Ethics and responsibilities of news media men

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Khin Maung Oo

”So as to become a perfect newsman, the main responsibility he needs to do is to fulfill himself with a wide range of knowledge by searching for facts needed in building up the nation, all the time and to firmly stand on their own dignity and beliefs which can never be harmed so that they will be a good leader who will be able to guide the country. Only if the spirit of keeping one’s dignity and reforming matters unsuitable for the country had been developed in him, assuming that every newsman is responsible for having made a historically remarkable reform or something during his existence as a newsman, will he become a typical newsman.”
Some sixty years ago, Chief Editor of Union Express U Maung Maung Pyay, a well-known journalist made the above statement at a journalism course conducted at the Yangon University. The speech highlighted qualifications needed for a good journalist, responsibilities to be performed, ethnics to abide by and the kind of spirit needed in such a person.
The Myanmar media world had been nearly under total eclipse for almost half a century, leading to the great loss of professional ethics and standards of journalism.
With the increasing importance of the Fourth Estate in democratic nations likewise the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary, Renaissance of Journalism in Myanmar, that is, revival of journalists is happening again. At such a transitional period, the fourth estate is still in its infancy. To put it simply, some media-men lack skills and knowledge on ethics. Simultaneously opportunists and selfish ones waiting for their chances are entering the media world incognito.
Much has been heard that there frequently occurred irritating offences which caused people to misunderstand news-men and the media world, for example performing the tasks of searching, arresting, blackmailing, extorting, playing the role of mediators and in certain cases making money by carrying out interrogations as if they were intelligence personnel, in a shameless way.
There is an urgent need to remove misunderstandings over the fourth estate, scourged by bogus journalists. As for the fourth estate, they need to perform their duties with mutual understanding, in harmony with the other three estates of the State.
Accordingly, meetings among the four estates are being held at the cities of Regions and States, with a view to having mutual respect for each other and co-operating mutually in finding news and information for people to know, with meetings already held in Rakhine State, Mon State and Bago Region. Very soon, it will be held in Ayeyarwady Region too.
We hereby express our wish for the success of bringing about mutual trust and understanding and eradicating the bogus journalists in disguise, according to the aims and objectives of meetings of the Four Estates.

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