Ministry of Information
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Ministry of Information
Ministry of Information is set up on 26 September 1946. It will be about 70 years, counting after Myanmar gained the Independence in January 1948. The main objective of Ministry of Information is to inform, to educate and to entertain the people through the use of modern communication techniques.
According to the Declaration N0. 97 released by Union Revolutionary Council of Myanmar on 15 March 1972, the Secretariat Office was abrogated and new governance was established. Thus Ministry of Information was formed with one department and three corporations as follows;
- Information and Broadcasting Department with the combination of Information Division and Broadcasting Division
- Printing and Publishing Corporation with the combination of Central Press, Nationalized Private Printing Presses and Sarpay Beikman Administration Board and Myawaddy Publishing House
- News and Periodical Enterprise with the combination of The Working People’s Daily Newspaper, The Mirror Daily Newspaper, Botahtaung Newspaper, The Guardian Daily Newspaper, Myanma Alin Newspaper and Hantharwaddy Daily Newspaper
- Film Corporation with the combination of Motion Picture Censor Board, Central Motion Picture Division, Motion Picture Development Organization and Motion Picture Agency Burma.
After that, above those are transformed into department and enterprise as follows;
- Myanma Radio and Television: Broadcasting was launched as Burma Voice in 1946, Myanma Voice in 1958, Information and Broadcasting Department in 1972, Colourful Television Program in 1980, and then was renamed as Myanma Television and Broadcasting Department on 24 January 1991 and as Myanma Radio and Television on 22 November 1997.
- Information and Public Relations Department: Information Division under Information and Broadcasting Department was renamed as Information and Public Relations Department on 24 January 1991. According to the Agreement of Union Government Meeting (2/2015), the Union of the Republic of Myanmar, Myanma Motion Picture Development Department (Myanma Motion Picture Enterprise) was abrogated and is shifted as Motion Picture Development Division under Information and Public Relations Department.
- Printing and Publishing Department: Printing and Publishing Corporation was transformed into Printing and Publishing Enterprise on 1 May 1989. But now, Printing and Publishing Department was re-formed according to the Agreement of Union Government Meeting (2/2016), the Union of the Republic of Myanmar and then, Union Office of Ministry of Information declared with the date on 22 January 2016 and Letter No.1-2 (3/ 2016)/ 0135.
- News and Periodical Enterprise: News and Periodical Corporation was reformed as News and Periodical Enterprise on 1 April 1998.
- Film Corporation was formed with the combination of Motion Picture Censor Board, Central Motion Picture Division, Motion Picture Development Organization and Motion Picture Agency Burma and then was altered as Myanma Motion Picture Enterprise phrase by phrase, after that, was reformed as Myanma Motion Picture Development Department on 1 April 2014. According to the Agreement of Union Government Meeting (2/2015), the Union of the Republic of Myanmar, Myanma Motion Picture Development Department (Myanma Motion Picture Enterprise) was abrogated and is shifted as Motion Picture Development Division under Information and Public Relations Department.
Aims and Objectives
To inform, to educate and to entertain the people
In undertaking the tasks to inform, to educate and to entertain the people, the Ministry intends to use the technique of public relations and New media including Print Media, Television and Broadcasting Media.
The policies of the Ministry of Information are as follows;
- Giving information on the implementations of Administration, legalization and judiciary pillars appropriately
- Giving information and education the fruitful results of each Region and State
- Informing and Educating important Declarations and Warning Notice
- Describing public services, entertainment and educative programs and information in detail and the programs that are not described by private medias as well as providing the requirements and interests of the people
- Establishing Community Centres and Community Libraries to fulfill educative programs and information for personal development and relaxation of individual or group in leisure hours
- Delivering public library services to rural and urban equitably and appropriately to the irrespective of age, race, religion and language
Union Office of the Ministry of Information was set up as follows;
- Administration and Human Resource Management Division
- Policy, Rules and Regulation Analysis and Inspection Division
- Planning and Statistics Division
- Internal Ministry Audit and Finance Division
- Internal/ External Relations and Information Division
Myanma Radio and Television
Background History (brief)
Myanma Radio and Television started its first debut with the name of “Burma Broadcasting Service (BBS)” or “Bama Athan” on Inya Myaing Road, Shwe Taung Kyar Ward on 15th February in 1946. “Bama Athan” was renamed to “Myanma Athan” on 28th November in 1958. On the 4th November of 1960, the service was moved from Windarmeya Broadcast Station to Pyay Road. Color Television Program was broadcast first on 1st November 1980. It was changed into “Myanma Television and Radio Department (MRTD) on 24th January, 1991 and was reformed into “Myanma Radio and Television” (MRTV) on 22nd November, 1997.
