14.11.2012 - Communication & Information Sector

Government officials in Myanmar to receive media training

A daily scene of a pagoda, Myanmar - © UNESCO

Within the framework of UNESCO’s on-going assistance to the Government of Myanmar in its current transition towards democracy, UNESCO is organizing, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, a five-day training workshop for senior public officials responsible for relations with the media in different government ministries.

The workshop will take place in Nay Pyi Taw from 19 to 23 November and is expected to gather some 50 participants.

Senior trainers Sandra Mary Barron (Ireland) and Graham Watts (United Kingdom), who are experienced editors, writers, trainers, journalists and media experts, will lead the training sessions covering topics ranging from the role of media in democratic societies to practical exercises on how to deal with the media on a daily basis.

The current reform process in Myanmar and the opening media environment are posing new challenges to government officials, who need to acquire the appropriate knowledge and know-how in the media field in order to adequately cope with the new political situation.

“The objective of this workshop is to provide knowledge and guidance to government officials on how to work with independent and free media in a democratic society,” says Ms Rosa Gonzalez, Adviser for Communication and Information in the UNESCO Bangkok Office. “Due to the new reality of Myanmar society and the current progress towards an open media landscape, new professional practices are necessary, and a new relationship between the government and the media needs to be built based on open and transparent access to information.”

The work falls within the framework of the UNESCO project “Creation of an enabling environment for freedom of expression by promoting activities which foster policies and regulatory partnerships conducive to freedom of expression in regards to all types of media and social communication platforms”, supported by Canal France International. In its Myanmar programme, the project aims to provide technical advice to the Myanmar government on establishing a media regulatory and legal framework according to international standards and best practices.

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