The project sought to establish professional liaison mechanisms between the police, media and civil society, including training police in press work. This included training on how to hold regular press conferences, how to nominate spokespersons and how to write press releases. The next step was now to create a professional press and public information service. On the side of the journalists it was imperative to professionalise the sensitive area of police and court reporting.
As part of the overall EU funded project: Support to Reform of the Myanmar Police Force in the Areas of Community Policing and Crowd Management – Component 3b (to improve the Myanmar Police Force´s accountability to and its liaison with civil society and the media), the Wayamo Foundation conducted two joint training sessions in July 2014 with journalists and police officers in Myanmar. The trainers were:
- Bettina Ambach, Director, Wayamo Foundation, Berlin, Germany
- Giuseppe Valiente, Parliamentary Correspondent for Sun Media, Ottawa, Canada
Topics covered included:
- Role and responsibility of the Media
- Exercise with metaplan technique
- Can media do more than merely inform? The theory of “Peace Journalism”: Journalism of attachment versus professionally disengaged quality journalism?
- Checklist and new roles in conflict-sensitive Journalism: Traditional versus conflict-sensitive reporting
- Court reporting and fundamentals of media law
- Understanding conflict and its roots
- Key concepts of crime reporting and Crime Stories Checklist
- Danger of rumours: How to deal with rumours in a constructive, responsible manner
- What is Hate Speech and how to avoid it.
Following a request by the Myanmar Government, President Thein Sein, which was supported by the chair of the rule of law committee of the Parliament, Aung San Suu Kyi, the European Union decided to support the reform of the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) in the areas of crowd management and community policing. The EU trained 4,000 police officers in crowd management and about two hundred people in community policing in an effort to promote a new image of the police: police should be understood as a “police service” rather than a “police force.”