Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Myanmar private dailies start publishing
by Staff Writers
Yangon, Myanmar (UPI) Apr 2, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Private daily newspapers have begun hitting the newsstands in Myanmar this week after the government eased its 5-decade-long monopoly on print media.

But only four of the 16 newspapers granted licenses by the Ministry of Information have been printed and are on sale, a report by the BBC said.

Even so, it's a major shift toward a more open society by the elected government of former junta leader and now civilian President Thein Sein in early 2011.

The media scene in Burma -- Myanmar's former name -- changed when the military took power in the former British colony in 1964.

Increasing censorship, police harassment and jail sentences for editors, publishers and owners ensued. Some weeklies were allowed, as well as some private sector-government publications and openly junta-linked newspapers.

But the government -- drawn from an elected Parliament -- announced in December that from April private newspapers would be allowed to publish after being granted a license from the Ministry of Information.

Easing of restrictions started in August when the government announced it was halting prepublication censorship, which had been applied to everything from newspapers to song lyrics, fiction, poems and even fairy tales.

Publishers previously had to provide copies of publications to the ministry before publication -- one of the methods of control used by the military junta before it handed over to an elected Parliament.

However, the foreign media in Myanmar remain under tight control about where they may travel, a report by New Delhi news agency Mizzima said.

Many new daily publications will have modest print runs until they are assured of their market as well as how to overcome the lack of distribution to rural areas, the BBC said.

Golden Fresh Land, printed in Yangon, started printing this week and will be looking at better distribution, a report by The Myanmar Times, a weekly newspaper, said.

"There will be some difficulties in distributing papers across the country and not everyone will be able to buy a paper every day," the Times quoted Golden Fresh journalist U Myint Kyaw as saying.

There remain many hurdles before a more recognizably free media by Western standards are in place, including getting rid of the notorious 1962 Printing and Registration Act.

Under the act, failing to register a publication carries a jail sentence up to 7 years and the government can revoke a publishing license at will.

But old censorship habits die hard, a report by the Democratic Voice of Burma, a broadcaster in Norway, said.

In an interview with DVB last month, a government representative said a "supervisory committee" of senior government officials, including military intelligence, was formed to replace Myanmar's censorship board.

The committee carries out many of the same functions include monitoring media output and revoking publication licenses, the spokesman said.

Nonetheless, the government is consulting with the country's increasingly active fourth estate on other issues.

The government is looking at draft legislation prohibiting publishing on numerous topics, including those deemed to "violate" Myanmar's controversial 2008 constitution -- the government's touchstone for creating an open society -- and on issues that "inflict damage" between ethnic groups.

Also, a much-delayed print media law drafted by the Ministry of Information likely won't be submitted to Parliament until July because the Interim Press Council was given permission to write its own version for consideration by the government.

The 20-member IPC, officially called the Myanmar Core Press Council, is chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge and includes academics, lawyers and members of press associations.


Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Pinera cash handout seen as a vote ploy
Santiago, Chile (UPI) Mar 29, 2013
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera pushed legislation for a cash handout to 7 million poor seen by analysts as his center-right coalition's bid to counteract "the Bachelet effect." Former President Michelle Bachelet, who retained huge approval ratings even after yielding to Pinera in 2010, has announced she will run for a new term in office in the November election. Pinera cannot ... read more

More Tibet landslide bodies recovered: media

Total of 54 Tibet landslide bodies recovered: state media

Shellfish gone near damaged nuke plant

Hopes fade in search for survivors of Tibet landslide

CO2 could produce valuable chemical cheaply

Catalyst in a teacup: New approach to chemical reduction

Lasers could yield particle research tool

Paint-on plastic electronics: Aligning polymers for high performance

Desert nomads marvel at water purifying device

Giant pockmarks found on Pacific seafloor

Rising up to prepare for sea level rise

Notre Dame researcher is studying role small dams play in pollution control

Recommendations for Streamlining Scientific Logistics in Antarctica

Arctic 'greening' seen through global warming

China plans more Antarctica research sites

Summer melt season is getting longer on the Antarctic Peninsula

Study looks at why chickens overeat

Researchers Find Novel Way Plants Pass Traits to Next Generation

China fertiliser leaves tons of harmful waste: report

Pesticide combination affects bees' ability to learn

US thanks Japan for help with tsunami debris

Strong quake kills one, injures 86 in Taiwan

Iceland sees unusual seismic activity at Hekla volcano

Huge and widespread volcanic eruptions triggered the end-Triassic extinction

Nigerian Easter day military raid leaves 15 dead

Obama to meet African leaders Thursday

S.Africa opposition wants troops out of Central Africa

S.African troops alarmed over killing child soldiers in C. Africa

Researchers successfully map fountain of youth

First evidence of Neanderthal/human mix

Urban vegetation deters crime in Philadelphia

Patents said threat to 'genomic liberty'

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement