Myanmar’s ethnic reporters, editors and publishers are calling for more recognition for the role of ethnic media in the country, and have urged Parliament to address the status of ethnic publications and broadcasting.
At the first conference of its kind in Myanmar—held at the Strand Hotel in Mon State capital Mawlamyine [Moulmein] from April 25 to 27—more than 100 representatives of various ethnic media gathered to exchange views and discuss the difficulties that minority groups face in Myanmar’s emerging media sector.
Concluding the conference, the assembled ethnic representatives called for a new media law set at an international standard whereby ethnic media work together with ministries to promote all forms of media in minority regions.
The groups also called for de facto freedom to work in radio and television broadcasting.
Ko Min Latt, the editor of the Mon-based Than Lwin Times, told Mizzima that ethnic media groups have an insufficient number of reporters, a lack of news sources, and rising costs to deal with.
Other minority journalists addressed the matter of reporting in their own language.
“Many of our people cannot read or write Burmese,” said one. “Why would we want to publish in a language that readers or listeners would not understand?”