Swedish Government supports media-programme in Myanmar

Democratic Voice of Burma headquarters in Oslo, Norway

Democratic Voice of Burma headquarters in Oslo, Norway, Photo: Helle Wahlberg, IMS

With a grant from the Swedish government International Media Support, IMS and Fojo Media Institute will continue their long-term engagement with Myanmar’s media.

Of the many changes that have taken place in the six years since democratic reforms took speed in Myanmar, the country’s media sector is perhaps the area in which the greatest leaps forward have been made.

A new media law, the establishment of the Myanmar News Media Council, the Myanmar Journalism Institute and journalism unions, are but some examples of the progress to date to which both International Media Support (IMS) and Fojo Media Institute have contributed with Swedish support. This new grant of 22 million SEK (2.3 million Euros) enables the two organizations to continue important efforts to develop an independent and professional media that supports the ongoing democratic reform process in close partnership with media, civil society, government stakeholders and other international media development organisations.

“We are pleased to be able to continue our work to support the development of Myanmar’s media sector at this crucial time in the country’s history where a new, democratically elected government has taken over the important and difficult task of continuing the democratic reform process,” says Jesper Højberg, Executive Director, International Media Support.

The programme which runs from April 2016 – April 2019 will focus on i) support to media-related law and policy-making; ii) professionalization of journalists and strengthening ethical standards; and thirdly, iii) community media and access to information.

“Our priority over the next three years will be to support our strong local partners in their efforts to develop independent and accountable media as a driver of positive social and political change.” says Johan Romare, International Director at Fojo Media Institute,

All three pillars of the programme will pay special attention to gender equality and the inclusion of minority groups in media.

“A vibrant and healthy media sector is vital to good governance goals- including free and fair elections, anti-corruption and economic development, says Staffan Herrström, Swedish Ambassador to Myanmar. “We are very pleased to continue our support to the important work being carried out in this area.”

The new programme builds on the the accumulated results and lessons learned from IMS’ 2012-2015 programme – ‘Media Development in Support of Democratic Governance and National Reconciliation in Myanmar’, co-funded by Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

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