Press Conference by Myanmar Press Council

11 June 2019

Myanmar Press Council held the press conference on 7 June 2019 at its office in Yangon saying that the council is now taking another step to ensure the journalists that they have a better access to the information by providing journalist card after collaborating with different departmental officials from the government. In the press conference, the Myanmar Press Council also gave their reports on allegation and charges on journalists, media code of conduct, international relation by the Myanmar media and laws concerning the media personnel.

Since January 1, 2014, Myanmar Press Council started to implement “the Program on the developing Code of Conducts for Myanmar Journalists” in close to collaboration with the International Media Support (IMS). According to the action of plan of the program, Myanmar Press Council initiated a series of consultative workshops with the journalists nationwide, in order to properly consult with them before finalizing into the National Consensus Document of the Media Code of Conduct of Draft Journalists’ Ethics. This Code of Conduct has been adopted by the Interim Media Council of Myanmar as a statement of the standards to which all media outlets should abide. It takes as its starting point the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion an expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

Speaking at the press conference Hantharwaddy U Ohn Kyaing the chairman of MPC said, “Our country has just started building a democratic country now. Country is very young in its journey with democracy, we have just two elected governments. As the country is very young in its practice of democracy, there may be weakness and shortcoming; the media personnel in our nation are also have a very young experience in media platform. Therefore there will surely be some mistakes and misconducts by the media as well. One of the biggest challenges which the media face today is the media are charged by the law which was used by the British in early 20th century to oppress our people in our country and the same law is still used by the present government today. Therefore the present government, elected by the people must rethink and amend some of the laws concerning media laws.”

Dr. Myo Thant Tin, head of the Committee from International relation at MPC said, “According rules and regulations, for the development of news and media we have signed MoU with some of our neighboring countries and we look forward to work together with them in the future. The signing of MoU aims to collaborate with our neighboring countries and have a platform where we can exchange the information with each other. We have signed MoU with the countries such as India, Nepal and Thailand and we are also planning to sign MoU with the remaining neighboring countries. This signing of MoU also aims to prevent the spread of false news or hate speech and this will also benefit us in verifying the news within the regional countries. We also have meeting with several ambassadors from different countries for this matter, therefore we are hoping to build a better stage for media.”

Speaking to the media, Ko Zay Yar Hlaing, the secretary of Media Code of Conduct Committee said, “As the media platform has changed, now Facebook is the famous platform where we can find so-called click-page which runs just for the sake of attracting the users and this type of page is being run without any proper code of conduct. And this click-pages use other’s data without permission so this is theft. These pages steal information from mainstream media platform as well as from international pages. So we identify these types of pages and release a statement on it. Therefore social media pages like this are responsible for the spread of false news and hate news. So action should be taken on this issue and we are working on it.”