Media By-Law

 Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Ministry of Information

Notification No. 45 of 2015

(June 17, 2015)


              Exercising the powers entrusted by Section (33)  sub-section (a) of the Media Law, the Ministry of Information hereby issues these Rules with the approval of the Union Government Cabinet.
Chapter 1.     Title and Definitions
1.    These Rules shall be known as the Media Rules.
2.    The expressions contained in these Rules shall have the same meaning as defined in the Media Law.  The following expressions shall have the meanings given hereunder:
a.    the “Law” means the Media Law.
b.    “News”includes data, text, images, codes, computer programs, software and databases.
c.    “Right to information”includesthe right to interview with and requestrequired information of public interestrelated to news from any relevant individual, department or organization; the right, in accordance with the bylaws prescribed by the relevant department or organization, to make [photo]copies,to copy computer files, to make photographic or video recordings and so on of required numbers, data, tables/schedules/accounts, images, photographs or illustrations.
d.    Complaint means an application to the Council lodged by an aggrieved person requesting action to be taken against a Media-Person forviolation of any duty or code of conductprovided in Section (9) of the Law.
e.    Working-Committeemeans a working-committee formed by the Council under Section (18) of the Law.
f.    Board means the Board for Election of Council-Members, which selects as Council-Members those representatives proposed under Section (13)                      sub-section (b) and (c) of the Law.
Chapter 2.     Establishment of a Media Enterprise
3.    A person who engages in a MediaEnterprise as an individual or by incorporation of a company shall send to the Council a Media Enterprise certificate of recognition or  business license.
4.    Anindividual or entity engaged in a Media Enterprise, which discontinues operations or who ceases to be a Media-Person; or, has its certificate of recognition, permit or business licence related to the MediaEnterprise withdrawn or revoked, shall inform the Council without delay.
Chapter 3.     Election of Council-Members
5.    -
a.    In order that the election of Council-Members is systematic and fair, the Ministry shall, in coordination with the Council, form and assign duties to a  Board of Election of Council-Members.  However, the first formation may be carried out by the Ministry in coordination with the Union of Myanmar Press Council (provisional).
b.    The following persons shall be included in formation under Rule (5) sub-rule (a).
(1)    Three Council-Members who are not candidates for re-election.
PROVISO.  For the first time, three members of the Union of Myanmar Press Council (provisional), who are not seeking                      re-election as Council-Members.
(2)    Two legal professionals who are not candidates for election as Council-Members;
(3)    Three media professionals who are not candidates for election as Council-Members.
(4)    One official from the Ministry, ranking no less than deputy director general;
6.    The Board formed under Rule (5) shall from among their members select and assign duties to a chair and a secretary by majority vote.
7.    No person to whom the any of the following criteria applies shall be nominated as a candidate for Council-Member:
a.    a public service personnel;
b.    inability to discharge functions of the Council due to poor health;
c.    has been convicted for any crime of moral turpitude;
d.    currently holds an executive position in any political party.

