“The police and the media both serve the public, it’s just the nature of how we work that is different. If we work together, there will be many advantages for our future.”
That’s part of what inspires LaeLae Thinn as she works with MYPOL as a trainer. In total, she’s led eight courses teaching the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) how they can better release important information to the public. The work is tiring at times, she admits. Many police who attend don’t have much experience using computers professionally. Photography, editing and writing skills don’t come naturally – a lot of hard work is involved. But many police make up for this by spending every spare moment studying as much as possible during the training to improve their skills and find ways to bring new methods to their units. That makes it all worth it, LaeLae says.
“The best thing about being a trainer working with the MPF is that my students always seem eager to learn – both for themselves and to help the MPF better inform the public.”
During the trainings, LaeLae tries to share examples that will help the lessons have more of an impact. She draws on her experience as a journalist to give police insight into the challenges of informing the public effectively. The police share their own challenges as well and, together, LaeLae and the trainees build a mutual respect. In the future, LaeLae hopes that this will help improve the relationship between the MPF and Myanmar’s media. Through this, the MPF may be better able to get out messages about important issues.
These trainings might just be the beginning, LaeLae believes. They can help the police understand the nature of how journalists work, she says. In the future, there could be other ways to bring the two together, but for now, she is confident that both can work to serve the public.