Press Council to Meet Monthly With Information Minister

By The Irrawaddy 18 August 2014

RANGOON — Burma’s Interim Press Council says it will ramp up engagement with the government by holding monthly meetings with the Ministry of Information.

The council met for the first monthly meeting on Saturday with newly appointed Information Minister Ye Htut in Rangoon.

“The Ministry of Information and the Interim Press Council will collaborate with each other as partners to implement the president’s media reform and the development process, and we will meet once a month,” the council said in a press release.

Ye Htut, formerly the deputy minister for information, also described the ministry and the council as “partners” in a post on his official Facebook page.

“The MOI [Ministry of Information] is not superior to the council and will not try to control it,” he wrote.

Pho Thauk Kya, vice-chairman of the council, told The Irrawaddy that a date had not yet been set for next month’s meeting, but that the minister would join it. “This is the first time we have had regular meetings with the information minister,” he said.

During the meeting on Saturday, according to the press release, both parties discussed ethical issues and problems that journalists face during the newsgathering process.

“We also negotiated the rules and regulations for the media law to make it easier for journalists to deal with government officials. It’s quite OK and there were no major disagreements between us,” Pho Thauk Kya said.

In a separate meeting with the Myanmar Journalists Association (MJA) on Sunday, Ye Htut said he would also arrange monthly meetings between the ministry and the MJA, state media reported Monday. The minister said he would invite heads of state departments to answer questions from the MJA and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.