October 19, 2017

“Myanmar Democracy Transition and Media” session in Democratic Transition Forum

Session on “Myanmar Democracy Transition and Media” was held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

A session on “Myanmar Democracy Transition and Media” was held in forum of Myanmar Democratic Transition yesterday afternoon at Myanmar International Convention Center-2, Nay Pyi Taw.
Representative of DW Akademie Myanmar Ms. Isabella Kurkowski chaired the session and Myanmar Times Chief Editor Mr. Kavi Chongkittavorn, Media Freedom foreign expert Mrs. Dunja Mijatovic and Myanmar Press Council Vice Chairman U Aung Hla Tun discussed on “Myanmar Democracy Transition and Media.”
Myanmar Times Chief Editor Mr. Kavi Chongkittavorn said media is not an enemy of the State.
There is a very important need for Myanmar’s voice to be presented internationally. Mindset need to be changed for media policy. Access to information is the right of every national and is not a special right for the media only. Diversity is strength and there need to be more news on diversity. Anyone related to media need to coordinate well with it. Media personnel are not perfect and they can also be wrong. But media personnel must try to be true and correct.
Media Freedom foreign expert Mrs. Dunja Mijatovic said conducting a transition is difficult and understand the matters faced by countries in transition like Myanmar. Myanmar is different from other countries and media sector is very important in a transition to democracy. Media is not an enemy. It is a friend. Media is to be used for the country’s development. Regulation on media needs to be setup and Code of Ethics is to be followed.
Media plays an important role in the peace process and even though it couldn’t be told to support the government but must participate in the process. The government needs to develop media freedom. Mutual trust is important and could be achieved only through working together. Media was seen to have produced problems in the society. That is not good for the people and such conducts are not freedom of expression. Media must benefit the society. The government needs to inform the media openly of all situation and the media also need to inform the true situation.
Myanmar Press Council Vice Chairman U Aung Hla Tun said many countries are facing difficulties and challenges but Myanmar is facing more than other countries while there is more international attention on it. Viewing media’s role in transition to democracy, media is the fourth pillar that is balancing the three other pillars. The duty and responsibility of the media is important and civil society organisations’ participation is also important.
Media’s role is to smooth the transition to democracy and attain peace. Media need to change the mindset of the people. Myanmar media’s present duty and responsibility is the safe handling of international image. On the matter of ethnic affairs, international reports are taking news on sensitive issues. It is attracting the international attention. As the regional media coverage was inadequate, it was unable to make the international community understand the true situation. This is due to lack of media freedom, experience and professional skill.
Some laws are threatening journalists. It is difficult for journalists to obtain news from government departments. Obstructive laws are being repealed and new laws drawn to support the journalists. Attempts are made for gradual progress in media sector. In addition to participating in democracy transition, media is also securing and protecting human rights. Media must try to become professional.
Afterward discussion panelists answered to questions raised by attendees.

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