The Frontier story
Since launching in 2015, Frontier Myanmar has provided its readers balanced, in-depth reporting and insights from the ground to help them make sense of what’s happening in Myanmar.
With a focus on long-form and investigative articles, insights and analysis, we’ve built up a reputation for quality journalism in an increasingly difficult operating environment – one in which media organisations are regularly banned, and journalists face the threat of arrest or worse just for doing their job.
Myanmar’s political crisis following the February 2021 military coup means our reporting has become more important than ever.
Despite repeated efforts to crush independent journalism, we continue to deliver in-depth reports from all corners of Myanmar, making space for overlooked voices and issues, and reporting the uncensored truth
The military regime’s brutal repression of dissent, the opposition’s shift to armed struggle, rising poverty and economic stagnation, the failure of the international response – we are striving to cover all of the important stories in post-coup Myanmar. In such a polarised political environment, though, we believe our commitment to impartiality sets us apart from other news sources.
We believe access to high-quality journalism is important for the country’s future and we make all our content available online for free, in both English and Myanmar languages. Our staff is overwhelmingly national and we are an important training ground for young Myanmar journalists.
To learn more from CEO and publisher Sonny Swe about why he founded Frontier, check out this Q&A.
In January 2020, we embarked on a big change in how we generate revenue from our journalism and how we collaborate with our readers.
We launched something that had never been done before in Myanmar’s media industry: a membership programme. We asked readers and supporters – people like you – to invest in our journalism by becoming members.
And, in what we think was another first for Myanmar, we designed our membership package together with our readers, getting feedback at every step along the way.
Running a newsroom isn’t cheap, particularly when you try to cover all corners of the country.
We’ve always sought to pay for our reporting through commercial revenue, but the changing times meant the ad-based revenue model that we initially pursued was no longer viable.
We needed a new approach, but we didn’t want to put a paywall in place to drive subscriptions. We believe it’s important that we keep our reporting accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they can afford to pay for it.
The success of our membership programme depends on the input and support of our readers. You can learn about how the project started here. It’s worth a read if you want to learn about why we’re doing it and where we hope it will lead.
For as little as $1.50 a week, you can play your part in keeping Myanmar’s independent media alive.
As a member, you’ll not only be supporting high-quality reporting on issues of importance to Myanmar’s future, you’ll also have access to a range of products – from newsletters and briefings to events and behind the scenes content – that will help you better understand what’s going on in Myanmar today.
We hope that our experiment with memberships will benefit not just Frontier but other media organisations in Myanmar, by creating a path they too can follow to financial sustainability.
Frequently asked questions
You can read frequently asked questions about our membership programme here.
If your question isn’t answered in our FAQs, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our former senior reporter, Mratt Kyaw Thu, was also awarded the 2017 Agence France-Presse Kate Webb Prize for his “compelling and rigorous” coverage of ethnic conflict, while the Human Rights Press Awards awarded us two merit prizes in 2019 for our outspoken editorials on the crisis in Rakhine State, and for an investigation into the deaths of six female medics in northern Shan State.
“We produce a podcast called Doh Athan (Our Voice) in collaboration with Fondation Hirondelle, with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNDP and the Büchi Foundation.
The online audio programme, the first of its kind in Myanmar, helps shine a spotlight on human rights issues that affect people across the country.
Ownership and funding
Frontier is published by Boomerang Media Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-registered company.
Our reporting is funded through a range of sources. Initially Frontier adopted an ad-based revenue model, but declining advertising revenues in the media industry prompted us to soon begin exploring alternative sources.
We have since shifted to a membership model, in which users fund the majority of our operating expenses. Our ambition is to fund all of our journalism through reader revenue, but in the meantime we also receive support from a number of donors.
In June 2017 we received a grant from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Myanmar to produce a human rights-themed podcast, Doh Athan, in partnership with a Swiss NGO, Fondation Hirondelle.
Two additional grants, from Google News Initiative and International Media Support, supported the development of our membership programme. We have also received support from the International Centre for Journalists and Luminate.