BNI awarded Hiroshima Foundation Prize for 2023

The Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation announced on May 15th that the Hiroshima Foundation Prize for 2023 has been awarded to Burma News International (BIN), a Myanmar media network, in recognition of their active promotion of peace and cultural development.

The Hiroshima Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting peace and culture, announced that BNI, an umbrella organization comprised of 15 news/media outlets that are bravely spreading news across ethnic groups inside and outside the country.

The foundation paid tribute to its reporting of atrocities and crimes against humanity, as well as translating the news into English for an international audience. It has also been awarded the prize for their peace building efforts over the years, and their unfailing commitment to human rights and democracy, especially since the military coup of February 2021.

Ma Tin Tin Nyo, Managing Director of BNI told KIC, “ We understand that BNI has been awarded the prize in recognition of our endeavors to promote peace, bring attention to the concerns and perspectives of minority ethnic groups, and consistently showcase the important roles of the traditional cultures of the ethnic groups as well as uncovering human rights violations, discrimination, and oppression”.

This is the first prize that BNI has received, which is considered as a reflection of BNI’s courage and determination in reporting the news, despite the challenging conditions of insecurity and other obstacles that ethnic and local media have faced since the Military Council coup, she added.

“Receiving this award signifies the growing recognition of ethnic and local media on the international stage. I am delighted that the international community acknowledges the crucial role played by ethnic media in promoting equal expression rights for minority communities who were previously marginalized”, Ma Tin Tin Nyo said.

The Hiroshima Foundation awarded BNI the prize for their peace building efforts over the years, and their unfailing commitment to human rights and democracy, especially since the military coup of February 2021.

The 2023 Prize amounts to an estimated USD 50,000, and an award ceremony is foreseen to take place in Stockholm, Sweden in September of 2023, according to the Foundation’s statement.

The statement also recognized and paid tribute to Ma Tin Tin Nyo as a human and women’s rights advocate who along with her colleagues, has worked for over a decade to promote peace and justice in Myanmar.

The Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture was created in 1989, and presents awards to women and men who contribute, in a cultural field, to fostering dialogue, understanding and peace in conflict areas. The 2020 prize was awarded to the Bi-Communal Choir for Peace in Cyprus and the 2018 prize was awarded to Mike van Graan, a South-African born playwright and cultural activist, for his contribution to the fight against apartheid, the statement said.

BNI is an umbrella organization of 15 news/media outlets across diverse States and Regions. As an advocate for independent journalism, it upholds ethical standards and champions the right to freedom of expression. Furthermore, BNI plays a vital role in disseminating news in ethnic languages, ensuring that events concerning ethnic regions in Myanmar receive greater visibility both domestically and internationally.

BNI was founded in 2003 as a coalition of 4 media outlets situated in neighboring border areas, and has now reached its remarkable 20th anniversary. From 2012 to 2021, a crucial period of political transformation in Myanmar, BNI spearheaded ethnic media conferences across multiple states, culminating in the successful hosting of the 8th conference in April of this year.

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