Election reporting, media ethics and public service broadcasting were all among the topics on the agenda at the 3rd conference on media development in Yangon. This year's theme was ‘Moving Towards a Sustainable Media Environment’
Greater access to information for journalists and a needed professionalisation of media were amongst the ways forward set out in the concluding remarks made by Myanmar Minister of Information Ye Htut at the 3rd Conference on Media development in Myanmar on 18 – 19 September.
In constructive and dynamic discussions, Myanmar editors and media workers from private and state media, civil society, the Minister of Information and international media experts debated the current status and way forward of the Myanmar media environment three years after the first media reforms were set in motion in 2011.
Media reform in Myanmar has come far in three years with a Media Law adopted earlier this year and a Code of Conduct for journalists recently published by the interim Press Council. But as several speakers pointed out, laws still remain that infringe on freedom of expression and these must be addressed. Also, the lack of professionalism amongst journalists were some of the major challenges that participants pointed to must be addressed, particularly when media play an important role in covering conflict and in view of upcoming elections in 2015.
The conference was organised by the Myanmar Media Development Thematic Working Group jointly with UNESCO, Ministry of Information (MoI) and International Media Support (IMS). The first Myanmar Media Development Conference in Yangon took place in March 2012. The meeting was the first of its kind in Myanmar to specifically address media development in a gathering of national and international media stakeholders. It was followed by the 2nd Conference on Media Development in May 2013