Rakhine crisis challenge to media: UNESCO Country Chief

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6th Conference on Myanmar Media Development in Yangon. Photo: Mizzima

The crisis in Rakhine has thrown up a huge challenge to the media in Myanmar , said Min Jeong Kim, Country Chief of UNESCO.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 6th Media Development Conference at Yangon’s Chatrium Hotel, Min  Jeong Kim said that an unusally heavy spate of hate speech, fake news and biased reporting has characterised the media content on Rakhine.

“That is worrying because the content is so divisive,”  she said.

“Media must bring people together , not divide them ,” Ms Kim said. ” That is now the challenge for the media in Myanmar.”

The UNESCO country chief said the need of the hour for the Myanmar media was to stick to the five ethical principles of journalism — Truth, Independence, Fairness, Humanitarianism and Accuracy . 

‘Media must create the atmosphere for the dialogue , not close it down ,” she said.

U Thiha Saw, secretary of Myanmar Press Council, stressed the need for ethics in journalism.

He questioned the content in social media because “often that was heavily biased.”

“It is time to question whether social media is media because it is full of hate speech, unverified news, plain rumours and often very divisive messages,” he said.

Dr Zin Mar Kyaw , who teaches journalism at the National Management Degree College, insisted on implementing the recommendations resulting from media research projects of various organisations.

Source: Mizzima Myanmar

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