8.    -
a.    The Board shall call for list of names of candidates for election as Council-Members.
b.    Media-persons, news-agencies, publishers, authors, poets [and] cartoonists shall, and civil societies of sociology, economics, literature, culture, legal, science and technology scholars and professionals shall, submit their respective lists of candidate names to the Board within thirty days of the date of the call.
9.    The Board:
a.    shall, upon having received the proposed number of candidates as per Rule (8), announce the list of names of candidates no less than fifteen days before the selection ceremony.
b.    shall announce the date, time and venue of the election ceremony no less than thirty days in advance.
10.    From the proposed and designated candidates, the Board shall pick the following numbers of Council-Members:
a.    ten to twenty-two candidates from among those proposed by media-persons, news-agencies, publishers, authors, poets [and] cartoonists.
b.    two to five candidates from among those proposed by civil societies of sociology, economics, literature, culture, legal, science and technology scholars and professionals.
11.    -
a.    Other than the candidates designated one each by the Union President,  the Speaker of the People’s Parliament and the Speaker of the National Parliament - the Ministry may, in consultation with the Board, prescribe eligibility criteria for selection of candidates from respective groups.
b.    The election of Council-Members shall be conducted in a free and fair manner.
c.    If candidates to Council-Member elections wish to make any objections, they may make representations to the Board within seven days from the date of the election ceremony.
d.    A decision shall be made after a hearing within fifteen days after receipt of a representation under sub-rule (c),  The decision of the Board shall be final and conclusive.
12.    Council-Members designed under Section (13) sub-section (a) of the Law and the elected Council-Members shall, by majority vote, elect one Chairperson, two Vice-chairpersons, one Secretary, two Joint-Secretaries, one Treasurer and one Auditor  from among the Council-Members.
13.    The Board shall submit the list of names of elected Council-Members to the Union President.
14.    The elected Council-Members shall swear an oath in the presence of the Union President within thirty days after formation [of the Council] by notification of the Union President.
15.    The Board shall perform its functions until a new Board has been formed for the next Council term.
Chapter 4.     Replacement and Term of Office of Council-Members
16.    When a Council-Member designated by the Union President, the Speaker of the People’s Parliament or the Speaker of the National Parliament ceases to be a Council-Member for any reason under Section (16) of the Law, the person who originally designated him shall designate a replacement.
17.    In case of Council-Members other than those designated by the Union President and the two Speakers:
a.    the Board may, according to the number of vacancies of Council-Members who have ceased to be Council-Members due to reasons specified in Section (16) of the Law, select replacements from representatives of theirrespective association.
b.    the Board shall conduct replacement elections within sixty days after the number of Council-Members fall below the prescribed minimum of fifteen.
c.    the Board shall conduct replacement elections in accordance with the provisions of Chapter (3) in these Rules.
18.    -
a.    The term of a Council-Member elected as a replacement under Rule (17) and appointed by notification shall only be for the Council’s remaining term.
b.    The Board shall elect a new Council in accordance with the provisions contained in these Rules at least three months prior to the completion of three years of the Council's term.
Chapter 5.     Functions of the Council
19.    The Council shall carry out the following functions in the implementation of the Law:
a.    Carrying out towards obtaining of rights of free expression, publication and broadcast in accordance with law.
b.    Checking whether or not the Mediation-Committee, for disputes and complaints against Media-Persons who do not comply with the duties, codes of conduct, bylaws and practices of Media-Persons,discharges its assigned functions;
c.    Reporting to the Union President of the proceedings and coordination of financial matters at annual general meetings attended by all Council-Members;
d.    Holding meetings attended by all Council-Members at least once every two months;
20.    If needed for implementing the objectives of the Law, the Council may carry out the following in coordination with media-related entities and their representatives:
a.    Causing printers, publishers of newspapers, journals and magazines to register the list of enterprises, companies or associations they have established and are operating;
b.    issuance of warnings in case of violations of media codes of conduct by media or publication associations;  announcement to the public of such violations and results of dispute resolution through mediation;
c.    announcement to the public of any interferenceor intimidation by any person or organization in activities of media-persons operating in accordance with the Law;
d.    meeting and holding discussions on matters to be resolved with other organizations in respect of writing, printing and publication in accordance with the codes of conduct and right of freedom of news;
e.    discussing and finding solution in order to obtain needed assistance from government departments and government organizations in printing, publishing and distribution activities of private newspapers, journals and magazines;
f.    coordination with designated authorized spokespersons in obtaining news from government departments, government organizations and other organizations;
g.    Causing journalists to bearprescribed badges or evidence for proof [of identity/organization] while gathering news;
h.    Capacity building of Media-Persons;
i.    implementing of cooperation activities such as recommendations in support of the Council's functions;
j.    coordinating with the copyrights and registration division for receiving copies of list of newspapers, magazines, journals or publications which had been granted or revoked publication permits;
k.    coordinating with other organizations related to media for sending to the Council, the list [their] foundersand [their] particulars;
l.    inclusion according to operational needs of Council-Members and non-Council-Members in the formation of committees under Section (18) of the Law;
Chapter 6.     Rightsof Council-Members
