Since the beginning of 2018, concepts developed by DW Akademie have reflected the transition from dictatorship to democracy and the rediscovery of the role and responsibility of journalists and civil society in this.
After decades of political and economic isolation, Myanmar introduced a process of dynamic reform in 2011 that also greatly benefited the media sector. The country saw an official end to press censorship. In 2013, the private newspaper market was reestablished. Journalists were allowed to join together in professional associations.
New media laws have enabled institutional reforms in the media sector and established a basis for private radio and TV stations, as well as an unprecedented boom in mobile digital communication and social media. However, hopes of the country opening up after the victory of the opposition movement in November 2015, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, were let down. In the eyes of many journalists and representatives of Myanmar's civil society, media reforms in the Southeast Asian country slowed down after the change of government.
Since 2014, DW Akademie has been helping establish the Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI) as a national center of excellence for journalism education and training. DW Akadmie backs the Myanmar Press Council (MPC) as a key institutional player in media accountability, meaning the responsibilities of the media itself; and civil society and government bodies working on the democratic process. This includes new projects on media and information literacy (MIL).
Since 2013, DW Akademie has been consulting the state broadcaster Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) on its reform process, focusing on the decentralization of programming and editorial structures. A milestone on this path is a joint project between MRTV and ethnic media that aims for an exchange of digital content on a web platform.
The first community radio station in Myanmar, a joint pilot project of DW Akademie and the government, went on air in Htan Tabin in February 2018.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country coordinator: Eva Mehl
Deployed specialists: Isabella Kurkowski and Thomas Bärthlein
Locations: Yangon, Htan Tabin
Local partners: Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI), Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV), Myanmar Press Council (MPC), Khayae FM/ VDC Federation, Independent Ethnic Media Alliance (IEMA), Myanma Fifth Estate (MFE)
Main focus: Political and legal frameworks, qualification, civic engagement and community media, developing and strengthening public service broadcasters, media self-regulation and ethics in journalism, journalism education and development of curricula, business models and media viability, media and information literacy (MIL)