Burma proclaims end to media censorship
Burma has taken a step closer towards freedom of expression as the nation’s government says it shall no longer censor local media outlets.
The Information Ministry made the landmark announcement on its website today, stating that journalists will no longer have to submit their work to state censors before publication.
The head of the Ministry’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Department, Tint Swe, also declared the news to a group of editors in the country’s main city, Yangon.
He said: “Censorship began on 6th August 1964 and ended 48 years and two weeks later.
“Any publication inside the country will not have to get prior permission from us before they are published.
“From now on, our department will just carry out registering publications from keeping them at the national archives and issuing a license to printers and publishers.”
The south-east Asian nation’s media had long been under the scrutiny of the military forces, with the nation’s media regarded as among the most restricted in the world. However, President Thein Sein’s reformist government has slowly been loosening officials’ grip over the media.
Nevertheless, despite the change in rule, journalists will still have reason to be cautious of what they publish as they could still be punished for what they have written. Under the new law, reporters will now have to send their stories to the Press Scrutiny Department after publication so government monitors can determine whether their work violated any publishing laws.