21.    Council-Members are entitled atrates prescribed by the Council to obtain expenses including travelling expenses, accommodation expenses for attending domestic or foreign meetings, discussions and ceremonies held in connection with its functions.
22.    In addition to the expenses as per Rule (21), Council-members are entitled to honorariums awarded by the publication organization that elected them.   Council-Members may jointly carry out duties for the publication organizations related to them together with their Council-related duties.
23.    [A Council-Member] shall not be entitled to accept any bribe given for the performance of his functions as a Council-member or a publications person.
Chapter 7.     Hand-over of the Council’s Functions
24.    The following related to the Council’s funds and properties shall be transferred within thirty days after the formation through notification by the Union President:
a.    funds and account books of the Council;
b.    receivables and payables and related accounts;
c.    office furnishings, documents, records, files and books belonging to the Council;
d.    list of employees and their job descriptions;
e.    other equipment and tools belonging to the Council;
f.    deeds, bank-books etcetera;
g.    case-files of committees and working-groups formed by the Council;
h.    other moveable or immoveable properties owned or utilized by the Council.
25.    The duties of the Council whose term has terminated shall be deemed as completed from the time of completion of transfer of all its functions to the new Council.
26.    Unfinished duties and cases/affairs of the Council whose term has terminated shall be inherited by the Council which receives the transfer.
Chapter 8.     Establishment, Maintenance and Utilization of Funds and Finances
27.    With regards to the income/receipts specified in Section (19) of the Law, the Council shall maintain them  in a bank account, keep systematic records and accounts,  and with the assistance of the Office of the Union Auditor-General, draw up and establish procedures for financial control and systematic expenditure.
28.    The Council may decide to bear the following operating expenses from its own funds:
a.    Council-Members' expenses for meetings, discussions, ceremonies, daily allowance, travelling allowance, accommodation allowance, domestic travel, foreign travel, seminars and training courses;
b.    Assistance for social causes and natural disasters;
c.    Assistance for indigenous media enterprise;
d.    Bonuses and expenses including news prizes awarded to publication enterprises;
e.    Expenses for the Council's publications, and expenses for purchase of books/literature;
f.    Expenses for membership, registration in international news-media organizations.
g.    Expenditures of the office function.
29.    The Council shall carry out the following with regards to the maintenance of and expenditure from the fund established with receipts specified in Section (19) of the Law:
a.    Opening of a specific account for monthly expenses such as rents, staff remunerations, regular meetings, stationary, electricity and telephone charges;
b.    Formulation of financial regulations and carrying out in accordance with procedures with the agreement of two thirds of Council-Members in respect of maintenance of the funds, in accordance with Section (20) of the Law;
c.    Auditing and reporting of monthly and annual income and expenditure accounts by an internal auditor;
d.    Submitting to audit by an audit team assigned by the Union Auditor-General;
e.    Submitting records of monthly, six-monthly and annual audits to meeting  of the Council and getting its approval;
f.    Including the Union Auditor-General's audit findings and actions taken by the Council in the audit report submitted to the Union Government Cabinet.
Chapter 9.     Right to Information
30.    A Media-Person is entitled by presenting his Media-Person identification card to request relevant organizations and to view information of public interest, and is entitled to do so as well as make copies without any extra fees or charges other than those actually incurred.
31.    No individual, organization or department responsible for publishing of public interest information:
a.    shall, without sound justification from the person in-charge,  refuse or delay a request under Section (6a) of the Law, for viewing information, photographs, illustrations, numerical data, tables/schedules/accounts, or for making make copies thereof.
b.    Upon request for current news and news that must be communicated speedily due to emergency situations and events, the relevant person in-charge shall give a reply as soon as possible, within twenty-four working-hours after the receiving such request.
c.    If desirous of requesting data, records, tables/schedules/accounts related to past events, which must be searched for before a reply can be made,  Form-A “Information Request” shall be completed, and sent by official letter or email or fax or other electronic means.  Upon such request, the relevant person in-charge shall give a reply within fifteen working days after the date of request, excluding official holidays.
d.    Requests for information from media may be refused on sound justification. If the person requesting the information makes a complaint that the justification provided is not sound or that it is in contravention of the Law, the relevant person in-charge shall carry out as provided in Section (24) of the Law.   The completion of such carrying out shall be informed to the relevant media.  If the Media-Person or entity is dissatisfied with such reply, it may lodge a complaint to the Council.  The Council shall notify Union-level, region/state-level organizations of the complaint.  Upon receiving such notice, such organizations shall take action.
32.    -
a.    When news are to be gathered in zones of armed hostilities,  conflict, riots or public demonstrations, for own safety, permission for gathering of news may be sought by presenting the identity card issued from the media organization concerned to the organization responsible for security.  In gather news pursuant to such permission, prescribed terms and conditions must be complied with.
b.    Relevant government departments and organizations shall, on their part also, shall arrange and carry out without delay upon requests from media in respect of public interest information.
Chapter 10.     Checking and publishing of information
33.    A Media-Person:
a.    shall not violate the duties and codes of conduct provided in the Law.
b.    shall, in the publishing of news, respect human rights enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, and the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution.
c.    shall abide by the codes of conduct of a Media-Person as provided in Section (9) of the Law.

