Amid the rush to see changes in Burma as an inexorable move toward full democracy–Aung San Suu Kyi’s electoral victory over the weekend is certainly cause for hope–CPJ has maintained a healthy skepticism about media reform in Burma. Shawn Crispin’s “In Burma, press freedom remains an illusion,” posted on Friday, is the most recent example of our thinking on the subject.
A short article posted on Foreign Policy‘s website by veteran journalist Soe Thein (also known by his pen name Maung Wuntha) is a seasoned perspective from inside the country, and one that in many ways reflects CPJ’s concerns:
…the government is drafting a new media law. Burmese journalists are concerned — they want a press law that would protect the rights of journalists and prevent threats to media personnel, particularly when it comes to publishing on sensitive issues, such as corruption by government cronies. Without protections like these, Burma will never have a robust fourth estate.
The piece is one of 16 short articles FP pulled together–“16 Ways to Fix Burma“–that discuss what comes next in Burma. It’s a worthwhile read.