The Role of Media in Democratic Transition: Successes, Challenges and the Way Forward
20 May, 2013 (Monday)
08:00 – 09:00 REGISTRATION
09:00 – 10:00 OPENING SESSION
- HE U Aung Kyi, Union Minister for Information
- HE Mikael Winther, Danish Ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar
- Mr. Etienne Clement, Regional Deputy Director, UNESCO Bangkok
- Mr. Thiha Saw, Editor-in-Chief, Open News Journal, Vice Chairman of Myanmar Journalist Association, member of Interim Myanmar Press Council
10:00 – 10:30 REFRESHMENTS BREAK
10:30 – 12:00 SESSION 1: SETTING THE STAGE: MEDIA REFORM AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN MYANMAR
This session provides an overview of the continuing media reform process now taking place in Myanmar. While the Government of Myanmar (through the Ministry of Information) has defined a media reform agenda, changes are also being initiated and driven by others including the private media and civil society organizations. Media reform encompasses structural changes, systems and procedures, and policies (inclusive of media legislations), among others. Media reform is also linked to other relevant ongoing democratic reforms. The discussion will focus on how far we have gone and what still needs to be done, and will pinpoint challenges and opportunities encountered by stakeholders.
- Mr. Tint Swe, Director General, Myanmar Radio Television
- Mr. Ye Min Oo, Chief Editor/News (MNTV), former Executive Editor of The Voice Weekly, Member of the interim Myanmar Press Council
- Mr. Kavi Chongkittavorn, Chairman, Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
- Ms. Barbara Swann, Swann Media Consultants LLC (USA)
Moderator: Mr. Zayar Hlaing, Editor, Mawkun Magazine, Myanmar Observer Media Group
12:00 – 13:00 LUNCH
13:00 – 14:30 SESSION 2: MEDIA LEGISLATION AND REGULATION
This session focuses on areas for media regulation (by government) and self-regulation (by the media sector) consistent with international standards. It will look at the salient provisions of proposed media laws by the government as well as codes of ethics and conduct by journalists’ associations. Proposed media laws include Press Law, Printing and Publishing Law, Broadcasting Law, and Film or Cinema Law. The discussion must also examine whether requirements needed to pursue the new media laws exist or can be made available.
- Dr. Thi Han Myo Nyunt, Legal Counselor and Member of Governing Body of Public Service Newspaper
- Mr. Toby Mendel, Director, Center for Law and Democracy
- Dr. Myo Thant Tyn, Member of the interim Myanmar Press Council
- Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem, former Judge of the German Federal Constitutional Court
Moderator: Mr. Jesper Hojberg, Executive Director, International Media Support (IMS)
14:30 – 16:00 SESSION 3: REGIONAL MEDIA REFORMS
Media reforms in Myanmar may not succeed if they are pursued only at the national level. Appropriate changes must be put in place in states/regions, townships, and villages. Many local good governance policies are related to media reforms. These include transparency, greater access to information, public participation and community media. This session is envisioned to jumpstart more discussions on these issues and identify state champions in pursuing local media reforms.
- Mr. Khin Maung Shwe, Development Secretary, Burma News International
- Ms. Mai Democracy, Editor, Chin World News
- Mr. Toily Kurbanov, UNDP Country Director
Moderator: Ms. Gayathry Venkiteswaran, Executive Director, Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
16:00 – 16:30 REFRESHMENTS BREAK
16:30 – 18:00 SESSION 4: MEDIA, PEACE AND CONFLICT
Journalists and editors working in Myanmar are grappling with the issue of conflict—how to understand it; how to report on it without inflaming the situation; and how to tell sensitive stories that the public can understand. This session will contribute to a national conversation about conflict, conflict resolution, peace building, and the role of media.
- Mr. Aung Naing Oo, Myanmar Peace Center
- Mr. Myint Kyaw, Myanmar Journalist Network and conflict sensitive journalism trainer
- Mr. Sang Te, Editor, Khonumthung News
- Ms. Gayathry Venkiteswaran, Executive Director, SEAPA
Moderator: Mr. Kavi Chongkittavorn, Chairman, SEAPA
21st May, 2013 (Tuesday)
09:00 – 10:30 SESSION 5: THE BUSINESS OF MEDIA: GEARING UP FOR A FREE AND COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT
The competitive environment does not only refer to the market (audiences and revenues); it also includes related concerns such as competitive content (programmes) and even resources such as good (trained) journalists, capital, equipment and facilities, and distribution channels. The key words are survival, sustainability and economic viability.
