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From Mandalay to Syria

Hla Yin Aye (Mandalay FM, Myanmar/Burma) talked through some of the difficulties facing her station.

Operating in Myanmar over the past few years “censorship has been abolished completely” and changed the media landscape, but there is still no legal framework for radio and freedom of speech.  


The station is required to broadcast state news three times daily, but work hard to produce content that their listeners find interesting and entertaining.


Hla Yin Aye took the audience through some of the positive changes that the station has undergone. She is happy to be involved in the development of radio in Myanmar and hopes to change it for the better. In 2010 the station witnessed an unimaginable transformation when the Government opted to support the progression of five new radio stations.


However, challenges still remain. We have limited experience and limited resources said Hla Yin Aye.


Lina Chawaf (Syrian Radio Rozana, France) came on stage with her hands tied in handcuffs. This, we’re told, is what it is like to be in Syria at the moment. “People are fighting every day, fighting to escape a prison”. Describing the lives of the people suffering in Syria, Lina said “they have no electricity, no glass in the window, no mobiles and no connection – they have nothing”. 


Radio Rozana was established nine months ago and continues to cover Syria. Radio Rozana works with correspondents and citizen journalists based in Syria. Most of their communication is via Skype, which means that correspondents avoid being tracked by the regime. These people are risking their lives every day” said Lina.

Hla Yin Aye and Lina Chawaf interviewed by Trevor Dann, Radiodays Europe: