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CNN Flaunts Myanmar Piece Prompting Concerns Over Parachute Journalism And Cultural Insensitivity

Clarissa Ward, CNN foreign correspondent, faces widespread criticism after fallout from a reporting beat in Myanmar following the military coup.


May 11, 2021

MYANMAR -- CNN’s star foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward and her team traveled to Myanmar to cover the February 1 military coup. On air, Anchor John Berman said “the world is lucky” that Ward is the individual covering the protests. Since, CNN has received backlash for promoting their self-image, endangering the lives of Myanmar people, and potentially damaging their ethics amidst this political crisis. Critics also noted that Ward’s arrival minimized the diligence and bravery of local journalists who have been providing news coverage since the military takeover.

“CNN must address the criticism surrounding foreign correspondent Ward’s recent trip to report on the state of affairs in Myanmar. 11 residents in Yangon were detained by Myanmar security forces after speaking to Ward, calling into question CNN’s priorities relating to protecting their sources. Teens for Press Freedom also takes issue with the lack of transparency surrounding CNN’s negotiations with the junta and disapproves of the newswire’s connection with lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe, who was paid $2 million by the Myanmar military government to explain their perspective,” said Teens for Press Freedom spokesperson Sami Campana-Gladstone. “CNN’s self-portrayal as heros belittles the contributions of local journalists from outlets such as Myanmar Now and Frontier Myanmar, who have been covering Myanmar without the government’s permission since the military coup on February 1st. CNN’s indifference towards the work of local media is representative of colonialist mindsets endemic to the system of foreign correspondence. There is a legacy of assigning local reporters to roles like news assistants and translators, therefore earning disproportionately less money than their Western colleagues, in spite of the higher risk associated with local reporting. TPF encourages CNN to collaborate with grassroots journalists and to ensure the safety of all of their sources in the future.”


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Source: Vice

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