February 12, 2009 — The 2009 recipient of the Shorenstein Prize for Reporting on Asia is Seth Mydans, who covers Southeast Asia for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune from his base in Bangkok, Thailand. Since taking up the post in 1996 he has covered the fall of Suharto and rise of democracy in Indonesia; the death of Pol Pot, the demise of the Khmer Rouge and the trauma and slow rebirth of Cambodia; repeated attempts at People Power in the Philippines; the idiosyncracies of Singapore and Malaysia; the long-running political crisis in Thailand and the seemingly endless troubles of Myanmar.
In the 1980s he covered the fall of Marcos and struggles of Corazon Aquino in the Philippines and was in Burma for the massacres that led to the emergence of Aung San Suu Kyi and the current junta. He worked for a construction company in Vietnam during the war after graduating from Harvard, and has followed the Vietnam story since then, through the exodus of refugees, to their resettlement in the United States, to the shaping of a new postwar Vietnam.
The Shorenstein Prize award ceremony featured a panel discussion titled “Cambodia: Past, Present and Future.” An audio recording of the discussion can be heard here.