The Myanmar Times JournalMyanmar Times Journal
Myanmar Times muzzle
Myanmar's English paper has survived the imprisonment of one of its founding members for invented crimes, a stifling system of censure that was only abolished in 2012, and a disputed early association with the Burmese government. Following his arrest in November 2004, the Myanmar Times had to give a majority share to a fellow Junta member who wanted to use him as a stepping stone to an attempted Sinekure in parliament that was doomed to doom.
Yet when Myanmar came to implement policy reforms after centuries of inertia, it was incomparable. It was brave enough like hardly any other press agency in the state to test the limits of what could be reported on violations and violations of people' s freedoms after the government's former system of legal censure was abolished.
Her work has been quoted as a routine in major publications to understand the fascinating speed of Myanmar's upheaval. In spite of a transfer of title and the move from a week magazine to a day paper in 2015, it remains lucrative and was the authoritative English-language information resource for this year's poll.
Maybe the Myanmar Times will return to these highs sometime in the far away time. There will have to be a change of course, as tragic as the tragic event of last year, in which almost two dozens of international editors stepped down or were dismissed. They' ve abandoned frightened Myanmar colleagues who are afraid of their work and despair at the newspaper's steep loss of image and image.
As the editorial team and the executive committee fought, employees went on a routine basis to voice their complaints and apologize for issuing managerial decrees that prevented coverage of critical issues. Before arriving in Yangon, there was little that distinguishes Mr Bill Tegjeu from his journalistic background, a copy of Frontier's cv.
The New Straits Times, a Malay newspaper denigrated by its critic as the voice of Barisan Nasional's governing Barisan Nasional's parliament. A newsmagazine at the newspaper reported that 30 persons went to a competing magazine shortly after it began there.
Although he never ran a day paper in the sector in his 44 years, Tegjeu was supported by Dr. Kim Song Tan, a Singapore resident director of Myanmar Consolidated Media Co Ltd, which holds the Myanmar Times and the associated print and publication work. He was appointed Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the management of the English-language Myanmar and the Myanmar Newspapers.
He was appointed as a surprising editor, most of whom were unaware that the post would be occupied until a memo on his nomination was published in early 2016. While the English newspaper cost US$ 0.79 per US dollar turnover, the Myanmar newspaper and the social and cultural journal Now! suffered moderate declines in each of the 11-month period to November 2015.
Tegjeu, however, had the task of lowering the newspaper's operational cost and it was decided to streamline parts of the day-to-day business in England. In a first stage, the Tegjeu employees in Malaysia were responsible for the design and manufacturing of the papers. Tony Child was named CEO in October 2014 when the newspaper's only surviving founding father, Ross Dunkley, took over the day-to-day running of the group.
Worked in an opposite of the new editor-in-chief's in the newspaper's extensive Bo Aung Kyaw Street HQ. However, the two hardly talked during the three monts they worked together; Tegjeu was employed without consulting him. He resigned in March - who did not react to a Frontier inquiry - and the following week Tegjeu took over the extra position of President.
Tegjeu was given the nickname to describe his short and tumultuous term of office. The employees called their new editor-in-chief the "Race and Religion Bill" - a link to the legislation passed last year by the preceding state.
As the government of U Thein Sein gave in to the pressures of the Buddhist Nazi regime, the local Malayman also became known to his subjects as someone who gave in to the board's instructions to water down the paper's reporting. He would argue with the editorial staff about the wording in certain essays and express concern about the possibilities of complaining about the document.
Authors would object to items being procured in a proper manner and in accordance with their juridical and ethic responsibility as a journalist. Employees started to blanch because they wanted to work under a person who was seldom in the offices and whose only point of interaction with the remainder of the editing crew was to order the distance of coverage on delicate work.
After seven years as a journalist, he came to Yangon as a Rome Times reporter. During his tenure with the Myanmar Times, he deserved the profound recognition of his peers for his part in organizing the country's powerful reporting on the 2015 elections. Aggravation of his relations with Tegjeu came to a head in May, shortly after the daily published a Panama Papers article - the vast amount of information leakage about businesses that had been recorded in jurisdictions, sometimes for the purposes of currency washing and fiscal fraud.
