Taste of freedom

Newspaper>> Democracy • Myanmar

Published: Thursday 31 January 2013

Myanmar has announced it will allow private daily newspapers starting in April for the first time since 1964, in the latest step towards allowing freedom of expression. The Information Ministry announced on its website that any Myanmar national wishing to publish a daily newspaper will be able to submit an application in February. They will be allowed to begin printing from April 1 in any language.

Myanmar has three state-owned dailies which serve as mouthpieces of the military regime, but they low circulation. Though there are 180 weeklies, only half of them cover news. The rest feature sports, entertainment and health. Private dailies in Burmese, English, Indian and Chinese were once vibrant in Myanmar. But all were forced to close when the late dictator Ne Win nationalised private businesses in 1964. Under his government the standard of newspapers diminished to propaganda sheets.

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