- Mr. Ko Ko, Chairman, Yangon Media Group
- Ms. Michelle Foster, Business Media Consultant
- Mr. Steven Gan, Editor-in-Chief, Malaysiakini
- Mr. Thet Win, General Manager, International Relations Department , Shwe Than Lwin Co.,Ltd (Sky Net)
Moderator: Mr. Soe Myint, Editor In-chief/ Managing Director Mizzima News
10:30 – 11:00 REFRESHMENTS BREAK
11:00 – 12:30 SESSION 6: SERVING THE PUBLIC: HOW CAN MEDIA FOSTER A MORE INCLUSIVE AND PARTICIPATORY SOCIETY?
The discussion will examine “public media” from three perspectives: i) the government’s initiative to transform state-owned media into public service media; ii) the role of private/commercial media in addressing public needs and interests amidst growing commercialization and competition in Myanmar’s media landscape; and iii) strengthening community media as local development channels. Will the diversity in ownership also lead to diversity in terms of content (including language)? Will the envisioned media ecosystem give representation to marginalized groups such as women and ethnic communities?
- Mr. Tint Swe, Director General, Myanmar Radio Television (MRTV)
- Mr. Raghu Mainali, Director, Community Radio Support Centre, Nepal
- Ms. Nan Paw Gay, News Editor, Karen Information Center; Development Officer, BNI
- Mr. Blair Levin, Communications & Society Fellow, Aspen Institute, USA
Moderator: Mr. Mark Bunting, Director for Strategy & Policy, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH
13:30 – 15:30 SESSION 7: THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN GOOD GOVERNANCE
How can the mass media help ensure clean and honest elections? Can all political parties be assured equal media space? How can media facilitate greater access to justice for all and promote the rule of law? How can media help create an accountable and transparent justice system? This session will highlight the critical role of media in the promotion and pursuit of reforms in other sectors, including elections, and the criminal justice system.
- Mr. Paw KhineThan, Director, Research and Data Department, Union Supreme Court
- Mr. Win Ko, Director, Union Election Commission
- Dr. Ma Thida (San Chaung), Writer/ Executive Editor, The Pae Tin Thran News Journal
- Mr. Jeff Hodson, Independent Media Trainer
- Mr. Peter McDermott, Chairperson, Governance Reform Working Group
Moderator: Professor Dr. Aung Tun Thet, Member of the President's National Economic and Social Advisory Council and the interim Myanmar Press Council
15:30 – 16:00 REFRESHMENTS BREAK
16:00 – 17:30 SESSION 8: FILLING THE GAP: JOURNALISM, EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The number of private training institutions offering short-term journalism training courses continues to increase to supplement the formal journalism programme of the National Management College. Media groups also conduct their own “internal” training courses. All these indicate the need to develop competent journalists for the growing media companies throughout the country. These developments beg answers to some questions: How do we ensure proper coordination among the various initiatives? How can curricula be of good quality and relevant to local conditions? Can resources -- qualified teachers, textbooks/references, equipment and facilities, school-media industry partnership -- be easily mobilized? Are the courses competency-based? Are the training courses affordable?
- Mr. Khin Maung Htay, Co-founder & Director Forever Group Co., Ltd
- Mr. Saw Lynn Aung, conflict sensitive journalism trainer
- Prof. Cherian George, Associate Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
- Mr. Ramon R. Tuazon, Media Development Specialist, UNESCO Myanmar Office
Moderator: Mr. Michael Pan, Internews Trainer
17:30 – 18:00 SESSION 9: CONCLUDING SESSION AND CLOSING
The session will summarize the main points and key recommendations shared by panelists and participants.
- Mr. Thiha Saw, CEO, Open News Journal , Vice Chairman of Myanmar Journalist Association (MJA) and member of interim Myanmar Press Council
- Ms. Nan Lwin, Senior Reporter, Kumudra News Journal
- Mr Tint Swe, Director General and Dr. Thida Tin, Deputy Director General, MOI
Moderator: Ms. Rosa Maria Gonzalez, UNESCO, CI Regional Adviser