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Burmese News

Irrawaddy, Mizzima and the Democratic Voices of Burma (DVB). However, he admits that some things have changed in reporting. DVB's secret satellite TV could now also work in Myanmar. The DVB has its headquarters in Norway and Chiang Mai. Many Myanmar citizens turn to information disseminated through social media for breaking news.

Burma's media freedoms are diminishing

They are detained and face an "illegal association" that could put them behind bars for three years. The three reporters - Lawi Weng of The Irrawaddy and Aye Nai and Pyae Phone Aung of the Burma Voice Democrats - are being held in prison. Describing the free movement of the Burmese judiciary since the early years of the country's history of blackmail, the peak of the 1988 and 2007 riots in Burma's democracies and the present state of affairs.

For more than a year under the Democratic National League for Democracy regime, reporters and those defending people' s freedoms have been sharing their experience and wondering whether media freedoms have increased or decreased in recent years.

DVB: Burma needs more broadcasting

Decades later, the Burmese democracy continues to be represented by the Burmese military broadcaster. Last July, the Emerging Burma Council (DVB) celebrated its tenth birthday in Oslo, Norway. The meeting was a cause for rejoicing for many, but there was also an undercurrent of anxiety as the broadcaster was faced with some difficult choices about its own destiny.

Burma's exiled reporters and press groups took part in the two-day meeting and took part in sound discussions on the state of Burma's contemporary music. However, the most urgent questions were about DVB's part in the future: whether it should become a truly autonomous broadcaster or not. Now a group of donators from the Burmese governments and NGOs are supporting DVB's two-hour programmes every two hours, which represent the voices of the Burmese democracy against the Burmese population.

DVB's mere promotional programmes and bad broadcasting performance did not attract many audiences at first, in comparison to other short-wave radios such as BBC, RFA and VOA, says DVB CEO and CEO Aye Chan Naing. Aye Chan Naing, who was also a college alumni campaigner during the 1988 riot, acknowledges that the broadcaster acted more as an advertising medium for groups of opponents along the Burmese border with Thailand and India than a level-headed and unbiased intelligence team.

DVB's strong connection with the Burmese exiled Burmese administration, the National Coalition of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), was proclaimed before each programme and gave DVB the nickname "NCGUB Radio". Leading DVB staff members lamented that the channel's commitment to the NCGUB had damaged its reputation and said it was the right moment to improve its capabilities to become an autonomous broadcaster.

In the last five years, DVB has intensified its broadcasting signals and recently opened a new substation in Switzerland. Broadcaster has shifted its coverage and editing styles, while its capacity to send more news from Burma has drawn a wider public. The staff want to put behind them the times when the contents of the news programmes were dominated by the intervention and mobbing attitude of some in the opponents' group.

You say that in the past politicans in exiles have put pressure on DVB to send long explanations, testimonies and news. If DVB correspondent have delved too deep into the matter, they have often been criticised by political exiles and rebellious rulers for "difficult issues" and "sensitive news". Whenever policy-makers were dissatisfied with DVB programmes, they often sent complaints to DVB Head Office and NCGUB Prime Minister Dr Sein Win.

The DVB employees consider such behaviour to be unreasonable, as politics should have no influence on the channel's contents. To defend them, DVB's executives and managers stated that external intervention has diminished in recent years, enabling the channel to become more editorially independent. Mr Chan Naing insisted that although the broadcaster is far from home, it should still be representing the voice of the Burmese population.

In order to demonstrate their dedication to ensuring that their reports are published fairly and in a balance, DVB correspondent interviews not only members of the opposing party but also representatives of the state. Last May, the DVB Managing Committee and international sponsors debated the DVB's plans for the coming years and endorsed the station's efforts to move away from any public policy organisation and become a truly autonomous and highly regarded broadcasting company.

Some policymakers, however, fear that they will loose sovereignty over DVB rather than report on the actions of the opposing movements in the country's Iraq. There' s nothing to fear, Aye Chan Naing. Even though DVB has "dropped" the NCGUB, it is still trying to spread the voice of oppositions and racial nations, he says.

A programme will also be maintained which radiates specifically the views of the individual parties in the opposing group.

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