Standard Time Daily MyanmarDefault Time Daily Myanmar
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The Myanmar weeklies become daily newspapers
Burma/Myanmar general debate and issues not addressed in other areas. Having embraced the web era and published the latest headlines on Twitter and Facebook, Myanmar's long-running reporter is preparing for another upheaval - the daily papers. Since Myanmar came to rule two years ago, new liberties have entered the Myanmar media, but ancient regulations mean that personal papers could only be published once a weeks.
This is to be changed from April 1, when 16 weeklies may become daily titles. "Pretty happy with the daily paper. However, I am concerned that their expectations will be fulfilled 100 per cent when the newspaper is on the market," said Nyein Naing, publisher of 7Day Newspaper, one of Myanmar's most beloved magazines.
Every mornings a number of people, from officials to rickshaws, come together at the roadside kiosks to gobble up the new non-censored messages from the various weekly newspapers. This is a new episode for a people thirsting for information after decade-long reign of a oppressive regime that has castrated the country's mainstream medium.
"When dailies come out, I think they will be better able to guide and train people," said AFP attorney Htay Win in a tea house in a busy outskirts of the biggest town of Yangon. Myanmar is already a long way from the junta's time when whispering rumors often spread sentiments.
A year later, Suu Kyi is a member of parliament and her National League for Democracy is one of the forerunners of the press riot, with formal permission to turn her D-Wave political brochure into a daily newspaper. Newsgroups have already worked on daily print prohibitions to keep the reader informed of the latest messages.
The recent community riots in Myanmar have resulted in the Facebook pages of key retail stores receiving literally a hundred of "preferences" and commentaries. However, the Buddhist-Muslim power has also revealed the weakness of a medium that works without a clear legislative frame and without ethic rules. "There is a vital part for the masses and public administrations, and the masses really must be ethically minded and adhere to very high reporting standards," said Benjamin Ismail, AFP borderless reporter.
Burma was ranked 151 out of 179 in the World News Freedom Index 2013 by news agencies for "dramatic changes", including the abolition of the strict pre-release review process - until last year, which applied to everything from papers to fairy tales. Opinion leaders are hoping that a new news release bill, prepared by a preliminary board of journalists, will set out the boundaries of freedom of the news service and supersede the laws enforced by the dictators.
However, the debate on the reforms has been controversial in recent months, as the agencies have unveiled that they had made their own proposals, raising the fear that the regime is not prepared to give up full scrutiny of the media. "The bill will pose a major challenge for newspapers," said Kyaw Min Swe, spokesman and publisher of Voice magazine.
It' s not yet known how many of the 16 groups of messages will immediately change over to daily pressure, which should bring even great demands. Logistic issues are likely to be followed by message trailblazers with few skilled reporter, concern about press shortages and missing stats on the prospective reader population.
Magazines are accusing the state media, which has long monopolised the daily business of publishers, of unjustified financial and promotional benefits. New Light of Myanmar is now looking for a personal mate and is looking for publicity after having replaced the blatant statements of the past - among them "anarchy creates Anarchy, not democracy" - with chatter about Hollywood stars like Scarlett Johansson.
However, with the publicity that still pervades the major histories and public press headslines such as "Old Lantern Superseded by New Lantern ", personal newsgroups are not too concerned about the rivalry of people like New Light. In Myanmar on Monday, the paper printing sector may be dwindling in the remainder of the country, but it was expanding when personal papers came to kiosks for the first time in 50 years.
The reincarnation of daily newspapers is a first for many people: many were not even reborn when the deceased ruler Ne Win gave the daily newspapers a state charter in the sixties. He' s editor-in-chief of Golden Fresh Land, one of four daily newspapers on Monday when Myanmar took another giant leap towards democratization.
He is old enough to remember that during the era of Parliament' s democratic regime, there was a large and lively daily newspaper in Burma, English, German, India and China after Myanmar, then known as Burma, gained British sovereignty in 1948. Every day Khin Maung Lay worked as a chief journalist for the Myanmar bilingual Mogyo before she was expelled from the store in 1964 under federal pressures.
He is the editor-in-chief of Golden Fresh Land - the name is less embarrassing in Burma's pristine name - leading a group of young reporters he hired from various weekly newspapers, the least familiar with the free media idea because they grew up under the five decade reigning MP.