Chapter 11.     Mediation and Taking Action
34.    In order to support resolution through mediation of accusation or complaints related to any duty or code of conduct provided in Section (9) of the Law, the Council shall carry out by forming a Disputes and Complaints Mediation Committee under Section (18) of the Law.
35.    An aggrieved individual, department or organization may, presenting substantiating evidence of contravention by a Media-Personof any duty or code of conduct specified in Section (9) of the Law:
a.    may initially make a complaint to the Council using complaint Form-B for mediation.
b.    may directly bring charges at a relevant court under Section (25)sub-section (a) or sub-section (b) for contravention of any duty or code of conduct specified in Section (9) sub-sections (b), (d), (f) or (g) of the Law.
36.    The person in-charge or an authorized person of a department or organization or the [aggrieved] individual himself, which feels it is aggrieved by contravention of any duty or code of conduct provided in Section (9) of the Law, may lodge complaint Form-B to  the Council within ninety days of printing or broadcasting.
37.    If the aggrieved individual, department or organization brings charges directly at a relevant court for criminal or civil proceedings, it shall withdraw the complaint whichit had lodged with the Council.
38.    The Disputes and Complaints Mediation-Committee:
a.    shall open a case-file for the complaint usingMediation Case-File Form-C.
b.    may summon the complainant and the respondent for mediationafter coordinating with them on the date, time and venue.  In case of inability on justifiable grounds of either side to attend on the date, time and venue so summoned, the mediation may be adjourned to a re-negotiated date, time and venue, and summons issued.
c.    shall require the respondent to submit a responding statement.
d.    shall conduct the summons, examining and recordings under these Rules in accordance with prescribed [procedures].
e.    shall, on the complaint form and responding statement,make summary notes in respect of examination, of the complainant and its witnesses, the respondent and its witnesses, concerning the points of  dispute.  The said summaries shall be read out and endorsed by the persons examined, and the Council-Members.
f.    shall close the case-file after issuing a decision which is the best effort at resolution through mediation acceptable to both sides.  If no resolution can be achieved, such fact shall be recorded and the case-file closed.
g.    may announce the decision of the Council, if the complainant or the respondent, or their respective assignees, fail to attend on the date and time specified, even though the summons under sub-rule (b) was validly made.
h.    shall commence mediations within fifteen days from the date of receipt of a complaint.
i.    shall carry out the mediation to completion within sixty days after commencement.
39.    The complainant and the respondent:
a.    shall abide by the decision reached through mediated resolution.
b.    may bring charges at a relevant court in the case of failure to reach resolution through mediation, or in the case of failure to abide by the decision made through mediated resolution.
40.    The Council may make announcements of its decisions and opinions in respect of dispute resolution.
Chapter 12.     Organization of Office Staff
41.    For the purpose of carrying out its day-to-day office functions, the Council:
a.    may draw up the organizational structure of its office function; appoint and assign duties to officers and staff.
b.    shall appoint officers and staff of the office function by execution of employment contracts in accordance with prevailing law, and shall specify their rights and responsibilities.
42.    An office-chief be appointed and assigned duties for supervision of the office functions.
43.    With regards to its personnel, the Council:
a.    shall draw up and establish required qualifications and workplace bylaws.
b.    shall specify remunerations, allowances and benefits in accordance with prevailing labour laws.
c.    may grant honorariums and financial assistance from time to time.

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