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Burma’s Media Landscape Through the Years


Recent years have seen dramatic changes to Burma’s media landscape, with the previous quasi-civilian government taking steps to unshackle a press corps long muzzled by successive military regimes dating back to 1962.

In the wake of World Press Freedom Day, which was celebrated on Tuesday, The Irrawaddy revisits a media history stretching back to the 1800s.

2011 – 2015

2015 — Much of the year’s news coverage is devoted to the Nov. 8 general election, Burma’s first poll in more than half a century to take place in a relatively free media environment. The Myanmar Times, for 15 years a weekly, goes daily in March, taking up the mantle of Burma’s only English-language daily newspaper, a title previously held by the now defunct Myanma Freedom Daily.

2014 — The year begins inauspiciously for Burma’s media with the detention of four journalists and the CEO if the Unity journal in connection with a January report alleging the existence of a government chemical weapons factory. Charged and convicted under the State Secrets Act, the men were sentenced to 10 years in prison, which was later reduced to seven. The men were released as part of a broader amnesty by the new government last month.

March sees passage of two new media laws that are received with mixed reactions, while the press corps is rocked to its core in October by news that the freelance journalist Par Gyi was killed while in military custody. No one was ever convicted of a crime in the case.

To read more: http://www.irrawaddy.com/burma/burmas-media-landscape-through-the-years.html

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