Ethnic media reporters, editors and publication owners are calling on the Myanmar government, parliament and legislative assembles across the country to recognize them like the mainstream media as they are also working in the role of fourth estate.
The fourth ethnic media conference was held in Mrauk U, Rakhine State from February 14 to 16 under the theme, “Peace and Reconciliation through Ethnic Media.”
A total of over 200 representatives attended, with the opening speech given by Rakhine State Chief Minister Mya Aung.
Local and foreign journalists were invited to attend to share their knowledge of the challenges faced by ethnic minority journalists in Myanmar.
Delegates agreed that since the ethnic media needs to continue their work in media to support peace and reconciliation, it would help if ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) and international organizations rendered them necessary assistance.
The conference called on the government and Press Council to enact a law that would facilitate free coverage of news and guarantee the safety of journalists. The conference agreed to call on the government for free access at parliament and all legislative assemblies and not to restrict the right to information.
The journalists working in ethnic media houses still need capacity building, training, financial assistance for production of news stories and these ethnic media houses need to induct more women reporters and strive to encourage them to take leading roles.
The first ethnic media conference was held in Mawlamyine, Mon State, in 2013. Subsequent meetings were held in Shan State and Chin State.