Conference on media freedom and conflict

The media risks many threats when trying to report about conflicts. Many areas are completely off-limits. "Fake news" and "hate speech" are the result of a lack of trustworthy information.

The Center for Myanmar Media Development and FEM hosted a day-long conference on 30 March 2018 to discuss media freedom and conflict. Speakers included former Minister of Information, Ye Htut, Nay Phone Latt MP, and chief editors Ma Thida (San Chaung), Thiha Saw and Swe Win.

Ted talk 1: Myanmar media is under constant threat for reporting on conflict.

The media risks many different threats when trying to report about conflicts. This includes violence against individual journalists, attacks on media houses, attempts to deprive the media of income, blacklisting and denials of access to conflict areas.

Ted Talk 2: Myanmar media and its freedom to report.

Despite its best efforts, the Myanmar media has many barriers to reporting on the conflict effectively. These include journalists’ access to conflict areas, their capability to question and critically analyse information, and demands for them to be conflict-sensitive.

Journalist representation and the nationwide media survey results

What does the survey tell us about journalists’ opinions on media freedom in conflict areas?

  • 78% of journalists believe that they have low or very low levels of freedom of report in conflict areas
  • 55% of journalists believe that violence against journalists has increased since last year

Ted Talk 3: The public’s right to “true” information about conflict.

Myanmar is facing many conflicts and these are reflected online in misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, intolerance and hate. However, “fake news”, “hate speech” and claims of the “truth” about conflict have served to undermine journalists’ reputations, justify journalists’ exclusion from conflict areas, and build pressure for old censorship practices to return.