There were 16 Myanmar residents on the Panama Papers mailing lists - apparently among them the chief of one of the country's biggest financial institutions, of whom Dinmore said he had repeatedly rejected inquiries for comments. Two weeks later, when the June 2 issue was finished, Tegjeu again made an intervention.
Prior to this, U Kyaw Kyaw Oo, a member of the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association, had given an exceptional $100 million news briefing that was lacking in a precious stone found. Kiev Kyaw Oo alleged that former President U Thein Sein had a certain amount of accountability for the lack of money.
Thein Sein's name should be deleted from the document. In private, the editors and the Executive Committee held discussions about arranging a private get-together and called for Tegjeu to be replaced. "The same co-worker said, "I see no way forward for someone to take care of Bill's journalists in the school. Tegjeu, however, was not to blame for the dangerous situation in which the newspaper's editors found themselves.
Tegjeu's name first appears on the Myanmar Times imprint five day after the gemstone funds history was shortened, almost six month after he became a member of the newspaper. Elsewhere, it has also re-opened a purulent wound that has played off a large part of the country's people against their local neighbors, foreign nationals who live in Myanmar, and defenders of humanitarian law in the world.
That the Myanmar population speaks with one voice on this matter would be a mistake. However, the predominant societal atmosphere allows the widespread and widespread view that, for example, the Rohingya mistakenly allege that they are being abused in order to win the support of the world, or that awareness of the Rohingya's prosecution is at the expense of other serious violations in Myanmar.
Burmese journalists are conscious of the dangers associated with a newsroom considered "pro-Calar" or "pro-Bengali" - the Pejorative, which describes every southern Asiatic legacy, and the firm conviction that the Rohingya are Bangladeshi illegals. Faced with alienation of their own age groups, an on-line misuse and occasional menaces in their lives, a 2015 Amnesty International story tells the story of a reporter who was followed by an gunmen who was accusing her of working for the calar press in the midst of the municipal unrest in Mandalay the year before.
Myanmar and Myanmar Times news editors were still in great distress when the newspaper's publisher was fired in Maungdaw community a few months after last year's suppression began for a story claiming the police had been raping Rohingya wives in Rakhine.
MacGregor was invited to meet Tegjeu and U Aung Saw Min, who had been named MCM' CEO a few week after a long stint at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Frontier said that MacGregor's withdrawal from the Myanmar Times precedes a telephone call from the Ministry of Information to the newspaper's newspaper managers, circumventing the Myanmar News Media Council, which was set up to assess media grievances.
Soon after Frontier's release of the Frontier story, Aung Saw Min spoke to a chief journalist that her dismissal had been caused by the Ministry's involvement and said that the administration of the document had made the choice on its own initiative. When MacGregor was released, employees were ordered not to release any information about incidents in the state of Rakhine until a new editing policies were developed in the following workdays.
The number of years soon turned into a few desperate wks during which numerous questions to Tegjeu and Aung Saw Min were ignored for the new directives. At that time, Tegjeu was in the offices for no more than a few lessons a week and declined to meet with the team. They were not only hindered from covering the country's greatest message, but Tegjeu had also declined to take the blame for MacGregor's account, despite his frequent intervention to impose the newspaper's own limitations.
Soon the riots in the newspaper's offices became the least guarded mystery in Yangon. Aliens at the newspaper made no mystery of the fact that they had been censured, with some exchanging the messages with colleagues and business associates and others commenting on what they considered a job awkward.
When the prohibition became ever clearer for the reader, the editors began to sense that the newspaper's authenticity was at stake: "We thank you for your assistance during this period, and we appreciate your continued readership," it says. Aung Saw Min then dismissed Douglas Long, who had worked for more than a decade and was at that point the English edition's journalist.
When Long was released, 13 expatriate employees had left or been released from the Myanmar Times in the past sixmonth. Myanmar Times was no different. Thein Sein was heavily influenced by a March 2014 report of a Maungdaw community slaughter in Duu Chee Yar Tan after a federal inquiry could find no proof of the allegations.
