MUMBAI: It was in December 2013 that BBC News had got permission from the Ministry of Information of Myanmar (Burma) to open up a bureau in the country. Now, as the new year has arrived, the channel has appointed its first ever correspondent in the country - Jonah Fisher.
Fisher has been with BBC News for the last 10 years and has covered events for the channel in places like Eritrea, Sudan, London, South Africa, Nigeria and most recently Thailand. He will be reporting for television, radio as well as the network’s online platforms.
Speaking on his appointment BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks said: “The appointment of Jonah Fisher marks another important milestone in the rapid welcome changes taking place in Burma/Myanmar. Censorship and repression are being replaced with a new media environment where the BBC can freely broadcast trusted and impartial news. The BBC's charity BBC Media Action will continue its work to help train the next generation of Burma/Myanmar journalists which will further contribute to the country’s transition towards media freedom. These investments are part of our commitment to our audiences in Burma/Myanmar and we look forward to covering the historic elections in 2015. ” BBC Media Action and the BBC Burmese Service already have a presence in Myanmar.
Fisher has reported on issues involving Burma’s Rohingya Muslim community’s fights with the Buddhist monks amongst several other ones.
Burma has always been a highly censored country and it was only in 2012 that the country announced its decision to stop censoring content before publication leading to several private publications commencing operations.