Myanmar to introduce ethnic nationalities TV channel


Myanmar to introduce ethnic nationalities TV channel

Mizzima, 09 Sep 2013

Myanmar has set to add a new television channel named the National Races Channel, aimed at widening the scope of the people.

Test broadcasting of the channel with eight nationalities languages is to be done in mid-October and the languages include those of Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine, Shan and Wa.

"All national races need to join hands in an attempt to widen the scope of people. It is hoped that the channel would serve the interest of all national races," Minister of Information U Aung Kyi told a coordination meeting on Saturday in Nay Pyi Taw involving representatives of ethnic nationalities.

He stressed the crucial role of dissemination of knowledge is not only for the people in urban areas but also for those in remote areas for the development of ethnic nationalities.

Sharing of accurate and knowledgeable information calls for the help of media in ethnic nationalities regions, he said, emphasizing that it can be done only by non-commercial community services.

Meanwhile, a Public Service Media bill has been submitted to parliament which covers prescription that can help support non-commercial community services to a greater extent.

In addition to the National Races Channel, Farmers Channel and Hluttaw (Parliament) Channel will also be officially aired on Oct. 15 in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay.

At present, there are three main state-run TV channels in the country -- MRTV, MRTV-4 and Myanmar International (MI) TV as well as military-run Myawaddy (MWD) TV.

MRTV, MRTV-4 and MWD-TV air news and entertainment programs in the Myanmar language while MITV in English.

MITV and MRTV-4 are run by a joint venture between the government and a private company. MRTV-4 is operated by the state- run Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) with the cooperation of the private Forever Media Group.

Television service in Myanmar was first introduced in 1979 as a trial run in Yangon. MRTV was first launched in 1980 and regular television service was first formally launched in 1981.

MRTV signed a memorandum of understanding with the Voice of America (VOA) in June 2012. Under the MoU, VOA renders assistance to Myanmar with advanced equipment and conducts training courses for MRTV employees.

With Myanmar's media sector opened wider to the outside world, a number of foreign media such as DVB, CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera TV are making preparations to enter the local TV market competitively.