The objective of the MRTV is as follow;
- To inform, to educate and to entertain
- To be undertaken giving information, education and entertainment through new media such as internet including print media, TV and Radio broadcasting as well as public relations ways by Ministry of Information
The goal of the MRTV is as follow;
- To undertake pre-processes that should be reformed step by step for Myanma Radio and Television as the Public Service Broadcaster
- To carry out program production, broadcasting and financial tasks in line with the basic principles of Public Service Broadcasting
- To stand as a Broadcasting Association carrying out in line with ethic
- To transform TV and Radio broadcastings into digital system, TV broadcasting into High Definition (HD) system and Radio Broadcasting into Stereo system
- To extend basic infrastructures for the development of local TV and Radio broadcasting industry
- To carry out reform process properly based on the norms and technical development reviewed by local and international broadcasters
- Myanma Radio and Television is formed with 7 divisions such as Technical, Planning, Finance, TV, Radio, Music and MI.
The policy of the MRTV is as follow;
- To inform properly undertakings of legislative, administrative and judiciary pillars
- To inform and educate the subjects concerned with the interest of respective Regions and States and important announcements
- To describe fully the programs giving public service, entertainment, knowledge and information, to add the programs that are not expressed by private medias for the public interest and to fulfill the public’s needs and interests
- To fulfill the needs of education and information to an individual or organization for personal development including free time and recreation by establishing Community Centers and Community Libraries
- To carry out public library services with the same basis in regardless of age, race, gender, language and class in conformity with the different needs of people in rural and urban areas.
Information and Public Relations Department
- In 1942, Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD) was launched as News and Propaganda Division and called Information and Public Relations Department in 1945. After that IPRD was put under Ministry of Information in 1946 and then, it was reformed as Information and Broadcasting Department, in 1946. Information Department comprises of News and Information Division, Public Relations Division, Books and Periodicals Publishing Division, Photo Division, Think Tank Division and Distribution Division.
- In 1954, Reading Room for Children is opened, accompanying with Yangon Reading Room. Under the period of caretaker government, the tasks and responsibilities were designated and also offices were set up systematically in Districts and Sub-districts. Public Relations officers under Districts and Sub-districts carried out the State policy, implementations, restoration of law and order, and strengthening patriotism with the cooperation of Public Relations Divisions under Ministry of Defence.
- Under the reign of Clean Anti-fascist People’s Freedom League in 1960, the positions of Public Relations officers were abrogated and also offices in Districts and Sub-districts were transformed into Information Reading Rooms, and thus, junior clerks were assigned to supervise the libraries.
- In 1960 of Revolutionary Council period, Revolutionary Bulletin, News and Registration Investigation, Forward Newsletter Publishing, and communication ways were undertaken. Information Reading Rooms opened in 34 Districts and 40 Sub-districts during 1962 and 1965 were promoted as libraries and junior clerks were assigned as assistant librarians with the original salary.
- Information and Broadcasting Department was set up with the combination of Information Division and Broadcasting Division as of 15 March 1972 and Information and Communication Offices and libraries in Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin and Shan States were shifted under the Information and Broadcasting Department. Thus, there are totally 111 libraries including 74 in Regions and 37 in States.
- Information Division under Information and Broadcasting Department is organized as Information and Public Relations Department under State Law and Order Restoration Council. On 24 January 1991, offices with district-level and Township-level were also extended for the interests of the people and the requirements of the State.
