Media


I recall vividly the first time I saw a tablet computer in this country. It was early 2011 in Myitkyina and the Tatmadaw’s Northern Command was flexing its muscles, a prelude to the new Kachin war.
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More than a year after the passage of Burma’s Media Law, the Ministry of Information has finalized new regulations for news organizations that will on paper give journalists greater access to information, but which may leave authorities with significant leverage over the reporting of contentious issues.
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Myanmar’s Information Ministry has filed a contempt of court complaint against the publisher and 16 editorial employees of a newspaper it is already suing for defamation, an action critics charge is an attempt at intimidation ahead of elections set for later this year.
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In the run-up to November’s crucial nationwide elections, Burma’s press freedom landscape leaves a lot to be desired, according to a new report by Amnesty International.
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Three years after the end of the country’s draconian pre-publication censorship regime, journalists working in Burma remain fearful of arrest, criminal prosecution and violence, despite legal safeguards ostensibly guaranteeing reporters broad freedoms to operate without interference from authorities.
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Burma’s Ministry of Information has pursued contempt charges against more than a dozen editors of a local newspaper for reporting on its own legal proceedings in a separate defamation case brought by the government.
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The Union Election Commission will allow observers from a maximum of five international organisations to monitor the parliamentary elections, U Tin Aye, chair of the UEC, told The Myanmar Times.
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Burma’s national Parliament is a relatively peaceful place. After all, a heated debate among lawmakers is quite rare. A brawl over a bill, the likes of which we’ve recently seen in Taiwan and even Nepal, is unheard of in Burma’s five-year-old legislative chambers.
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A press advocacy group on Friday spoke out against a recent ban on media observation of Parliament, urging the government to immediately restore access.
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A group representing journalists in Myanmar issued a protest on Thursday over a ban on their entering parliament imposed last week by authorities after photos of lawmakers sleeping during a session were published online, according to a Radio Free Asia report on 4 June.
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In the Union Parliament in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, Speaker Shwe Mann told reporters that banning journalists from parliamentary chambers came at the request of the military.
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Last week’s decision to ban reporters from observing sessions of the Union Parliament has been extended to meetings of both houses of the legislature, in what journalists say is a sign of backtracking on press freedoms.
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Myanmar’s navy briefly detained journalists who tried to reach a remote island Sunday where more than 700 migrants were being held after their giant wooden ship was found drifting off the country’s southwestern coast.
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A new documentary meant to educate the Burmese public about the ongoing conflict in Kokang Special Region premiered Wednesday night on a military-owned television station, offering a thorough, albeit lopsided, introduction to the war that has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced tens of thousands of civilians since early February.
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Journalists and camera teams are to be readmitted to parliamentary sessions, according to an announcement on Thursday by Thi Thi Nwe, the deputy-director general of the Union Parliament in the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw.
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A Burmese military-owned TV station has announced that it will begin airing a documentary series about the current Kokang conflict, starting tonight, 27 May, in order to “reveal the truth” to the Burmese public.
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The Union Parliament in Naypyidaw on Tuesday denied reporters access to the legislature’s media room after photos of MPs falling asleep during parliamentary debates went viral on social media.
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The lawyer for the “Unity Five” – the four journalists and the CEO of the paper now serving seven-year jail terms – has criticised the Supreme Court’s rejection of their appeal, suggesting the court had bowed to political pressure.
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Activist Moe Thway, a member of the pro-democracy group Generation Wave, said he will be charged with two counts of unlawful assembly for his participation in protests in Rangoon.
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A Mandalay-based journalist from the BBC Burmese news service has been arraigned at Chanmyathazi Township court today on allegations of assaulting a policeman.
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