You are dealing with some giants of the press and some of the country's leading politicians. As the USDP rulers launch a daily newspaper named The Union, the incumbent The Voice turns into Voice Daily. And the other big shot is The Standard Time Daily. Each of the four journals is in Burmese and costs 150 kyat-200 quintals (US20 cent - 25 cent).
There are countless opportunities, Khin Maung Lay admits, but he said he was willing to face them "in the name of media freedom". "He is very familiar with the latest state of the art - he went to prison three years under Ne Win, three of them in "protective custody", a buzzword used by the army regimes to imprison opponents.
"It' not going to be simple for all of them. I can' t buy every paper I read every day," said 52-year-old cabbie Tun Win, who normally kept up to date with three weeklys. Nevertheless, he said, the advent of the daily press was a big leap forward for the poor state.
On Monday, four personal newspapers came to Myanmar kiosks for the first time in almost 50 years, but many others were absent, paralyzed by bad funding, ancient artifacts and a shortage of journalists. One of three daily newspapers available free of cost, the government-focused Union Daily won with great monetary power against rivals such as D-Wave, the newspaper of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), which is still in preparation.
"Kyi Kyi Kyi Kyi, a bookseller at the side of the road, said to Reuters, "All four newspapers were quickly selling out today. "However, it is very difficult to forecast their further sale, as three of them were handed out for free today and the rest was paid for 150 kyats ($0.17) per copy," Myanmar's quasi-civilian regime took over in early 2011 after the country was given up half a cent long chokehold on former Burma by the junta regime.
As part of its democratization program, it started the reform of the press in August 2012 when it loosened the dramatic mark of censure. All three other papers were Voice Daily, Golden Fresh Land and The Standard Time Daily, all in Burma. We' re still making the necessary arrangements for the publication of the newspaper," said Han Tha Myint, member of the NLD's central executive committee that edits D-Wave Weekly.
Dissemination, bad infrastructures, outdated presses and personnel are some of the obstacles for newspapers. "In all honesty, the goverment issued licenses much sooner than we had anticipated, and we were surprised," said the publisher of a personal newspaper using the alias Ko Maung.
Ministry of Information has asked domestic and international investors to join forces to produce the New Light of Myanmar, a former state promotional paper and the country's only English-language daily newpaper. Others are awaiting clarification on how Myanmar will handle publication that will benefit from overseas investments.
"It was a horrible waiting, a little like a giant looking to thrive through a rift in a cliff, but we are now on the start line and no one seems to be in a hurry," said Ross Dunkley, chief editors of the Myanmar Times, which is competing for licenses for Burma and British newspapers, last months.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), headquartered in Paris, Myanmar is ranked 151rd out of 179 nations in the Press Freedom Index, 18 places more than last year. The RSF has cautioned that a March bill on the use of the press could jeopardise Myanmar's "fragile" status since 2011. She criticized rules that could lead to papers being found unlawful because they publish materials that could endanger the cause of ethnic cleansing, disparage religion or disrupt the state.
But how much leeway is there? The most important information resource in this South East Asiatic country, recently liberated from five centuries of Israeli army rule, for years was the state-run daily New Light of Myanmar. This newspaper complained on a regular basis against international broadcasters and reproached the BBC for lying.
" Her tagline "The Most Reliable Newspaper Around You" was real, because it was the only daily newspaper that existed. However, the New Light is in a competitive environment. Myanmar permitted the daily publication of private newspapers for the first time in 50 years on April 1. Last August, the regime formally ended it, ending an epoch in which harassment, beatings and sometimes exile or imprisonment of reporters took place.
She launched commercial and color print and is now looking for a JV with a privately held business associate. There are four new daily newspapers this months. "It' s far from complete, of course, but we just have to see how we've lived for half a century," said Khin Maung Win, vice president of Burma's nonprofit organisation Khin Maung Win, who has been in Oslo since 1982.
However, a medial revival in one of the most recently insulated states in the oceans does not go without it. Though President Thein Sein's open-minded policy is unparalleled since 2011, no one knows how the administration will respond to the challenge of a more open state.
Previously, the administration had only permitted publication on a monthly basis, giving the administration enough time to review the article. Over 200 privately-run newspapers have been launched in the last ten years. A daily magazine is Mizzima, a multi-medial messaging organisation established by Delhi exiles in 1998. It was the first of the exiles to move to Myanmar last year.
