Myanmar will introduce journalism degree course for the first time in the near future to encourage the country's young generation to systematically master the skill of journalism in line with the developing media sector, local media reported Wednesday.
Jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Education, a three-year Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree course will open at the National Administration College in Yangon, the Yangon Times said, inviting matriculation-passed students to pursue the professional education.
The draft journalism degree course will cover teaching of four major media-related subjects of printing media, radio, TV and news interview with geography, biology, psychology, international relations, history, Myanmar and English in addition, it said.
Graduates with the degree will be offered on-job training, the report added.
In the past, journalism diploma course was once conducted in Myanmar around 1982-83 only, according to the report.
In Myanmar, there is a News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE) under the Ministry of Information. Under the NPE, there are Myanmar News Agency and three major official daily newspapers -- the Myanma Alin and the Mirror (Myanmar language) and the New Light of Myanmar (English language).
The circulation of the Myanma Alin goes to over 100,000, while the Mirror over 150,000 and the New Light of Myanmar over 10,000, according to the NPE.
Meanwhile, the information authorities have been granting more and more private publications for circulation in recent years, bringing the total number of private news journals and magazines being sold in the domestic markets to about 200 and 250 respectively as of the end of 2006, official figures show.
The circulation of these private publications is not so large comparatively with only some few thousands to more than ten thousands but they attract a higher degree of concern from readers for their materials contained.
Among the journals granted over the past two years, sports journals dominated in number, followed by news journals which carry domestic and international news, news related to arts, children, health and crime.
Myanmar has readjusted its press scrutiny and registration policy by lifting some restrictions previously imposed upon news writing by journals and magazines with the aim of enhancing the development of press society.
According to the ministry which has taken over the duties of the press scrutiny and registration from the Ministry of Home Affairs since February 2005, the publication and distribution of journals and magazines are being continuously granted as long as it conforms to the prescribed policy.
The ministry outlined seven-point press policy for writers to adhere to, which include opening up to some extent to reporters of journals and magazines on writing which shall be constructive and be in the interest of the nation.
The number of journals covering domestic news has grown over the past eight years in Myanmar, thanks to market demand and the emergence of more such journals also contributes to the development of journalism, readers said.
Leading private news journals include Yangon Times, Flower News, Kumudra, Weekly Eleven News, Myanmar Times, Newsweek, Pyi Myanmar, Snap Shot, Popular, 7-Day News, International Eleven, Voice, 24/7 News, Zaygwet and Internet.
Meanwhile, there are a total of 20 foreign media stationed in Myanmar including four world's leading ones -- AFP of France, AP of the United States, Reuters of the United Kingdom and Xinhua of China. China's Guangming daily was the latest allowed to open office in Yangon.