Development of Myanmar Media

  • By Shin Min
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Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV) has been making its performance, with the aims of education, information and entertainment. Now that the country is moving on the democratic way, MRTV is making reformation works and collecting news from the public, standing up for the interest of the people and broadcasting news and information people deserve to know, with the changing time.
In order to foster Myanmar Media Development, Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV) has signed a cooperation agreement with five private group companies to operate as content providers for digital free-to-air TV channels in a multi-play-out system of MRTV during the second year of the incumbent government.
With the approval of Union Government Meeting (2/2018), MRTV has signed the contract of cooperation agreements with five content providers in 17 February of 2018 which can provide the viewers with broader information views and entertainment programs in the MRTV Multi Channel Play out System.
With effect from 2016 when the incumbent government took office, MRTV is carrying out the tasks of amending law on television and broadcasting for the development of media sector of the State, implementing the compilation of the laws necessary for changing as PSB, performing transparently for interested persons to launch the five new private media channels which will be expanded by adding to the existing channels being broadcast with the system of DVB—T2 of Multi-Channel Play-out System during the period of amending TV and Broadcasting Law.
MITV channel is broadcasting daily in English language about the ethnic people of Myanmar, short biography of well-known persons, Myanmar’s prominent landmarks, news, documentary, travelling sights, social life articles, weather report and other reports.
Moreover, MITV Channel is being broadcast in English language especially for the Myanmar people who live abroad and for foreigners who have arrived in Myanmar to discover the real conditions of Myanmar and her traditional cultures.
For the development of media in Myanmar, media conferences have been held many times; for the first conference in May 27 and 28 of 2016 and the second conference in December 16 of 2016, the third conference in March 7 of 2017 respectively. All the conferences aimed at developing the realm of media in Myanmar and holding frank discussions among members of the media with a view to developing the media sector and to overcome challenges in the media world.
Arrangements for the fourth branch to have access to its related panels and media law are under way . Likewise, laws on television, broadcasting, printing and publishing have been enacted in the country. Some amendments are being made, to be submitted to Hluttaw after completion.
The drafting of the Right to Information Law is under way which is designed for the benefit of the whole populace.
With the extended works, the MRTV telecasts a variety of programmes totalling 17 hours daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and plans are being made to reform the broadcasting duration ratio to 45 per cent in information programming, 35 per cent in entertainment programming, and 20 per cent in education programmes respectively.
Besides Stock Exchange news, the MRTV broadcasts local news, international news, Hluttaw news, weather forecast news, socio-economic news, current affairs, and weekly sports.
All these programmes provide information, education and entertainment which can allow the public to obtain more complete information and facts and will in turn benefit the development of the country.
There are five TV channels including MRTV, Myawady, MRTV-4, Channel-7 and Sky Net as well as six FM lines broadcasting from Myanma Radio in Myanmar.
As a result, the people will have a chance to enjoy many TV channels due to the extension of additional channels. All content providers are to do self-censorship, have to avoid the matters that may damage national and religious affairs and take responsibility for their programmes.
With the efficient usage of advanced technology and equipment, The MRTV aims at improving the quality of service and the quantity of channels, promoting the production and transmission quality and quantity of the programmes.
The MRTV broadcasts in Analogue and Digital for both Television and Radio Broadcasting which includes the national races programs for majority ethnic groups in different languages for TV and Radio. Moreover MRTV has established the MRTV web portal and created account on social websites to access online video streaming and data.
All the programmes are designated to broadcast the current conditions of local and international affairs from You Tube, Facebook and other website pages.
The Farmers Channel broadcasts modern agricultural methods, research works and educative programs for agriculture sector and development of the country. Also it aims to take educative agriculture TV programs and interviews for farmers.
As for the information sector, political dialogues made at the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong, on exchange of views between the State Counsellor and youths and peace talks between State Counsellor and ethnic nationals were broadcast live.
Women’s Week Forum and business talk between State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and prominent women entrepreneurs was also broadcast live by the MRTV. This helped the culture of negotiating between people with different views, media freedom and media development—the essence of the democracy.
Debate programmes show expertise discussions, ideas of scholars and professionals over the current affairs of the country are also being presented. Likewise, people’s voices are also being described with a view to standing up for the people.
Educational talks on health and warning and sharing knowledge on protection of natural disaster, child care services, programs for sharing supportive guides for distant education and matriculation exams are also being presented.
For making farming working on agricultural and animal farms improve their knowledge, the department made programs by combing with professional experts from Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Myanma Radio as well managed to broadcast radio plays and stories, radio magazines, and various kinds of programmes. Besides, so as to get rid of discrimination and not to cause depression among the people living with disabilities, the program, “Diary of un-withered flowers,” was being presented every week.
For giving relaxation of the people, MRTV is filming and producing new songs, performing in the ceremonies of the State, to the accompaniment of the national orchestra by combining with foreign technicians.
MRTV’s reporter themselves went to many parts of the country to get news and event footage to be able to present live to the whole nation. Due to their effort, regional news and information sent by 11 national ethnic languages’ news branches were presented within one-year period, besides news branches in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay.
National Races Channels depicting actual situations of national ethnics are broadcasting their traditional cultures, regional food and cultural usages and terms.
In accord with the changing times and systems, MRTV is transforming the existing system into PSB/ Private Service Broadcasting System. To be able to do so, laws are being amended and installation of Digital DVB T2 transmitters for the process of Analogue Switch Off is being made. For changing Analogue system into Digital system, to have 750 W Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB+) installed in Yangon as a pilot project, a contract to buy machines and equipment is under way.
As for the Ministry of Information, efforts are being made for the journalists to smoothly collect news and information.
The role of media development and media freedom is very crucial for the country and we need collaborative efforts from all stakeholders in the media industry including the government, the lawmakers and international organizations. The Ministry has done as much as it can for the development of the country’s media sector.
Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung
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