Media


A journalist from the BBC’s Myanmar-language service walked free from prison on Thursday after a court accepted his appeal against a three-month sentence handed down in June for striking a policeman.

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On March 31, the day after the National League for Democracy took office, the masthead of state-owned newspaper Kyemon (The Mirror) changed to red, a traditional symbol of the pro-democracy movement.

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A farmer, a former reporter and an editor from The Ladies Journal were each handed fines of 20,000 kyats (around US$17) by a local court in Pegu Division’s Thaegon Township on Tuesday after being charged with defamation over a news story.

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Tint Swe, permanent secretary and spokesman of the Ministry of Information, submitted his resignation on Friday, citing family and social obligations.

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A US$20 million cinema plan has started its pilot project in Rangoon’s Taik Kyi and southern Shan State’s Aungban townships, according to private cinema developer Maze Co., Ltd.

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Burma’s powerful military remains intolerant of press freedom, fearing a negative portrayal of its institution.

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A former MP who once suggested that the best way to achieve peace in Burma was by annihilating ethnic armed groups has launched a new journal bearing his nickname.

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An official in Myanmar has been charged with defamation for referring to Aung San Suu Kyi with a slur parroted by the former junta she spent decades campaigning against, police said Tuesday.

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Financial challenges loom over journals serving residents of a central Myanmar region that was notorious for its persecution of journalists under the previous government.

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The Myanmar Journalist Network (MJN) has denounced as a threat to press freedom the Burmese military’s move to sue the 7Day Daily newspaper for publishing a remark by former army general and Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann.

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Myanmar Press Council (MPC) held a daylong discussion with various ethnic media editors on the issue of ethnic media developments in the country.

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British NGO ARTICLE 19, which campaigns for freedom of expression, has called on Myanmar prosecutors to drop a criminal case brought against Mizzima Media by Eleven Media Group Chief Reporter Marn Thu Shein who filed a criminal complaint under the Electronic Transactions Law over a column by Sithu Aung Myint published in Mizzima’s online edition.

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The Burma Army settled a libel lawsuit that it brought against local media outlet 7 Day Daily for publishing a story that it claimed could “destroy the unity of the military.”

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The Burma Army has filed a lawsuit against local media outlet 7 Day Daily for publishing a story in April which included former general Shwe Mann’s message to graduates of the Defense Services Academy, claiming the story could lead to the disintegration of the military.

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A private cinema developer will build 100 cinemas in Burma within the next two years to encourage the country’s stagnating film industry, the Information Ministry said.

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U Sithu Aung Myint has once again raised the ire of the Eleven Media Group and may face defamation proceedings under the Electronic Transactions Law, the tenth time the company has attempted to pursue charges against the prominent commentator.

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The Pathein District Court in Irrawaddy Division denied a bail request on Monday from Nay Myo Wai, an ultra-nationalist politician charged with defamation under Burma’s Telecommunications Law.

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Pe Myint, 67, Myanmar’s new minister of information, hails from Rakhine state in the northwest of the country. A doctor by training, he has written 50 books of fiction and non-fiction about the country, and translated the works of others from English — none of which got him into trouble with the authorities. He received journalism training from the Bangkok-based Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in the 1990s, and was appointed to his challenging new position by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s effective prime minister. On April 1, she instructed all her ministers to prepare 100-day plans. None has yet begun to be implemented, and exact synchronization looks unlikely. An important part of Minister Pe Myint’s brief is introducing the citizens of Myanmar to some unfamiliar concepts, including freedom of speech and information, and responsive government. The minister recently talked exclusively to the Nikkei Asian Review.

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Members of Myanmar’s film community say they are disappointed but not surprised by an official decision to block a feature screening at a human rights-themed film festival in Yangon.

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“Twilight Over Burma,” a film about a Shan leader and his Austrian wife, will be subjected to the scrutiny of the film censorship board before it receives permission to be premiered in Burma at the annual Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, which starts Tuesday, according to a board member.

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