The 20 students of this year's intake at the Myanmar Journalism Institute in Yangon began classes in September. They are all set for ten months of study on the fundamentals of journalism.
The programme will introduce them to different types of media and the techniques involved, as well as to the ethical principles of journalism. At the MJI, there is a particular focus on learning about multi-platform journalism, the goal being to enable students to adapt flexibly to Myanmar's fast-changing media landscape, where the TV airwaves are being opened up to private operators for the first time in the nation's history.
The students, half of whom come from Yangon and half from other Myanmar states where courses on journalism are unavailable, will spend the next ten months in the former capital being taught by a team of international and Myanmar trainers. During their studies, they will also be able to follow internships in local newsrooms, where they will experience work at first hand and gain an understanding of life in a Myanmar news environment.
Alongside this introductory course for young students, the MJI has also started another one-year round of continuing professional development for twenty practising journalists. The journalists, from both private and state-owned news teams, will alternate between their regular work and spending one week a month at the MJI, where they will expand their knowledge base with carefully chosen special topics focussing on the radio, television and written press. Here too, the MJI places particular stress on understanding multimedia journalism.
In total, that's 40 current and future journalists who will benefit from learning at the MJI during 2016-17.