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October 1, 2014

Press Release 1. The 2 June 2014 issue of the Weekly Eleven News Journal carried a news story questioned whether the Public Service Media Law favours the State-owned media with the misuse of public revenues” in its cover. The news story criticized the Ministry of Information over suspicious prices of tenders for presses, complaining that the highest bid for a press was over US$ 1 million, although its actual value stood at around US$ 800,000. “For example, the prices of a press stood at around US$ 800,000 only but the ministry purchased it for over US$ 1 million. The actual prices of a particular press range between US$ 400,000 and US$ 500,000. But it cost over US$ 1 million. How corruption was rampant in the ministry”, alleged by Nay Tun Naing, an executive editor of the Daily Eleven. 2. Since the above-mentioned news story of the Weekly Eleven News Journal could tarnish the image of the News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) under the Ministry of Information and beget misunderstanding among the people, those in political and social fields and the Public Service Media Law being forwarded to the Hluttaw, a press conference on the allegation was held on 6-6-2014 and an official clarified that the statement of the journal was untrue and the tender process of the News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) was carried out transparently under the rules and regulations set by the government with firm evidence. However, the 7-6-2014 issue of the Daily Eleven stated the wrong facts and figures again with the intention of triggering a widespread misunderstanding. Although the News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) negotiated two times for correction of the false statement through the Myanmar Press Council (Temporary), the Eleven Media Group replied that it will by no means correct its news story and there is no reason to negotiate with the Myanmar Press Council (Temporary), adding not to send for it and write to it again as regards the statement it had mentioned. The reply of the Eleven Media Group was sent to the ministry by the Myanmar Press Council (Temporary). 3. The Eleven Media Group did not accept a better solution sought through the Myanmar Press Council (Temporary) and accused the News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) of committing the corruption time and again. As the statement of the Eleven Media Group has tarnished the image of civil services under the ministry as well as officials from the Procurement Committee of the Ministry of Information, the News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) has to take legal action against the media group unavoidably in order to seek justice in the judicial pillar. In that regard, the News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) has no intention of harming the freedom of press. Procurement Committee Ministry of Information ####### president office

3.june 2014 engl. eleven media Journalists pointed that the Public Service Media (PSM) should benefit for all citizens and it should not let the state-owned media abusing the state’s budget indirectly.
Lower House Bill Committee, Information Ministry and journalists discussed about the PSM on May 31 in Naypyitaw at the meeting hall of the Lower House.
During the meeting, the Minister of the Information Ministry Aung Kyi explained the tactics done by the government to fulfill the mission of the media role, information access of the country, basic principles to instigate the PSM, reasons why the PSM needs to be transformed and its benefits.
According to Aung Kyi, the government wants to apply the media pluralism instead of running the state-owned media. That is why the PSM needs to be practiced.
Technically, in order to transform the state-owned media into PSM, 70% of the its capital will be come from the public budget with the approval of the parliament. The rest 30% will be generated from advertisements, international supports and earn from selling newspapers.
“The minister said that the PSM is the independent media. However, the capital investment is the most critical thing to consider. 70% of its budget will be come from country’s budget by the permission of the parliament. Therefore, it definitely won’t be the independent media,” said Zaw Thet Htwe from the Myanmar Journalist Union.
He continued “Another factor is that the public service should act like the NGO. However, it will earn from advertisements, international supports, and the national budgets. So, can the private media compete with it? Then, it will be the paradox for practices in democratic state which has to encourage the private media sector. We should consider about it.”
Secretary of the Myanmar Press Council (interim) Kyaw Min Swe said “There is nothing to criticise the basic principle except from some statements mentioned in the law. We need to reconsider that only state-owned media are allowed to transform into the PSM. In fact, every citizen has right to run the public service.”
Kyaw Min Swe expressed that the UNESCO did not give clear comments for the PSM.
“We learnt that only radio and broadcasting stations run the public service in the international so that there are only public services broadcasting law with standards. Everyone can run the public service broadcasting in line with the law and its standards. There is no such limitation as only the state-owned media can run the public service,” Kyaw Min Swe said.
Countries which run the public service broadcasting industry, for instance – Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, the governments do not interfere with the sector. On the contrary, the governments support to become the media pluralism.
The public service media in Myanmar is just putting practice the state-owned media into PSM. Additionally, the government manipulates and monopolises the market by using the public budgets.
The executive editor of the Daily Eleven Nay Tun Naing said “Most public services run in democratic countries are broadcasting stations. If the PSM is approved without considering the current situations, it will let to abuse the public budgets legally.”
“According to the information we have received, as a state media, the current circulation of Kyaymon newspaper is 80,000 and Myanma Alin is 50,000. According to the information we have received, the Ministry of Information has called tender for between three to five offset printing presses and announced the results. When we look at the prices of these printing presses from the tender results, we have found that the prices are more than the actual prices. For example, a printing press that cost only around US$800,000 is priced over US$1 million in the tender results. Some machines should only cost US$400,000 or 500,000 but they are priced over millions of dollars. So, we want to know what kind of corruption or briberies are there in this difference. In Thailand, Thai Rath newspaper is printed in only one place. It is distributed nationwide with eight different covers printed at different times. The reason why I’m talking about this is because [the tender for] the printing press may be a part of preparation for the Public Service Media. While the ministry is preparing for it, unnecessary costs and spending may arise. There can be confusions in terms of law and the council as well as financial mixups that lack transparency. That’s why we need to think whether the Public Service Media Law is officially or indirectly allowing the misuse of public budget,” said Nay Htun Naing.
Before Nay Htun Naing finished speaking, Lower House’s Draft Bill Committee’s secretary Saw Hla Tun warned him to only speak about matters relating to the bill and Nay Htun Naing replied that his remark is related to the bill.
“Our country is moving towards a multi-party democracy and market-oriented economy. During this time, if the [state newspapers] are to be published without focusing on the profits, there will a lot of competitions between them and private newspapers. However, if this continues to make no profits and the parliament is going to allow the [publications] ever year by giving them budget whether the administrative body is qualified to work in the media or not, it would be like a misuse of the state budget,” said Thwe Htet, a former senior reporter from the Ministry of Information.
“As far as I know, the mechanism of the state media will fall under the Public Service Media Law. I’ve learnt that the current MD [managing director] of the Printing and Publishing Enterprise may become a CEO after the Public Service Media Law has been enacted. So, this is just a change in title while people have been criticising that there should no longer be state-owned newspapers in this democracy era,” said Thwe Htet.
Based on the information provided by the Information Minister, Myanmar Journalists Network’s secretary Myint Kyaw said that in the current media penetration in Myanmar, newspaper accounts for 8 percent, radio accounts for 35 percent, television accounts for 23 percent, and journals account for only 2 percent. He questioned why the ministry is trying to transform the state-owned newspaper as a public service.
Mizzima news agency’s chief editor Soe Myint said he supports the public service media the Ministry of Information is trying to carry out and he believes it is needed as the respective ministry has good intentions. Then, he gave five proposals as an advice.
Myanmar Press Council (Interim)’s member Ye Min Oo suggest the government to make the existing Kyaymon and Myanmar Alin newspapers better for the country and advertisements should not be included if it wants to do a public service newspaper.
In his response to the advices given by the journalists, Aung Kyi said it is not true that there are no public service media in other countries but admit that they are not successful.
Lower House’s Sports, Culture, and Public Relations Development Committee’s chairman Thura Aye Myint said the parliament gives great considerations to the media laws and he will submit the issue to the parliament after holding discussions to get the best results.
Although the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) came to attend the discussion on Public Service Media Bill held at the Lower House’s meeting hall, it was not allowed to attend the discussion.

http://elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?searchword=Public%20Service%20Media&ordering=newest&searchphrase=all&option=com_search&limitstart=20

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I wrote this article after hearing U Ye Htut’s answer given during the inauguration as the Union Minister for Ministry of Information in the parliament on September 22. I would like to tell about the response of Ye Htut regarding the fight against corruption written by Ko Marn Thu Shein carried in The Daily Eleven newspaper issued on September 21. Such piece of our writing is not aimed at our personal feeling, but it spotlights bribery and corruption rising in the government. Despite the media is pointing out corruption, the government is turning a blind eye. https://democracyforburma.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/urgentmyanamr-read-fight-against-corruption-carried-in-the-daily-eleven/ I have read the new Information Minister Ye Htut’s response to the criticisms over the government by Khin Aung Myint, a former Minister of Culture who is currently serving as Upper House Speaker under the quasi-civilian government, and with this article, I want to speak on behalf of Khin Aung Myint. I will start with the budget issue in the current administration. Nearly Ks 4,400 billion budgets have been allocated for the health and education sectors from 2012 to 2014.http://elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7619:i-want-to-speak-on-behalf-of-khin-aung-myint-for-ye-htut-s-response&catid=38:opinion&Itemid=361

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