The landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party in Myanmar in late 2015 has provided renewed hope for further change after a marked slowdown in media reform efforts.

Since 2011, significant reforms in the media sector have taken place, owever, much remains to be done and the onus is now on the NLD-led government and Myanmar’s journalists to carry forward the progress and safeguard press freedom.

IMS has been active in Myanmar since 2006, initially supporting exile media. Between 2012-2015, with financial backing from Sweden, Norway and Denmark, IMS carried out the first phase of its media development programme in the first years of the country’s democratic transition  period, working closely with a broad range of partners from media to government institutions, journalist associations, and civil society groups to develop a competent, professional and independent media.


In April 2016, IMS and Fojo Media Institute have embarked on a new three year programme that focuses on the further development of:

  • media-related law and policy-making;
  • the professionalisation of journalists and ethical standards;
  • community media and access to information.

Our impact so far:

  • IMS has supported the drafting of and consultation around new media laws, including the public service media law and broadcast law.
  • We supported the establishment of Myanmar’s first independent interim press council in 2012 in a move to build a self-regulatory system for media.
  • Myanmar Journalist Network and Myanmar Journalist Association, established with support from IMS, now work to defend media rights.
  • The Myanmar Journalism Institute opened in Yangon in July 2014 with IMS supporting a viable organisational structure, a three-year strategic plan and input to the curriculum.
  • IMS has published the first Myanmar Handbook for Conflict Sensitive Journalism (CSJ) following training of 450 journalists in CSJ in areas such as Kachin and Rakhine state.
  • IMS/UNESCO assessment of Myanmar’s media environment published by IMS in June 2016, building on UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators with recommendations for the new government.
  • In 2015, we established a coalition of civil society organisations and media working to promote Right to Information (RtI) legislation together with Center for law and Democracy.


Contact person for Myanmar

Partner organisations

  • International Press Institute
  • Danish Institute for Multiparty Democracy
  • French Institute Yangon
  • Canal France International
  • Deutsche Welle Akademie
  • Australian Broadcasting Cooperation
  • Embassy of Denmark
  • Embassy of Norway
  • Embassy of Sweden
  • Democratic Voice of Burma
  • Mizzima Media
  • Yangon Photo Festival
  • Burma News International
  • National Management College (Yangon University)
  • Myanmar Programme for Multiparty Democracy
  • Myanmar Thematic Working Group on Media Development
  • Myanmar Radio and Television
  • Myanmar Storytellers
  • Myanmar Journalism Institute
  • Myanmar Media Library
  • Myanmar Media Lawyers Network
  • Myanmar Journalist Network
  • Myanmar Journalist Association
  • Myanmar Press Council (interim)
  • Centre for Law and Democracy
  • Fojo Media Institute


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Q&A on Women in Myanmar media

Q&A on Women in Myanmar media

Women working in media in Myanmar are challenged by prejudices and patriarchy. Three stakeholders from the media industry on how to improve the gender balance and increase gender sensitivity in the media industry.