Photography student joins BBC as journalist reporting on Myanmar elections

Kyaw Zay Ya with camera

A student at the London School of Film, Media and Design (LSFMD) has secured a sought-after position as a BBC journalist - before even completing his studies.

Kyaw Zay Ya, 36, is in his third year of a BA (Hons) Photography degree at LSFMD – which is part of the University of West London (UWL). As a reporter, he will create content for the BBC Burmese Service about upcoming elections in his native Myanmar and also in France.

Employing skills which he has learned while studying at LSFMD, Kyaw will produce multimedia stories for audiences in Myanmar, the south-east Asian country formerly known as Burma. This will involve everything from writing scripts and presenting news on camera, to tailoring content for social media platforms.

Kyaw said: ‘The technical skills I acquired as part of my degree were key to getting this BBC contract, as being able to select and present information is very important for the role. My personal passion is documentary photography and I’m looking forward to capturing the people and cultures of Myanmar on camera. My studies at the University have been great training for this.’

Photography course leader and senior lecturer, Peter Bennett, said: ‘Equipping students with the skills valued by employers is central to our courses at the London School of Film, Media and Design, so we’re delighted that Kyaw has won this exciting opportunity at a high-profile media outlet such as the BBC. He has worked very hard with enthusiasm and commitment and we congratulate him on this success.’

As well as news-gathering as a BBC journalist, Kyaw intends to use his first visit to Myanmar in eight years to take pictures for a photographic essay about Burmese people and culture, using documentary photography techniques he learned at UWL.

Find out more about the London School of Film, Media and Design. Check out the School on Twitter: @UWL_LSFMD