It was like a “coming out party” for Myanmar journalists. This was how AIJC president Ramon R. Tuazon described the recent Conference on Media Development in Myanmar held in Yangon recently. Mr. Tuazon joined journalists, press freedom advocates and journalism educators worldwide for the event held on 19-20 March at Chatrium Hotel. Also present were local journalists including former exiled journalists who have returned to the country to work for the full restoration of democracy in the country.
During the conference, national officials including Myanmar Minister of Information and Culture U Kyaw Hsan and Director General of Information and Public Relations U Ye Htut reiterated the national leadership’s commitment to pursue greater press freedom in the country. The two officials also described the “three-step media reforms" being implemented by the government expected to be put in place upon approval by the parliament of new media laws.
Mr. Tuazon presented his paper, Competency-Based Continuing Education for Myanmar Journalists. He argued that curriculum for degree (formal) and nondegree (short-term) courses for Myanmar journalists should be based on journalism competencies defined by various stakeholders including journalists, editors and media managers. He also cited the need to benchmark these competencies with those proposed in the UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education.
The AIJC president expressed willingness to work with local training institutions including the national university in enriching their journalism education programs. In previous years, journalists from Myanmar participated in several conferences convened by AIJC. In a meeting with Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar Hellen Baber de la Vega, Mr. Tuazon also discussed possible collaborative projects with the Myanmar government and civil society organizations.
The two-day conference was organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Information with International Media Service (IMS) and Canal France International (CFI).