29 Dec 2012

Myanmar to allow private newspapers

9:52 am on 29 December 2012

The Myanmar government has announced that private newspapers are to be allowed for the first time in decades.

The move is the latest stage in a process of rolling democratic reforms and follows the abolition of direct government censorship of the media in August.

Newspapers will be permitted in any language from 1 April 2013, and any Myanmar national wishing to set up a newspaper will be able to submit an application from February.

The BBC reports that until two years ago, reporters in Burma faced some of the harshest restrictions in the world.

They were frequently subjected to surveillance, phone taps and other forms of censorship.

The authorities routinely closed down newspapers that broke the rules and reporters were often tortured or imprisoned.