- IPRD comprises of Administration Division, Information and Public Relations Division, Production Division, Research and Data Division, Copy Rights and Registration Division, and Motion Picture Development Division
The task of this division is to perform the administration works and the requirements of each division
Information and Public Relations Division
Its task is as follows;
- To supervise and give the necessary guidance works to the offices of Regions, Districts and Townships.
- To coordinate with international and external organizations
It is performing as follows;
To publish Our Village Journal weekly
To publish the necessary books for Department and State
Research and Data Division
Research and Data Division was established according to Meeting No (33/ 2008) of State Law and Order Restoration Council and is undertaking as follows;
- To collect information and news from print media and Internet
- To post news, information, articles and announcements of the State on Ministry of Information Website, Facebook, Twitter and Blogger
- To publish Research Journal weekly
Copy Rights and Registration Division
According to the Meeting No (4/2013) Cabinet, Scrutinizing and Registration Department under Printing and Publishing Enterprise is re-named as Copy Rights and Registration Division and put under Information and Public Relations Department. The task of the division is as follows;
- To perform publishing license and extension
- To register news agency
Motion Picture Development Division
According to the Meeting No (2/2015) Cabinet on the date of 15 January 2015, Motion Picture Development Division was established. The task is as follows;
- To perform movie and video license and extension
- To supervise censorship and to assist internal and external shootings
- To promote cinema
The objective of the IPRD is as follow;
- To perform, to educate and to entertain the people
- In undertaking the tasks to inform, to educate and to entertain the people, the Ministry of Information intends to use the technique of public relations and News media including Print Media, Television and Broadcasting Media.
The ambition of the IPRD is as follow;
- To establish and open Community Centre and Community Library in order that the people, indeed, can rely on libraries in Townships and Districts.
- To register and supervise printing and publishing enterprises in line with the designated rules and laws as well as to promote news agency
- To perform the development of Motion Picture Law and Myanmar movie field
- To use not only traditional methods but also Digital and Information Technology in delivering news, information and knowledge as well as to implement Development Programs with the cooperation of internal and external organizations for infrastructure and technical services
- To conduct trainings and nurture the staff to become knowledge provider and information provider
- To promote the image of Ministry by providing better public services
- To perform writing and compiling research papers on the matters of politics, economics, and socials, holding paper reading events and delivering the findings
- To hold Literature Festivals in order that the people can have good habits of reading
The policy of the IPRD is as follow;
- To implement the establishment of Community Centre and Community libraries to disseminate knowledge and information to the people in a wide scale
- To nurture and train the capacity development of the staff in line with the passage of time
- To bridge the government and the people in order to build a good relation by carrying out the public services
- To encourage media development through the registration and supervision of printing and publishing enterprises in line with the designated rules and laws
- To encourage the development of Motion Picture Law and Film industry development
- To promote research papers in order to review the matters of politics, economics, and socials
Printing and Publishing Department
The Brief History and Its Set - Up
- The Printing and Publishing Department stemmed from the Central Press Which carried out the printing jobs for Secretariat of the Government of Myanmar in 1880 and its was administered by the Superintendent of Printing.
- In the time of the Burma Socialist Programme Party, the Central Press, Sarpay Beikman (formerly known as Burma Translation Society ) and the nationalized private printing presses were reorganized as “ Printing and Publishing Corporation ” which was placed under the control of the Ministry of Information .
- In 1989, the “Printing and Publishing Corporation” was renamed as “Printing and Publishing Enterprise ” and the Managing Director took the charge as departmental head .
- From 1 April , 2016 onwards , the “ Printing and Publishing Enterprise ” was reorganized as the “ Printing and Publishing Department ” and the Director - General took the charge of the department . The department was made as of 5 divisions (Administration, Sarpay Beikman, Printing, Production, Accounts ) and 7 printing plants .
The main visions are -
- To inform,
- To educate, and,
- To entertain.
The task of the PPD is as follow;
- Printing and distribution of the Gazettes of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
- Printing of school texts for basic education schools ordered by the Mininstry of Education.
- Carrying out the printing jobs ordered by the government department.
- Printing of ballots ordered by the Union Election Commission.
