Myanmar military junta takes control of broadcast authority to strengthen its grip over media
The Myanmar military junta recently took control of the Broadcasting Council, the authority in charge of overseeing television and radio media. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces yet another move of the regime to strengthen its grip over the media.
The Myanmar military junta amended the law without discussion, on Thursday 16 November 2023, to take control of the Broadcasting Council, the authority in charge of overseeing television and radio media. The amended text now provides for junta cadres to be automatically appointed to the council board.
“By taking control of the Broadcasting Council, the military regime eliminates one of the last obstacles to its complete control over the media. We call on the international community to step up its pressure for the junta to put an end to the media lockdown it has established since the 2021 coup, and to release the 68 journalists and press freedom defenders detained in the country.
The original text of the Television and Radio Broadcasting Law, passed in 2015 while Myanmar was ruled by a democratically-elected government, established the Broadcasting Council, an independent authority tasked with supervising the country's TV and radio media.
Since it took power through a coup in 2021, Myanmar's military junta has shattered the media landscape, banning a large number of media outlets, including the emblematic Democratic Voice of Burma, and killing at least four journalists.
Myanmar, ranked 173th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2023 World Press Freedom Index, is one of the world’s biggest jailers of journalists, second only to China.