In this atmosphere, the newspaper's co-founder - the disputed but vibrant and impulsive Aussie editor Dunkley - published a reference banning the publishing of Rohingya or municipal tension without his consent. Contrary to last year's managment decree, the memorandum did not completely prohibit reporting on incidents in Rakhine.
It was also a result of a wise thing Tegjeu lacked: Dunkley, more than any other foreign national who has worked in Myanmar's audiovisual industries, had come to experience the boundaries of an accepted form of government. The Myanmar Times was founded by Dunkley and Sonny Swe at the low point of the regime's years.
Many were suspicious of their motivation at a moment when shame forced foreign corporations to abandon Myanmar. Several exiled leaders were founded in Thailand and India, where many students' militants escaped the 1988 uprising against one-party government, to cover the humanitarian conditions in Myanmar as the regime, which took over in September this year, strengthened its group in the state.
Established in the early 90s with US funds, the Irawaddy reports on a regular basis on the many weaknesses of the Myanmar Times in the early years of the newspaper. There was an awe-inspiring report of a slang fight between U Aung Zaw, founder editors of U Awaddy, and Dunkley in 2002 during a podium debate at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok in front of an audiences that were noticeably unfriendly to the Australian.
In public, he always claimed that there could be no changes in Myanmar without engaging with those in authority. Dunkley is asked in Dance with Digtators, a 2011 Myanmar Times film by two Australians who were in the paper for weeks before and after the 2010 general elections until they were arrested, what he says to those who blame him for "going to bed" with the army.
Myanmar's newspaper's continued presence seemed condemned to failure on several occasion when the Myanmar leadership's fractional equilibrium fell crucially on senior general Than Shwe, leader of the Myanmarjury. Khin Nyunt authorised the creation of the Myanmar Times, the only intelligence agency with international investments at the date.
Then Thein Swe was imprisoned for more than 140 years, with multiple cases of betrayal and Sonny Swe was given a combined sentence of 14 years: seven years each for not submitting the English and Myanmar issues of the Myanmar Times to the PSRD for censorship.
In the face of Dunkley's protest, a majority interest in the Myanmar Times was given to Dr Tin Tun Oo, a key member of the staff of Hard Line Information Minister and Brigadier Kyaw Hsan. With the publication of a number of life style magazines, Tin Tun Oo had become firmly entrenched as a major player in the field of medium. Though Dunkley objected, in 2010 Tin Tun Oo ran for the Union Solidarity and Development Party for the Pyithu Hluttaw Township in Pazundaung, a Yangon inner-city electoral district near the Myanmar Times.
Many of Dunkley's peers and buddies saw the case as an attempt at orchestration to coerce him into the Myanmar Times. As a result of his rejection, the newspaper's international employees had difficulty with the renewal of their visa. Before the Rohingya memo 2014, Tin Tun Oo had divested his controlling interest in U Thein Tun, a drinks tycoon and director of Tun Foundation Bank, known as the business man who took Pepsi to Myanmar.
Dunkley, who divested his remainder stake in Myanmar Consolidated Media in early 2015, said he was inheriting a newspaper that had never run at a deficit. The Myanmar Times published an October 2014 report announcing his resignation from the board of directors, along with a photograph of Dunkley and his unfortunate progenit.
At the end of an epoch, Thein Tun was considered to be a highly prospective opportunity to expand MCM's current business and open up new areas of business. "I am optimistic that with such a gifted group of people - really the company's greatest capital - we can move MCM forward in the years ahead," Thein Tun said.
Since there is no end in sight of an end to management's policies of censure, the surviving leading members of the editorship were looking for an audiences in November 2016. Against a backdrop of relentless pressure and a deteriorating business ethic, they insisted on the certainty that a new editing strategy was imminent and that the jobs that had become available in recent month would be made up.
One session was eventually given after a letter of application was handed over to Thein Tun's offices at his bank's head offices near the Myanmar Times brief. Thein Tun, Tegjeu, Aung Saw Min and Tan, who had come from Singapore, were members of the team. One of the three international journalists at the rendezvous was called in the 11th period to take the place of Long, who had been dismissed at the beginning of the group.
