Burma: We're Done Censoring the Press

Regulators will no longer see articles before they're published
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 20, 2012 7:16 AM CDT
Wearing black T-shirts that read: "Stop killing press," journalists walk to collect signatures from members of the media in Burma, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

(Newser) – Another move toward openness in Burma: The country's ostensibly civilian government is today halting Burma's decades-long censorship of local press, it says. Until now, publications had been required to send articles to censors before they could be published; this sometimes resulted in full pages being blacked out. The move has been in the works for 13 months, and follows journalists' protests over a case this month in which the government temporarily barred two news journals from publishing over unauthorized reports on government reorganization.

Still, journalists had been finding they've been able to push the envelope in recent months, the Wall Street Journal notes. But publications remain uneasy: Published articles will still have to be sent to a "Press Scrutiny Department" designed to determine if any publishing laws have been violated. Journalists also fear the government could slap sanctions on any media outlet that crosses it, and are bracing for both new media regulations the government intends to create and a planned council of government-backed press watchdogs.

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