Broadcaster Apologizes to Military for Outdated Plane Crash Story

By The Irrawaddy 29 August 2016

RANGOON — Myanmar National TV (MNTV) has apologized after old news about a Burmese military fighter jet crash two years ago was broadcast on a news bulletin on Sunday evening, drawing strong public criticism from the military.

MNTV is a free-to-air channel under Shwe Than Lwin Media Co. Ltd, chaired by U Kyaw Win, who is believed to have enjoyed close business ties with the former government and the ex-military regime. The plane crash happened on June 11, 2014.

The military’s True News Information Team said that, by broadcasting the outdated news without stating when the crash happened—and by using an unverified Internet source whose intent was unknown—the news story “could lead to misunderstanding among the public.”

“On behalf of the Defense Services, we strongly condemn [the broadcast] and call upon officials to take necessary action,” read the statement.

Shortly afterwards, MNTV issued an apology on the air and via its official Facebook page.

“We broadcast old news from 2014 about the MIG-29 UB fighter jet crash […] from an incorrect source. We deeply apologize to the public and the military,” the apology read.

The source was the Central News Bureau, a local news agency based on Facebook, which has also apologized via the MNTV’s Facebook page, stating that they had sent MNTV the story prematurely, while the news was still awaiting confirmation.

“The editorial team published it in a rush, as breaking news, without any ill intention. For this fault, we apologize to the military,” CNB said.

In May, a private broadcaster affiliated with state-owned Myanmar Radio and Television 4 (MRTV-4) apologized for “misusing” the word “Tatmadaw,” which the Burmese military claims for itself alone, in describing the insurgent Arakan Army as the “Rakhine Tatmadaw”—fighting against “government forces”—which the military felt harmed their own “image and dignity.”