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Myanmar and France Sign Media Cooperation Agreement to set up Myanmar School of Journalism in partnership with UNESCO and development partners

12.12.2013

11 December 2013: Yangon. The Myanmar government continues to get international support in its efforts to strengthen freedom of expression and to improve media diversity and pluralism in the country.

Myanmar Minister of Information U Aung Kyi and French Minister of Culture and Communication Ms. Aurélie Filippetti signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments during a sideline event at the International Women’s Forum held recently in Yangon.

Among the areas for cooperation is technical advice on media laws, transfer of expertise on film production and distribution and television broadcasting, and funding assistance from World Cinema Support Fund for joint film productions.

During the same international forum, the Myanmar Journalism School (MyJS) Project was also presented to the news media. MyJS is set to offer a one-year diploma course in journalism starting July 2014.

MyJS is being organized by a consortium of local and international partners committed to professional journalism. Consortium partners include UNESCO, Myanmar’s Forever Group, and a number of European media development organizations such as Canal France International (CFI), DW Akademie, Fojo Media Institute, and International Media Support (IMS). The project is supported by the governments of France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

The envisioned school will further strengthen freedoms of expression and information in the country and promote the safety and protection of local journalists, according to UNESCO Myanmar Head of Office Sardar Umar Alam.

UNESCO Media Development Specialist Ramon R. Tuazon explained that MyJS will complement the four-year Bachelor of Arts in Journalism program of the National Management College (NMC) at the University of Yangon, which UNESCO has been supporting for the past years. The NMC will cater to secondary school graduates who wish to pursue a career in journalism, while MyJS can initially address the needs of working journalists. The NMC and MyJS can eventually converge to create a “center of excellence” in journalism education.