The victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party in Myanmar in late 2015 provided renewed hope for further change after a marked slowdown in media reform efforts. The onus remains on the NLD-led government to move forward to safeguard the many gains of media since media reforms to speed in 2011.

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.

From 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


New documentary about press freedom: “Courage – Journalism is not a crime”

New documentary about press freedom: “Courage – Journalism is not a crime”

New IMS-supported documentary, “Courage – Journalism is not a crime”, showcases the difficult working conditions of …

Women in Media: An IMS reading list for March 8 – the International Women’s Day

Women in Media: An IMS reading list for March 8 – the International Women’s Day

#MeToo, #TimesUp #SheDecides resonate on a global scale and also mark the media industry’s challenges with harassment …

Seen but not heard: Women in Burmese media

Seen but not heard: Women in Burmese media

A story in a mainstream Burma (Myanmar) paper tells of how over 1000 workers from a garment factory in Yangon protested for their labour rights. Two of the three sources are male. A study by IMS-Fojo in Myanmar documents how female voices …