“No secrets” about supporting Myanmar media, says Danish NGO

A vendor sells news journals in downtown Yangon in December 2012. Denmark-based IMS says more training is needed to ensure that journalist can cultivate the country’s new freer media environment. (AFP)

Denmark-based non-profit International Media Support (IMS) will continue to support the development of Myanmar’s media industry in 2013, reports The Myanmar Times.

IMS project manager for Myanmar Esben Harboe said the organisation’s future programs will build on the work it has done in Myanmar since 2006 and would be driven by what support journalists in the country feel is most needed.

Mr Harboe said more training was needed to ensure journalists could make the most of the freer media environment and IMS plans to work across four main areas, including legal advice, public service media, education and access to the media in ethnic minority areas.

IMS provides training and other support through the Ministry of Information and media organisations, such as Myanmar Journalists Association and Myanmar Journalist Network.
For more than a decade it has also been a supporter of exile media, including Mizzima, The Irrawaddy and Democratic Voice of Burm. Mr Harboe said IMS was committed to working with both the private and public sectors.

“We’ve no secrets [about] working inside [Myanmar]. We’re supporting the government to enact the press law by giving advice and providing training, media workshops and so on,” he said.

“We’ve invited to officials from the Myanmar Information Ministry to learn [about] international media this year. U Ye Htut and U Tint Swe led the group and they visited here – the IMS office in Denmark.

“We’re beginning journalism training in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Myitkyina. We can say that the project in Myanmar is bigger than in the other 52 countries [in which IMS operates].

“We’ll continue to [offer] support for the Myanmar media industry, such as training of trainers, basic journalism training and language classes.”

In mid-2012, IMS was one of the supporters of the Conference on Media Development in Myanmar, which was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture and UNESCO.

Established in 2001, IMS is a non-profit organisation that works to support local media in more than 50 countries affected by armed conflict, human insecurity and political transition. It helps to strengthen professional journalism and ensure that media can operate in challenging circumstances.

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