Press Council warns crime reporters’ association against unethical behaviour

The Myanmar Press Council has warned the Crime Reporters’ Association against unethical behaviour amid allegations that some of its members had extorted money from news sources.

A warning to the association to adhere to the media code of conduct was included in a statement issued by the Press Council on April 25.

“We have heard reliably that some reporters [in the CRA] are not following the media code of conduct and are acting unlawfully,” said the statement, signed by the council’s secretary, U Thiha Saw.

The statement noted that senior members of the association included retired police officers and retired civil servants.

The council had received information that some association members had demanded money from people accused of crimes, promising not to write about them if they paid up.

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The crime reporters were also wearing uniforms that created the impression they were working officially with the authorities, the statement said.

The statement was sent to the association’s chair, U Han Nyunt, and copied to the President’s Office, the Ministry of Home Affairs and other journalists’ organisations.

It urged the association to take action against members who had behaved unethically.

Han Nyunt, who is a council member, told Frontier that he welcomed the warning.

“Those who broke the law will have to be charged,” he said.

Eleven other journalist associations sent an open letter to the CRA on April 25, the same day as the press council, expressing their disappointment at the “unethical behavior” of some of its members.

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