UNESCO equips Myanmar NGOs with Media and Information Literacy Skills for greater advocacy for Freedom of Expression

UNESCO equips Myanmar NGOs with Media and Information Literacy Skills for greater advocacy for Freedom of Expression

30 leaders of Myanmar Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) participated in the workshop series on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) organized by UNESCO, on 14-15 and 16-17 December 2015 in Yangon.

Mr. Ramon Tuazon, President of Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, at MIL Workshop for Civil Society Organizations in Myanmar. ©UNESCO


Participants at the workshop are preparing for their group presentation. ©UNESCO

The two-day workshops were facilitated by Mr Ramon R. Tuazon and Ms Ann L. Lopez, President and Director respectively of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), a leading media training center in the ASEAN region.

The training module, which was developed and customized for this workshop, drew attention to broad issues like freedom of expression, participation, civic engagement and the role of media in a democracy. Special attention was devoted to the Myanmar context, providing an overview of the legal framework around media and freedom of expression in the country. Under the guidance of the facilitators, participants were able to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice by developing an action plan to apply and include a Media and Information Literacy approach in the advocacy and outreach work carried out by their organizations.

Many CSOs in Myanmar are engaged in community mobilization, advocacy, capacity development and content development. Enhanced MIL competencies enables them to improve on the conduct or delivery of these functions using more diverse media and information channels. At the same time, citizens who are Media and Information literate play an important role in ensuring that media performs its functions professionally. Media and Information equips the community with a capacity to evaluate the performances of the media by assessing the content and processes of media and other information sources. It also provides skills in cross-cultural sensitive necessary in building tolerance and understanding.

This program, supported by the European Union, is part of UNESCO’s efforts to promote democratic reforms and media development in Myanmar. UNESCO in Myanmar has been a facilitator and a catalyst of cooperation in the field of media, advocating, preparing and supporting the changes that have now started to take place. UNESCO has constantly fostered debate on media accountability and professional and ethical standards, which provide journalists with guiding principles on how to best exercise their profession.

The training module main reference books can be accessed in the links below:

Media and Information Literacy Workshop for Civil Society Organizations in Myanmar (English)

Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Teachers (English)

Freedom of Expression toolkit: a guide for students (English)

For further information on the project, please contact Mikel Aguirre Idiaquez, Media Development Expert (m.aguirre-idiaquez@unesco.org) or Naing Naing Aye, National Programme Officer (nn.aye@unesco.org)