Myanmar newsstands make room for private dailies

Featured - September 4th, 2012

Press freedom in Myanmar is set to expand as its new information minister announces his plans to allow private daily journals on the newsstands.

Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut told the Asahi Shimbun of Information Minister Aung Kyi’s plan to introduce a “Media Law acceptable to all and a Press Council representing the journalists.” Private dailies could emerge by early next year.

Some in the media are not satisfied with the planned reforms – a month after President Thein Sein abolished direct censorship – saying that ‘prerequisites’ for private newspapers should be abolished altogether. The managing editor of private publishing house Eleven Media Thein Myint, said that “there should not (need to) be any license for dailies” and “it should be free registration”.

Myanmar runs four dailies: an English-language daily, two dailies by the Ministry of Information and another by the Ministry of Defense. The 200 private weeklies were subjected to state censors prior the reforms on media censorship.