Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Myanmar Loosens Yoke on Journalists

English: State seal of Myanmar adopted in 2008.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)Local journalists in Myanmar no longer have to submit their articles pre-publication for government approval, the Southeast Asian nation's Information Ministry announced yesterday.

According to accounts by Reuters and the Associated Press, President Thein Sein, who began to relax restrictions on press freedom last year, has ended the pre-publication approval practice that was in place for the nearly 50 years of military rule in the former Burma.

Before popping the champagne bottles in celebration of Myanmar's embracing concepts espoused by the First Amendment, however, it's worth noting that the nation still prohibits private daily newspapers and requires journalists post-publication to submit their work to the Press Scrutiny Dept., whose task it is to ensure publishing laws are not broken, which invites pervasive self-censorship. Lest we forget, the Committee to Protect Journalists last year reported Myanmar jailed a dozen journalists (see "TUOL" post 12/9/11).

Still, like new parents with a camcorder, it's worth acknowledging Myanmar's "baby steps" for posterity.
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