Media


Central Executive Committee members of the National League for Democracy met with the Interim Myanmar Press Council on August 28 at the Kyauktada Township offices of the political party.
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A final appeal against the verdict for five Unity Weekly journal employees — who were sentenced to ten years in prison with hard labour in July — was submitted to Magwe regional court on Thursday.
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A case filed against more than 50 journalists in mid-July for a demonstration demanding greater media freedoms has been dropped, according to Rangoon’s Kamayut Township police.
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Newly appointed Information Minister Ye Htut met for the first time on Saturday with representatives of Burma’s Interim Press Council (IPC) to discuss the regulations for the new media law.
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Burma’s Interim Press Council has advised journalists and media workers to follow a code of ethics that will safeguard them from government prosecution.
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Presidential spokesman Ye Htut took the reins of Burma’s Ministry of Information last week, succeeding former Information Minister Aung Kyi, who resigned from the post on July 29. Previously serving as deputy information minister in addition to his role as presidential spokesman, Ye Htut spoke to The Irrawaddy’s Htet Naing Zaw about his approach to conflicts between media and the government, his growing cabinet workload and future plans as Burma’s new information minister.
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State-owned newspapers and private media provide differing coverage of the meeting between President Thein Sein and the Interim Press Council members.
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President U Thein Sein has nominated Deputy Minister for Information U Ye Htut as the new minister for information, in the wake of two ministerial resignations.
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Myanmar’s ministers for information and health have been allowed to retire, state television reported Tuesday, in the country’s second Cabinet reshuffle in two months.
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Burma’s leading media bodies have reached a 16-point agreement to protect media workers and ensure that their legal rights are respected.
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Burma’s state-run English-language daily newspaper will from September be renamed and relaunched as
a joint venture with a private company, the newspaper reported Sunday.
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Members of the Burmese media have rejected a message from President Thein Sein to Parliament on Friday, in which he claimed that local and international journalists share blame for outbreaks of anti-Muslim violence that have marred Burma’s democratic transition.
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Lawyers representing the four jailed journalists and manager of Unity journal on Monday submitted an appeal against their conviction, one of the lawyers told The Irrawaddy.
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The United States, which has made a priority of improving relations with Myanmar, said on Friday it was “very concerned” by reports that four journalists and a newspaper boss were sentenced to 10 years’ hard labor there this month.
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In this week’s Dateline Irrawaddy show—first aired on DVB—panelists discuss a backsliding of press freedoms in Burma, including the imprisonment of journalists for 10 years with hard labor.
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North Korean officials have extended an informal invitation for Burmese journalists to travel to their country and learn about the situation there, journalists say.
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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) have denounced the sentencing of four journalists and the CEO of Unity Journal to ten years hard labour for reporting the existence of a secret weapons factory in January.
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The Interim Myanmar Press Council said it has requested a meeting with President Thein Sein to discuss the growing threat to media freedom in Burma, while it has also sent letters to several Lower House committees asking lawmakers to look into the situation.
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Myanmar took a giant step away from democracy last week when a court sentenced five journalists to 10 years in prison with hard labor for reporting news that the government did not like. Hard labor was a common punishment during the decades of military rule. After the military junta dissolved itself in 2011, the government of President Thein Sein abolished censorship, began reforms of the news media and freed journalists. It is deeply disturbing that Myanmar is now meting out punishment to reporters for doing their jobs.
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Police in Rangoon say they are planning to visit newspaper offices to confirm the identities of about 50 journalists who are accused of staging an unauthorized protest against President Thein Sein.
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