Tasks of Literary Development
- Selecting and presenting of the “National Literary Awards” for 16 genres of the books published in a calendar year.
- Selecting and presenting the “Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Awards” for 13 genres, inviting the manuscripts once a year.
- Annual publication of Myanmar Encyclopedia (Year Book )
- Printing and Publishing manuscripts that win the “Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Awards”.
- Monthly publication of “Thuta Padetha” Magazine of General Knowledge.
- Weekly publication of “Shwe Thway” (Children Journal).
- Opening of Sarpay Beikman Public Libraries in Yangon and Mandalay to impart knowledge to people.
- Opening book - shops (book centres) in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay to sell all kinds of books published by private sectors besides the books published by the PPD,
- Holding occasional paper reading sessions and books fairs.
- To republish and distribute the valuable and rare books that give knowledge to the people.
The policy of the PPD is as follow;
- To develop the tasks of Printing and Publishing Department.
- To develop Myanmar literature and the Translation literature.
- To print Government’s printing industries by meeting quality in a timely manner.
News and Periodicals Enterprise
- The Ministry of Information reconstituted the State-owned Newspapers Supervisory Committee which was formed in 1965 into the News and Periodicals Corporation on 21 March 1972.
- As of 1 April 1998, the News and Periodicals Corporation was reconstituted into the News and Periodicals Enterprise which was a State-owned business.
The objectives of NPE are as follow;
- To focus on publishing newspapers to be in line with the vision of the Ministry of Information to inform, to educate and to entertain.
- To be as a people-centred information provider in order to impart knowledge, education and provide information to the people.
Vision and Mission
The vision and mission of the PPD is as follow;
- The Myanma Alin and Kyemon dailies to remain as the two papers which are read most and transformed them into digitalized ones.
- To implement e-government phase by phase.
- To publish color newspapers at sub-printing houses in regions and states and to publish newspapers in ethnic languages in cooperation with relevant governments.
- To distribute newspapers right down to villages for rural people to have access to information.
The policy of the NPE is as follow;
- The NPE will undergo changes phase by phase from traditional print media to new media with digital system high on the agenda.
- The NPE will modernize its editorial policy in accordance with the standard of the Public Service Media.
- The NPE will transform the Global New Light of Myanmar into a main English version daily.
- The NPE will continue to put in place the Myanma Alin and Kyemon newspapers as dailies on which the people rely most.
The tasks of the NPE are as follow;
- To strive for the emergence of a modern, developed and discipline flourishing democracy nation with media.
- To strive for a constant change in the form and essence of daily newspapers.
- To boost the income and ensure a balanced budget.
- To open more sub-printing houses and ensure every village have an access to newspapers.
- To strive for publishing color newspapers.
- To strive for the Global New Light of Myanmar to get more subscribers after entering into joint venture.
- To publish e-newspapers in an extensive manner.
- To pay attention to fitness of press printing machines.
- To generate more income through agriculture and livestock for the staff welfares.
- Focusing on media pluralism while publishing newspapers based on Public Service Media.
- To train and nurture media staff to become highly qualified media persons.
- To turn the Myanmar media into the genuine fourth estate with national interest in the fore.
The works of the NPE are as follow;
- To ensure the early arrival of newspapers to people of different regions with the appointment of local newspaper agents.
- To constantly create better form and essence of the newspapers while transforming them into color ones with attractive news presentation.
Myanma Alinn Newspaper
It was published in March 1914. Its page was changed from 20 to 24 on 24 May 2013 and from 24 to 32 on 4 January 2015. Its 16-page in color was published 18 October 2012 and 32-page in color on 4 January 2015. The 8-page Friday color supplement carrying social and sports news, the 4-page “Today Yangon” Wednesday color supplement, the 4-page “Mandalay” Wednesday color supplement, the 4-page “Mandalay” Saturday color supplement and the 4-page “Rakhine Shwemyay” Thursday color supplement are published. The Myanma Alinn and Kyemon published in Mon State carried the supplement of Hintha Media every Thursday starting from 9-8-2018.
