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Third state-run daily newspaper to be launched

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A new daily newspaper, called Myawaddy, likely to be another of the junta’s mouthpieces, will be launched on March 27, which marks the 66th Armed Forces Day in Burma. It will be the third state-run newspaper in Burma.

Ye Myint was named executive editor. The staff will be comprised of former employees of the Information Ministry.

The headquarters of the newspaper will be located in Pobba Thiri Township in Naypyidaw. A branch office will be opened in Yankin Township in Rangoon.

It is not clear whether the newspaper will receive investment funds from the army or the Information Ministry. The newspaper is asking for news, articles, poems and cartoons.

The newspaper staff is now in training and  awaiting orders from the authorities, Paw Oo Thit, a staff member, told Mizzima.

Currently, the Information Ministry publishes two newspapers, the New Light of Myanmar and The Mirror, which have a daily circulation of about 300,000 copies.

Win Tin, a National League for Democracy central executive committee member and an ex-journalist, said that because of the newspaper’s military support it would not be a good source of information for the people.

‘Newspapers should not be published for propaganda purposes’, he said. ‘If the newspaper cannot reflect the public mood, it will not be good. Only if a newspaper represents the people, can it benefit the people’, he said.

The Mirror newspaper was founded in 1957, and it was popular with the public, but later it was misused by consecutive governments as a propaganda weapon and its popularity has decreased.

Currently, private media in Burma are allowed to publish only weekly newspapers. Moreover, all private newspapers must submit their stories and pictures to the junta’s censorship board prior to publishing.

Some private newspapers would like to publish a daily newspaper, and they have expressed hope that the new parliamentary government will allow private daily newspapers.

Observers in Rangoon said that at least four private newspapers are lining up to try to publish dailies.

Information Minister Kyaw Hsan said in Parliament on March 10 that in the print media sector, five daily newspapers, 170 weekly publications and 182 monthly magazines were published in Burma. The five state newspapers are The Mirror, and New Light of Myanmar, published in Burmese, New Light of Myanmar in English and Myodaw, published by the Rangoon municipality, and Yadanarpone, published by the Mandalay municipality.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 March 2011 09:14 )  

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