Professional development

It is estimated there are around 4,000 journalists working in Myanmar. Professional development opportunities for journalists remain thin on the ground, and have largely been centred around the print media.

In the past, a lack of formal training centres meant journalists often received on-the-job training at established publications that operated under censorship. No universal cadetship-style scheme was in place, with each publication developing their own approach toward training and staff development. There are a high number of female journalists working in newsrooms, but to reach roles of any real seniority in the newsroom, this is often linked to age and experience. The various journalistic bodies in the country have worked toward developing professional standards (most often referred to as the ‘media ethics’), however this exists only in a formal capacity under the Media Law. Conflict sensitivity and gender issues are being explored more frequently these days, but this varies from publication to publication. Programs aimed at boosting skills among radio and television reporters have been funded by the international community, although it is not certain if this level of funding will be maintained in the future.