Myanmar to publish the first daily papers

Myanmar to publish the first daily papers

YANGON - The Associated Press
Myanmar to publish the first daily papers

With new freedoms that have swept through Myanmar’s press, 16 weekly news journals will be allowed to become dailies from April 1. France 24 photo

After embracing the Internet age and filing breaking news on Twitter and Facebook, Myanmar’s long-muzzled reporters are gearing up for another revolution, daily newspapers. New freedoms have swept through Myanmar’s press since a reformist regime took power two years ago, but archaic rules meant private titles could only publish once a week.

That is set to change from April 1, when 16 weekly news journals will be allowed to become dailies. “People are really excited about having daily newspapers. But I’m worried whether their hopes will be met 100 percent when the papers are in the market,” said Nyein Nyein Naing, editor of 7Day News, one of Myanmar’s most popular journals.

Each morning an array of readers, from civil servants to rickshaw drivers, gather at streetside news stands to devour the newly uncensored news culled from the various weeklies. It is a novel experience for a population hungry for information after decades of rule by a repressive junta that neutered the country’s media.

New Light of Myanmar

The English-language New Light of Myanmar is now looking for a private partner and is angling for popular appeal after replacing the shrill pronouncements of the past, including “Anarchy begets anarchy, not democracy” with gossip about Hollywood celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson.

But with propaganda still infusing state media’s main stories and headlines, private news groups are not overly worried about competition from the likes of New Light. “Our journal publishes independent news which comes from people and is up to date... I don’t think I have to worry,” said Nyein Nyein Naing of 7-Day News.