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Listening Post
Myanmar's media moment
Is the country's changing media landscape a significant shift or merely a ploy to encourage the lifting of sanctions?
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2012 15:10

On Listening Post this week: Myanmar's media moment - is it for real? And the standoff between journalists and the government in Hungary.

Up until recently, the military junta in Myanmar had stuck to a simple media strategy - keep journalists out of the country and keep the country out of the media.

But come the elections on April 1, and it appears that the strategy has changed. In the run up to the polls, newspapers were allowed to publish pictures of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, an image that was banned in the media for years. Foreign journalists, who used to sneak into the country, were allowed in and were reporting openly. And despite some degree of censorship, local journalists are enjoying a freedom to report not seen in Myanmar for decades.

But the changes have been met with some scepticism. Critics claim lifting media restrictions is not a genuine attempt to improve democracy but a government strategy to convince the West to lift economic sanctions. Our News Divide this week looks at whether the changing media landscape in Myanmar is significant, or just a ploy.
 
This week's Newsbytes: China cracks down on the internet after online rumours of a coup; James Murdoch steps down as the head of BSkyB, News Corporation's satellite company in the UK; Reuters is banned in Iran after a misleading report about women trained in martial arts there; and US broadcaster Keith Olbermann is on the job-hunt again after being fired by Current TV.

Hungary's media battle

It has been more than a year now since Hungary's conservative government led by Viktor Orban passed a media law that drove thousands of Hungarians onto the streets in protest. They claim the law is an effort by the Orban government to centralise control and curb media freedom.

One radio station that has staunchly and publically opposed the government and this law is Klub Radio. But now the liberal station finds itself fighting for its life as its broadcasting license is threatened.

Looming in the background of this debate is the European Union, which is keeping a close eye on press freedom in Hungary. A relatively new member to the EU, Hungary is subject to some stringent media freedom standards. Standards critics say the country no longer meets. Listening Post's Flo Phillips went to Hungary for a first-hand account of its media battle.

Internet video of the week: It is almost a done deal: polls show the Republican presidential nomination is likely to go to former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. And so it was only going to be a matter of time before someone even better than us at trawling through news footage came up with a remix of Romney's campaign speeches - with a bit of help from Eminem. An Australian video producer gives us our outro this week. We hope you enjoy the show.

 
Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post.
Source:
Al Jazeera
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