PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA / NAYPYIDAW, MYANMAR / HANOI, VIETNAM: The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has just launched a new Media Professionals Programme for South East Asia, a groundbreaking leadership initiative to help mid-level media managers advance their careers and contribute to the growth of strong media enterprises in their countries.
Nine media professionals from Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam met at the WAN-IFRA India conference in Pune, India, from 24 to 27 September, for the start of an intensive four-month programme that includes individual career coaching, leadership skills development, national and international networking as well as peer mentoring.
In parallel to South East Asia, WAN-IFRA recently launched a similar programme in the Middle East and North Africa, and has conducted a development programme for women media professionals in southern Africa for the past three years, which has already led to promotions for more than half of the participants.
"We are now working with future media leaders from an array of countries, which will have an impact on how the media in those countries evolve both in the short and the long-term," said WAN-IFRA strategic advisor Kajsa Törnroth. "We are particularly excited to have new countries like Cambodia and Myanmar join our activities. To be able to help media development in Myanmar was unthinkable just a few months ago, and this new opportunity shows how things can quickly change for the better."
Khin Thandar Htay, national sales director at Myanmar Consolidated Media, one of the programme participants, said: "This programme is of great value since it provides us with essential knowledge that we lack in Myanmar, in particular through the leadership skills development and the career coaching. Moreover, as our country is starting to open up and restrictions on the media are removed, we need to learn from international, well-experienced media. The programme is providing us with that opportunity."
The WAN-IFRA Media Professionals Programmes provides mid-level media professionals from the commercial and editorial side of newspapers and online media with personalised, high-impact leadership development opportunities. It equips them with sustainable strategies, skills and support networks to advance their careers and contribute to the growth of financially viable and editorially strong media enterprises in the region.
The initiative is part of an ambitious strategic partnership between WAN-IFRA and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to advance media development and press freedom worldwide. The partnership allows WAN-IFRA to broaden and develop its press freedom and media development activities to support free and financially sustainable media worldwide. More on the projects and the partnership can be found at More on WAN-IFRA media development projects can be found http://www.wan-ifra.org/microsites/media-development