Myanmar Political Orientation
Government Type: Military Junta (2021)
Leader: General Min Aung Hlaing (Chairman of State Administration Council)
Political Party: Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP)
Political Position: Far-Right Buddhist Nationalist
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 18.63 – Total Oppression
World Press Freedom Rank: Myanmar 173/ 180
Myanmar’s press freedom has deteriorated after the 2021 military coup. Reporters Without Borders ranked the country 176 out of 180 for press freedom. The junta suppresses media freedom, restricts social media, and controls most media outlets.
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
The 2021 military coup in Myanmar devastated the country’s media landscape, banning outspoken media outlets like the Democratic Voice of Burma, which was crucial in providing reliable reporting. Mizzima news website and Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) are privately-owned news sites.
In contrast, Kyehmon, Myanmar Alin, and New Light of Myanmar are owned by the military government of Myanmar. According to the Associated Press (AP), Myanmar seems to be reverting to its old system where officially sanctioned media are entirely state-controlled, as before August 2012 under a previous military coup. In general, state-controlled media serves as a propaganda tool, which leads to a limited number of media outlets attempting to provide news to the public while carefully avoiding any offense to the military authorities.
Finally, directly or indirectly, the media is controlled by MRTV or the military. Journalism is dangerous in Myanmar, with the country being a top jailer of journalists. According to a VOA report in 2022, over 40 journalists were imprisoned, including a VOA Burmese contributor. Further, the use of vague penal code Section 505 (a) and telecommunications law Section 66 (d) are used to jail journalists for “false information” and defamation.
In conclusion, the Military Junta has direct and indirect control over all the media either through direct ownership or intimidation through violence and imprisonment resulting in self-censorship and the promotion of state propaganda.
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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