19.04.2013 - Communication & Information Sector

Building capacity of young journalists in Myanmar print media industry

Training course for journalists working in the print media in Myanmar – © Myanmar Times

With the government being in the process of drafting new media laws to grant greater freedom of expression in Myanmar and making encouraging moves towards media reforms, there is an acute need for well-trained journalists to report on, and create awareness about the challenges and responsibilities involved in a transition towards democracy.

Today in Myanmar there are few training and professional development opportunities available for journalists. Journalists who have undergone training to upgrade their skills have attended courses held outside of their country. Their level of understanding of journalism conventions, standards and ethics is generally low but varies from publication to publication.

With the support of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), Myanmar Consolidated Media (MCM) organized a training course aimed at building the capacities of journalists working in the print media sector. On 5 April, during the ceremony at The Myanmar Times in Yangon, Ramon Tuazon, from UNESCO’s Myanmar Office, awarded certificates to five trainees that completed the basic journalism skills course.

The topics covered were both theoretical and practical, including learning what is news, what makes news, story construction, conducting interviews in a range of situations, the necessity of attribution, research skills, developing a list of sources and the importance of objectivity and impartiality. The importance of professionalism and media ethics was also covered and instructions were provided on how to politely decline gifts offered by an interviewee in an effort to secure favourable media coverage.

“I hope this course has been as satisfying for the trainees as it has been for me,” said Geoffrey Goddard, trainer and senior editor at The Myanmar Times. He added that he was pleased to have made a contribution towards building the capacity of journalists in Myanmar’s media sector, and wished trainees every success for their journalism careers.

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