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Myanmar, Republic of the Union of

Myanmar: UNICEF trains young journalists on child-focused reporting

© UNICEF Myanmar/2005/Thame
Young Myanmar journalist Thet Zin (holding recorder) interviewing a middle school teacher on UNICEF's HIV/AIDS prevention program.

By Jason Rush and Jihun Sohn

YANGON, Myanmar, 20 July 2005 – Twenty-four young journalists in Myanmar have finished a two-week media training course organized by UNICEF. Training was provided on international standards of news reporting, child-focused reporting and media ethics.

In Myanmar this kind of training is generally unavailable and journalists find it difficult to acquire the knowledge and tools commonly used in countries around the world.

The journalists, mostly in their teens or early twenties, concluded their training on 1 July by drafting a comprehensive code of ethics that sets forth the basic principles for reporting.

© UNICEF Myanmar/2005/Thame
Myanmar journalists U Ko Ko and Kyaw Hsu Mon conducting an interview.

“This training is important because it gives young reporters in Myanmar an opportunity to learn more about children’s rights, ethics, and how they can give a greater voice to children and young people in their country,” said UNICEF Representative in Myanmar Carroll Long.

The training is among a wide range of ongoing activities which are designed to strengthen public access to credible information about children and UNICEF’s on-the-ground support for them.

Workshops, briefings and field trips

Recognizing the lack of opportunities for young journalists to gain and sharpen their reporting skills, UNICEF began to provide training workshops on international-standard reporting and child-focused reporting in 2004.

“Training is particularly important for young journalists in Myanmar because it can increase their ability to help the country’s families learn about measures that they themselves can take to enhance their children’s health and well-being,” said Ms. Long.

The course was part of a series taking place this year in Myanmar, with financial support from the Swedish National Committee for UNICEF. Other courses this year have focused on key issues and areas most affecting the country, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and HIV/AIDS.

In addition to training, UNICEF provides journalists with bimonthly briefings on the organization’s latest work in child protection, child survival, maternal health and other issues. UNICEF also organizes field trips for reporters to see UNICEF projects in action.

In 1991, Myanmar ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC establishes that children have the right to express their views and receive information on important matters.



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