AIJC president Ramon R. Tuazon recently completed two missions to Bhutan to conduct a capacity assessment of Bhutan media in cooperation with International Media Support (IMS) and QED, a local consultancy firm. IMS is an international media NGO established in 2001 to support local media in countries affected by armed conflict, human insecurity and political transition. IMS is based in Denmark. The assessment project is supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation (SDC).
Courtesy call with Bhutan’s Ministry of Information and Communication Officials
The Bhutan project examined the effectiveness of journalism capacity development (training) initiatives conducted over the past three years and identified prevailing training needs of local journalists. A set of recommendations were drafted on enhancing quality standards in the planning and management of capacity development programs as well as defining priority training needs. According to Tuazon, the project report recommended concrete journalism competencies to be developed or enhanced rather than the usual practice of enumerating broad training areas.
In Myanmar, Tuazon continues to give advice on several projects including the setting up of the first-ever Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI), an initiative of various international NGOs with UNESCO and the Government of Myanmar. MJI will offer diploma courses for local working journalists. Mr. Tuazon was panel moderator and speaker during the 3rd Media Development Conference held on 18-19 September 2014 in Yangon. He served as UNESCO Myanmar Media Development specialist in 2013.
Mr. Tuazon with Myanmar’s newly appointed Minister of Information U Ye Htut
Formal partnership agreements with Bhutan and Myanmar media development institutions and AIJC are now being worked out. These include curriculum development, capacity development, and collaborative research.
Bhutan and Myanmar news media have many similarities as both operate in societies undergoing democratic transition. Both countries face problem on professionalism of journalists and many news media outlets face economic survival problems. News media policies in both countries are also evolving to make them consistent with the emerging open political climate.