Media unions call for journalism university

Media unions call for journalism university

The Myanmar Journalists Network (MJN) has said it expects to meet with President Thein Sein soon when it will urge the government to open an international-standard journalism university.

Previously, the president informally agreed to meet several press bodies including the MJN, the Myanmar Journalists Union, the Myanmar Journalists Association, and the Interim Press Council.

Aung Thura, general secretary of the MJN, said his group – when afforded the chance to meet with Thein Sein – will urge him to open a university focused on journalism and officially recognised by the government.

Currently, journalism courses are provided by NGOs and INGOs in Burma, but there is no official institution or curriculum covering the subject.

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“We will urge the president to open a journalism school in Burma as the Botathaung University pretty much only teaches propaganda which is not very much useful for journalists,” said Aung Thura, referring to a government-backed institution that teaches journalism in Rangoon. “The media environment in Burma is not as developed as it should be as news agencies are resorting to hiring anyone that will work without much training.”

Pho Naing Linn, secretary of the Myanmar Journalists Association, said his group plans to raise the questions of media development and freedom of the press.

“If we do get to meet him, we will ask him about the future of the media environment, about how much freedom will be provided. We currently only have a degree of freedom,” he said.

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