Ways forward for media sector discussed in Myanmar
"Sex segregated data shows that women represent 16 percent of the sources seen, heard or read about in the news media, while men represent 80 percent. 4 percent of sources’ sex is unknown", said the Swedish Ambassador as he quoted IMS-Fojo and MWJS's Gender in Myanmar News Study in his closing remark during 6th Media Development Conference in Myanmar which were under the theme: “Media Development in Myanmar: strategies and way forward”.
This year the conference focused on journalism ethics and professionalism, ethnic media and peace building, access to information and the safety of journalists among other topics.
Key national and international experts across the media sector shared their experiences with the media community and development partners and discussed ways forward to strengthen Freedom of Expression and the development of the media sector in the country.
Despite Myanmar’s gains in the area of media development and freedom of expression since the reforms started in 2011, the sector is still facing challenges. These include new threats to freedom of expression that are extending globally such as “fake news” and misinformation.
“In this context, it is crucial that national and international media actors work together to strengthen the Myanmar media sector in an inclusively and effective manner. The Media Development Conference is a platform for doing just that,” says Mikel Aguirre Idiaquez, Project Officer, UNESCO.
Peacebuilding, safety & access to information
In the events of the Rakhine conflict, sessions were devoted to talk about access to information, media’s role in peacebuilding, misinformation and safety of journalists:
“With the country’s transition to democracy we need high, ethical journalism to report accurately on the difficult topics related to peace and conflict, both in Rakhine and in other parts of the country. Access to information and safety of journalists are essential ingredients in being able to practice professional and ethical journalism, and to counter fake news,” says U Thiha Saw, Secretary, Myanmar Press Council.
Upholding professional ethics, media sustainability and media legislation were other issues central to the discussions at this year’s conference.