Newspapers and news portals have been the most conventional and popular medium for conveying local, regional, national and international news to the readers.

The media serves us to provide the latest information and events taking place in different parts of the world through a network of correspondents and news agencies. Myanmar’s major news portals also shape and influence the views, opinions and attitudes of millions of readers across the globe, especially throughout South and Southeast Asia, Myanmar.

The Irrawaddy is one of the widely circulated English-language news portals in Southeast Asia, especially Myanmar. It is also widely known in South East Asia. It is very popular in Myanmar. Policymakers, decision-makers, diplomats, academicians, researchers, and businessmen read this news publication regularly. Its hard-hitting insightful editorials and opinions are keenly followed by the government, lawmakers, diplomats and business people alike.

The Irrawaddy is just one example of publications published in both English and Burmese, with a primary focus on Burma and Southeast Asia. It is regarded as one of the foremost journalistic publications dealing with political, social, economic and cultural developments in Burma.

In addition to news, it features in-depth political analysis and interviews with a wide range of Burma experts, business leaders, democracy activists and other influential figures.

But it’s a matter of sorrow that news outlets such as the one above do not perform a positive role in the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Although they are vocal in favour of the democratic rights activists in Myanmar, in the case of the Rohingya refugee crisis, they have not been playing a sufficient role in circulating news, articles, opinions, and write-ups massively to create public opinion and help mount international pressure on the Myanmar junta.

It’s a matter of disappointment that the media has not been playing its due role. It seems that newspapers have no special interest in publishing the Rohingya affairs write-ups because it promotes the interest of the major Burmese. But on the Rohingya issue, the media must come out and take a stance.

They must understand, remember and recognise that Rohingyas are also the people of Myanmar. If we focus on the Rohingya issue with a few articles on the subject per month could change a lot.

The government of Myanmar, its decision-makers and its people are well known to the media. Thus, it is very easy for news portals to influence the policymakers and people of Myanmar and to some extent the decision-makers and leaders of whole South Asian countries.

The Rohingya refugees could be solved one day and the whole region will be stable. The role of the media would be very positive and sufficient in this regard.

The news outlets that are outspoken in favour of democratic rights in Myanmar and strident critics of human rights violations on the Burmese by the Myanmar military—must show the same stance in favour of the Rohingya rights and oppression.