Building peace in the minds of men and women

Improving the quality of journalism education at Yangon University

In October 2013, with the support of UNESCO´s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the Journalism Department of the National Management College (NMC) at Yangon University (Myanmar) embarked on a project to improve the college’s journalism curriculum, in line with UNESCO’s Model Curriculum for Journalism Education.

As a first step, and in order to strengthen the training capacity of NMC’s faculty members, three journalism education workshops were conducted between October 2013 and March 2014 for NMC’s department heads and journalism department faculty members. During the workshops, participants were trained on the features of the enhanced BA in Journalism curriculum. Participants produced draft syllabi for a broad range of journalism-related courses, both theoretical and practical, with the assistance of visiting scholars and experts.

The workshops were then followed by summer internships for NMC’s journalism teachers with Mizzima Media Group and Yangon Media Group, which helped to familiarize them with the daily operations of a newsroom. Five books, including UNESCO’s Freedom of Expression Toolkit and Reporting and Writing News – A Basic Handbook by Peter Eng and Jeff Hodson, were also adopted for use as course materials  in the upcoming academic year, with Burmese language editions produced, where necessary.

The development of new independent media in Myanmar will require professionals with a sound journalism education. In this regard, NMC’s multi-faceted efforts aim at ensuring that aspiring journalists in Myanmar start off with a solid foundation, and are able to contribute to strengthening the role of media in a democratic society.

The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries. The Programme not only provides support for media projects but also seeks to enable media capacity building and to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media.