"Thought, okay, this is the time. Mizzima' s head offices are located in a run-down downtown building near the Shwedagon Pagoda, the Myanmar sacred heartland. Most of the personnel are based in Naypyidaw, the recently established capitol, and provide press trainings for civil servants - an indication of how far things have progressed.
However, many reporters are worried about how much liberty they actually have. Myanmar's Ministry of Information on Tuesday gave ten more daily papers for release in the state, in supplement to the 16 previously allowed, which is a further move by the administration in the process of transition. Among the 10 new daily papers awarded are two British daily papers - Myanmar Liberom Daily and International Herald Tribute.
International Herald Tribute, which belongs to a US corporation, is released as an originals in Myanmar. Its other eight daily newspapers are National Times, Eleven News, Nagani, Dana Economy, Warasein, News Watch, Pyi Myanmar and Myanmar Post. With the 10 new daily newspapers, the overall number of daily newspapers in Myanmar has increased to 26.
Previous 16 daily newspapers released for release are Union, Golden Freshland, Standard Times, Voice, Myanmar Newsweek, 7-Day, Khit Moe, Empire, the Messenger, Up-Date, Mizzima, Khit Thit, Yangon Times, Myanmar Dika, Union Athan and D-Wave. The Union Daily is led by the governing Union Solidarity and Development Partie ( "USDP"), while D-Wave is run by the National League for Democracy (NLD) opposing group.
After a five-decade halt to such releases, the reintroduction of the daily paper in the South East Asiatic nations took place. Also the go-ahead for the operation of the daily paper by the business community is considered part of the country's overhaul of the press. Myanmar's administration began reforming the Myanmar press in June 2011, and in August 2012 full liberalization of controls over local news coverage was achieved.
In December 2012, Myanmar subsequently announces the free publishing of personal dailies and closes its press control and registration department. In September 2012, the Myanmar Press Council also underwent reform of its 29-member interim Myanmar Press Council, which addresses press matters before a press bill is passed officially by Congress. In addition to the rising numbers of privately published daily papers, there are about six state daily papers, over 200 privately published weeklies in Myanmar, English and Mandarin, more than 200 periodicals and almost 7,000 privately published titles.
In addition to allowing the release of a personal daily paper, the administration has also begun deploying more international intelligence services in Myanmar since the beginning of this monthly. To date, three such agents, namely NHK and Kyodo from Japan and Associated Press (AP) from the USA, are opening their offices in Yangon.
In the early days, China's Xinhua and Guangming Daily were the only two of more than 20 international intelligence companies to have been able to base in Myanmar, with the people of their own countries acting as correspondent. Myanmar's locals have been hired as their reporting agents by other overseas intelligence companies that have not yet established branch outlets.
More than 20 bureaus of international correspondents existed in the state before they officially opened branch establishments here. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information underlined the need to improve the Integrity of all audiovisual organisations and expressed the conviction that, as long as they retain their feeling of liberty, ownership and accountability, reporters would be able to make the Provisional Board of Presses an unification of high honour.
The Myanmar administration in November 2012 succeeded the former spokesperson and information staff with a six-person staff to publish and support personal magazines and overseas publications to keep up to date with important newscasts. Under the leadership of U Aung Thein, the present Deputy Minister of the Presidential Office, the Information Task Force is to give occasional publicity in the form of a public relations briefing and to publish information on the state' s politics, economy, safety, defence and nature in the field of disasters in near-time.
She will also disseminate information in live time to the domestic and overseas press, as well as supporting and coordinating press release crews from various departments. Myanmar's administration has also established a governance committee that converts three state newspapers - Myanmar Alin, Kyemon (Spiegel) and the New Light of Myanmar - into official publications.
In Myanmar's recently formed PRC, a bill that threatens to undermine Myanmar's move towards free journalism is being reviewed by newsmen. Reporters in the Ecofin told the Ecofin that the Ministry of Information was hearing the concern about the bill on printing and publishing, which raised an uproar in March when the administration presented it to Congress without consultation with the regional newsrooms.
"We have spoken to a few ministerial officials," said Thiha Saw, a member of the Myanmar Journalists Association's Board of Public Relations and Assistant Director, Irrawaddy. In the course of developing its own legislation to secure the free movement of the mass press in the state. It added that the goverment had promised to change the bill, thereby watering down the authority of the Department to issue and withdraw publishing licences.
