“We [reporters] from these two states and one division could not connect with one another, [so we created] the foundation of the [Southern Myanmar Journalist] network. We want this network to stand strong. At [the] forum, we discussed the difficulties [facing] reporters from these three regions, and how this network can help solve those difficulties. And, we came out with fourteen points from the discussion. Now, we believe we are in a situation to be better able to connect with one another,” said U Nyam Soe Lin, of the Southern Myanmar Journalist Network (SMJN).
More than 100 participants were present at the forum, including Mon State Minister of Economics and Planning Dr. Min New Soe, as well as 80 reporters and other observers from the three regions.
U Nyan Soe Linn stated that the network initially comprised of nine members and a temporary committee to lead the network. At this recent forum, twenty-seven network members were appointed to the central committee, upon agreement of every journalist in attendance.
“This southern [journalist] network group has to provide media training and capacity-building for reporters. We will cooperate from this training, and work to provide rights for reporters as they request,” said Mon State journalist Ko Kyi Zaw Lwin.
The Southern Myanmar Journalist Network (SMJN) was founded on July 1, 2013, by a group of journalists and reporters from the southern regions of Burma, with the objectives of providing better communications between the public, Community-based and Civil Society Organizations, and journalists; to improve the journalism skills and capacity of reporters from southern Burma; to protect reporters’ rights and responsibilities; to improve adherence to the codes and ethnics of journalism; to cooperate with other media networks; to develop a media sector in the southern regions; and to train and produce new reporters.