It was published on 16 April 1957. It resumed publishing on 18 September 1992 after a temporary halt in 1988. The paper increased its page from 20 to 24 on 23 January 2013 and from 24 to 32 on 1 January 2015. Its 16-page in color was published on 5 December 2012 and 32-page in color on 1 January 2015. It also carries the 4-page “Ethnic Affairs” Saturday color supplement and the 4-page “New Generation Platform” Sunday color supplement.
The Global New Light of Myanmar
The 8-page newspaper was published on 12 January 1964 by the name of The Working People’s Daily. Its name was changed into The New Light of Myanmar on 17 April 1993. Its page has increased from 8 to 16 on 1 January 2003. The New Light of Myanmar entered joint venture on 1 October 2014 and it was changed into The Global New Light of Myanmar since then, carrying 16-color pages.
Opening of Nay Pyi Taw Press House
The Nay Pyi Taw Press House was opened on 7 February 2006. The press house published three dailies and distributed the papers to Nay Pyi Taw and its environs including government bodies and ministries.
Opening of sub-printing houses
Sub-printing houses were opened in Mandalay, Taunggyi and Magway in 2001, in Kengtung and Kalay in 2002, in Myitkyna and Sittway in 2003, in Lashio 2004, in Myeik in 2008, in Mawlamyine in 2014 and in Monywa on 4 August 2015, totaling 11.
Myanmar News Agency (Internal)
- The Myanmar News Agency was established on 12 March 1962 as “The Revolutionary Council News Agency” at the MRTV Building on Pyay Road in Yangon with a combined strength of the information section of Directorate of Information and staff of Directorate of Psychological Welfares and Social Welfare Department.
- On 26 July 1963, the Myanmar News Agency (Internal) and the Myanmar News Agency (External) were formed and established at Burma Era Newspaper House, No. 253, Boundary Road, Yangon. In the early 1964, the two news agencies were moved to the building of Printing and Publishing Enterprise, No. 212, Theinbyu Road, Yangon. They were moved to the current building on 1 January 1972. From 16 March 1972 to 1988 onward, the News and Periodicals Corporation (now the News and Periodicals Enterprise) was placed under the successive governments including the State Peace and Development Council.
- As of 30 January 2006, the Myanmar News Agency (Internal) was moved to the News and Periodicals Enterprise (Head Office) of the Ministry of Information in Nay Pyi Taw and it has been functioning ever since.
Myanmar News Agency (External)
- Even since the news agency was launched it collected news items from 16 news agencies such as PTI, Reuters, Yonhap, Xinhua under the management of the Director of Information Department. In the early 2004, the news agency found it difficult with Teleprinter and stop using the device. Ever since, it has been facilitated with a satellite disc by Xinhua, enable it to use computers.
- The news crew of the MNA (External) moved to the Nay Pyi Taw Press in Zeyathiri Township, Nay Pyi Taw from Yangon on 11 November 2009. It has been functioning since then and stopped publishing and distributing its bulletins on 1 April 2015 as most foreign news go digital. But, it has been translating foreign news collected from Reuters, Xinhua, NHK, PTI, KPL, AFP and distributed it to the people.
- The Myanmar News Agency (Internal) publishes a daily bulletin and distributes it at 8 pm. The Myanmar News Agency (External) publishes three bulletins which are distributed daily with the exception of Sunday on which one bulletin only is published. The circulation of bulletins is 200 on average. The publishing of bulletins was stopped on 1 April 2015 to keep pace with changes and developments.
Myanmar Digital News
- The News and Periodicals Enterprise went into partnership with Megalink Advanced Technologies Co Ltd on 7-3-2018 in order to transform its daily newspapers into digital newspapers.
- A news portal was established for people to be able to read news both in English and Myanmar. The trial-run of the news portal with news in Myanmar version started on 15-12-2017, and with news in English version on 29-12-2017. It was formally introduced on 11-1-2018 by the name of the Myanmar Digital News.
- The NPE established a news network apart from digital newspaper and new portal with the aim of penetrating international news networks with authentic news, of enabling the people to read its news in tablets and mobile phones and of enabling those residing in far-flung regions and overseas to have access to newspapers.