By Monica Phang, Programme Manager, AIBD
Media plays an important role in nation building as it can contribute much towards national development.
The Ministry of Information (MOI) Myanmar performs three pertinent tasks i.e. to inform, educate and entertain by mass communication ways through print, electronic and new media.
MOI also utilizing advanced information and communication technologies for serving public as people-centric State Media, is shaping the Ministry as Responsible, New and Active and Advanced Ministry for the public.
This was shared virtually during the opening ceremony of the workshop on Media Literacy to address Disinformation in the presence of 50 participants in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar yesterday.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Information, Mr U Maung-Maung Ohn disclosed that the MOI has established a department named Media Development Department on November 1, 2022.
His Excellency explained that objectives of the Media Development Department is to support activities of the Myanmar Press Council (MPC) in guiding journalists the following ethical practices: adhere to media ethics:
- Draft plans for Myanmar’s media sector development.
- Ensure access to information for citizens.
- Promote participation of international media organizations; and
- Cooperate with relevant organizations under the existing law for
- Development of private media outlets.
This week’s workshop is a part of continued efforts stemming from the 18th Asia Media Summit which was held in Bali, Indonesia in May this year where the Bali MOU was signed by several ministers.
“Myanmar has successfully adopted the “Bali MoU” highlighting the accountability of social media platform owners/stakeholders to enhance media literacy skills and fact verifying mechanism in Asia-Pacific regional level cooperation. Because the spread of disinformation/fake news is happening not only in Myanmar but also in most countries of the world, it is a common strategy for all member nations”, stressed Hon. Minister Maung-Maung Ohn.
Media is paramount importance, when it comes to bring the facts and truth to the world.
His Excellency observed that currently, journalism is shrinking, and digital social media is booming. Hence, the challenge for media practitioners is how to get the accurate message across that wide medium and how to govern the media.
Hon. Minister expressed concerns that some news agencies and media outlets are still churning out falsehoods, with funding from those opposed Myanmar’s peace and development. The end result has been misunderstandings, misjudging and misinterpretation among public and our Neighbours, with detrimental outcomes, involving fear, hatred and disunity.
“That’s why, not only in Myanmar but every country should develop a media co-operation framework to reduce the number of media outlets that spread fake news and conspiracies while encouraging responsible media”, suggested the Minister.
Media and information literacy (MIL) is an essential mechanism to combat disinformation in this digital era. As such, relevant departments under the MOI is actively participating in the ASEAN Task Force on Countering Fake News (TFFN-Myanmar) to carry out important activities like publishing accurate news, reviewing media regulation and existing media laws and also public awareness activities including Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and Digital Literacy in combating against fake news and disinformation.
Edited By: Dinnierose Raiko, Programme Manager, AIBD
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