Some see this as a reversion to censoring. Southeast Asia's Shawn Crispin of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, criticized the Myanmar government's choice to bring its printer and publisher to the House without consultation with reporters. "He said that the fact that the Information Department has drafted this bill without the expertise of the grassroots news groups shows that there is still opposition to these liberalisation reform in the DoD.
"Jounalists must not oppose the Constitution or current affairs that could encourage force, and these are very obscure notions that have been used and misused arbitrarily in the past," he said. Meanwhile, at the beginning of this month, the Myanmar administration granted licences to ten more daily papers.
New publications : Die neuve Titel umfassen National Time Daily, Daily Eleven News, Myanma Freedom Daily, The Nagani Daily, Dana Business Daily, Warazein Daily, Newswatch Daily, The Pyi Myanmar Daily, Myanmar Daily, Myanmar Post Daily et International Herald Tribune, die staatliche Zeitung New Light of Myanmar. After a 45-year prohibition in Myanmar, personal dailies began to be published last months.
Under the old regulations, it was only allowed to release personal works once a month. However, 16 weeklies were allowed to appear as daily newspapers on April 1. It is World Press Liberty Day on Friday 3 May. On this occasion, a Seapa press alliance reported calling on Myanmar to strengthen its achievements in strengthening press freedoms.
She cautioned that the bill on printing and publishing is "a menacing indication of the course the Myanmar administration is taking". "It still seems determined to maintain full scrutiny of the print and the right to free speech and expression," the paper says. Seapa's own account of Thailand's free and fair public relations states that the Thai mass media struggle with ethics, polarization and the pressures of the majestic laws of reading.
"Thailand's Thai press continue to seek the right compromise between moral accountability and free expression, which is currently being pursued through the mainstream without finding a way to resolve or bridge the policy divide," the paper says. The World Press Liberty Day on May 3 was to be a landmark for Myanmar Consolidated Leather, Ltd (MCM): this was the date for the start of the first daily English language issue of the Myanmar Times.
However, the date came and went without the daily battles between the company's international and domestic outreaches. Last but not least, Dr. Tin Tun Oo's Swesone Co. declined to apply for the day license, blocking MCM's publisher plan.
However, on May 6, the Myanmar Times introduced the new daily newspaper size with a dedicated supplement that highlights all the innovations in daily designs. Commenting on the front page, editor-in-chief Ross Dunkley said that it would have been appropriate for MCM, as one of the world' s foremost players in the media industry, for almost 13 years to launch his daily newspaper along with the approximately 20 others that came onto the scene last months.
Instead, he was confronted with what he calls "the somewhat ridiculous state of[ The Myanmar Times], which introduces its new look daily as a weekly". He said that the ongoing shareholder conflict has led to Myanmar's groundbreaking English-language paper being abandoned to "limping", while other papers are able to take full advantage of the new easy-going press rules.
He was then compelled to divest his stock at a discounted rate to Dr Tin Tun Oo, leading to the troubled relationship with Mr Dunkley and other overseas stockholders that has been plaguing the Group since. In spite of these recent drawbacks, Mr. Dunkley and Wendy Madrigal, Chief Operating Office of MCM, who leads the daily's developments, continue their efforts to bring both the English and Myanmar version of the Myanmar Times to market as soon as possible and are confident that the obstacles to obtaining the license can and will soon be eliminated.
Emphasizing the importance of a free media in the democratic transition and underlining the precious part the Myanmar Times has and continues to take in whatever size the document is. "The Myanmar Times is tomorrow's newsmagazine because it serves the interests of its readership and reflects the power and passion of a nations that wants to adopt the global and a new policy outlook.
At a time of change, dependable information and smart analytics are indispensable, and lighting in dark places is more important than ever," he said. Every mornings a number of people, from officials to rickshaws, come together at the roadside kiosks to gobble up the new non-censored messages from the various weekly newspapers.
This is a new episode for a nation thirsting for information after decade-long reign of a oppressive regime that has castrated the country's mainstream medium. "When dailies come out, I think they will be better able to guide and train people," said AFP attorney Htay Win in a tea house in a busy outskirts of the biggest town of Yangon.
Myanmar is already a long way from the junta's time when whispering rumors often spread sentiments.