Yangon, Apr 1 (): Privately owned daily newspapers hit the streets of Myanmar on Monday 50 years after the late dictator Ne Win executed a state control on the daily press in the 1960s.
In August last year, the government lifted the censorship allowing the reporters to print material that would have been impossible under military rule. In December 2012, the government announced that any Myanmar national wishing to publish a daily newspaper was welcome to apply and could begin publishing on April 1.
Many applications were received after the announcement and among them only 16 papers got approval. But, some papers were not able to make the move immediately.
Dailies to be issued by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party and the ruling leader Thein Sein’s Union Solidarity and Development Party have also got the approval.
On Monday, four daily newspapers Pyidaungsu Daily (Union Daily), Shwe Naing Ngan Thit Daily (Golden Freshland Daily), San Taw Chein Daily (Standard Times Daily) and Voice Daily went on sale and this is another step taken by Myanmar in its march toward democracy.
The Union Daily is run by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).
The Voice Daily is published by the same group that has published a popular weekly since 2004.
Few daily newspapers are likely to begin printing at a later date. They include Empire Daily, Khit Moe Daily, the Messenger, Myanmar Newsweek Daily, Up-Date Daily, Mizzima Daily, Khit Thit Daily, Eleven Daily, Yangon Times, Union Athan, Myanmar Dika, D-Wave and 7-Day Daily.
Strong competition is expected to come from savvy big media groups who have reported that they would launch later.
The newspaper rebirth is part of the President Thein Sein’s reform efforts. He served as prime minister in the previous military regime and in March 2011 took office as the head of an elected civilian government.