. Then I attended to Gate Foundation’s event by invitation. Pwint Htun, a world bank consultant, and consultant of many other companies hosted me in her house. She live with her husband. They two are helping all Myanmar in west coast regions of US. Pwint Htun is one of my mentor who teach me, tell me to do good things for Myanmar. I got so much inspirations from her sayings.
Marathon experience is also one of the best experience of I ever got in my life. I ran in Queens, New York. There were only a Myanmar and it was me. I like marathon. It motivates me. I will keep on running marathon.
What I will do in future,
I’m considering to start a public media. I have lots of experience in writing, publishing news and all about online media. The reason I want to do it public media is I want to do all for public. It will be about education, lifestyle, health, science, politic and so on. Advertisers won’t like because content are not so-called content which is being consumed by many audience. I want to change the people mindset and raise their level of knowledge in every subject. I’ll start a public media which has online presence and broadcast presence.
Second thing I would like to do
The second thing I would like to do is internet and digital user data status. I learned how Pew Research Center made research. They do phone call. But it is not fully applicable for Myanmar. We shall find the another way to find the right answer from end user, consumers.
If you want to find out what I learned in U.S.
Please visit my Facebook profile and have a look at album section –