Tan seemed to have been appalled by an organization diagram showing the number of free editors. But Thein Tun seemed free and diverted throughout the entire session, and the delegations were not sure he had grasped her sentiments. At the end of the session, some employees felt that at least some headway had been made in saving the document from its terrible condition.
People had been said that they would immediately receive an drafting directive and the writers who had gone would be superseded. Aung Saw Min spread the new editing politics within a few workdays. Rakhine had to be clarified with the editor-in-chief, while opinions about the Rakhine region were banned until further notice. Rakhine had to be reported to the editor-in-chief.
Tegjeu, never a fixed establishment in the agency, has been seen less often. Aung Saw Min.'s assistant editor-in-chief U Myo Lwin, another long-time employee who had climbed through the ranks and was a loyal Aung Saw Min. officer, took on more responsibilities for checking the newspaper's content. Editors reported to Frontier that their colleagues in Myanmar in 2015 had alerted them that Myo Lwin had used their week-long meeting to seed suspicion against foreign nationals, and to tell journalists that Westerners would not really know the land and make difficulties for the newspaper.
A year later, he was one of the oldest members of the editorship and supported what the writers had hitherto considered a politics that was to banish the rest of the population.
Aung Saw Min and Myo Lwin had started to divert inquiries to speed up recruiting by saying that they were preparing an organizational restructuring - the editor-in-chief had previously been part of these strategic sessions, but was no longer asked as his own situation weakened. In the meantime, changes to the newspaper's articles were no longer the subject of debate, at least there were only a few journalists who could speak out against them.
A whole account of a last minutes mission to Myanmar by the UN High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Mrs Yanghee Lee, was deleted in January. One year after Tegjeu became a member of the newspaper on February 1, Tan published a memorandum informing the employees of the editor-in-chief's departure for "family reasons".
On the same date, Tan said that the experienced Tegjeu will be succeeded by the experienced Thailand based writer and academician Kavi Chongkittavorn. Myanmar Times' priority to lay off almost all its employees abroad remains uncertain. Since October, Tegjeu has not replied to Frontier inquiries.
Aung Saw Min and Myo Lwin did not answer last weeks when they were asked to answer the above described series. It is clear that the Myanmar Times last year revealed profound and perhaps incompatible disparities in the views of would-be reporters and their Myanmar cadres.
Imprisonment of a decade of reporters during the last administration and the death of two reporters since 2014 - one in detention and the other apparently a slave to mighty commercial interests - bear witness to the dangers faced by Myanmar reporters. The Myanmar Times observed the cultural transformation of their ministry into a cultural that favored respect and the punishment of disagreements.
Aung Saw Min, who ended the disputes over the course of the document early by saying to them, was remembered by two former employees who talked to Frontier: "It is a managerial role that would be well recognized by reporters in several other editorial offices in Yangon. Basically, it shows a different approach to free speech between those who come from a society where it is the primary duty of the journalist and those who believe it is dependent on the protection of the public good.
Some of those who spoke out in public about the Myanmar Times said they felt ethically responsible for explaining what happened in the newspaper when the dispute between journalists and managers could not be solved inhouse. He is a distinguished reporter, psychoanalyst and educationalist.
Ex-employees and others believe that it is the best way to reverse the dwindling fate of the newspaper and bridge the gaps sketched in this article. It has gone to an editorship that has lacked a considerable amount of seasoned editing skills to guide reporters who are worried about their own future and have become used to censor conflicting features of their own accounts for worrying about forfeiture.
When he spoke to Frontier in February, Dunkley provided a friendly term for Thein Tun. In spite of last year's upheavals, Dunkley said Thein Tun has been featured in the newspaper with lifelong commercial triumphs and will unavoidably be successful in the Myanmar Times. "U "U Thein Tun' s effective action was that in his hurry to claim the Myanmar Times' power, he was becoming more and more puzzled about the editorial's activities and puzzled about how they should be managed," Dunkley said.