Thursday, June 30, 2016
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  • Inside look:

The Myanmar Times

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  • Deception in the Delta

    Deception in the Delta

    The Myanmar Football Federation announced today that it will set up an investigative committee to review allegations of match-fixing at Ayeyawady United Football Club.

  • Zeyar Dragons soar into fourth

    Zeyar Dragons soar into fourth

    Zeyar Shwe Myay made it four victories in a row this weekend, beating Shan United in Taunggyi on June 26 on the back of Brazilian forward Marcio’s last-minute strike.

  • The encyclopedia of Myanmar games, volume III

    The encyclopedia of Myanmar games, volume III

    The Myanmar Traditional Sports Federation is the custodian of Myanmar’s most beloved games and playground sports, and has kindly opened their doors, archives and memories to The Myanmar Times. The third…

  • Shan, Zeyar fight to break tie

    Shan, Zeyar fight to break tie

    A weekly preview of the upcoming Ooredoo Myanmar National League fixtures, including a must-win match between tied Shan United and Zeyar Shwe Myay and a match-up between strong but sliding…

  • Army side show General effort

    The title of Myanmar’s premier football knockout competition is serving as inspiration to the Myawady side that represents the nation’s armed forces, said their head coach after a shock 2-1…

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  • Ministry struggles to control illegal logging

    Ministry struggles to control illegal logging

    Illegal logging continues to aggravate deforestation, raising the risk of flooding and putting the lives of law enforcement officers at risk, the government says. 

  • MTSH shares bounce back post-results

    The second of Myanmar’s two Yangon exchange-listed firms has posted annual financial results. Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings (MTSH) announced a large jump in profits and a higher dividend and saw…

  • Reorganised MIC grants eight licences

    In what may be an accelerating trend toward a more value-added economy, the reorganised Myanmar Investment Commission has granted licences to eight companies, including several in the manufacturing sector. This…

  • Yangon airport T1 gets first foreign tenant

    Yangon airport T1 gets first foreign tenant

    Yangon International Airport’s shiny new terminal has been almost empty since it opened in March – hosting only the country’s flag carrier Myanmar National Airlines. But space and facilities are…

  • Melon exports thriving but local farmers not seeing the benefits

    Melon exports are booming this year, according to the Ministry of Commerce, with nearly 350,000 tonnes of watermelon and honeydew melons shipped out to China, India and other Asian destinations…

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  • Farmers urge region government to restart Southwest New City project

    Farmers urge region government to restart Southwest New City project

    A farmers group is pressing local authorities to resurrect the controversial Southwest New City project. Though the three companies selected to build the new city were ready to proceed on…

  • High-rise suspension drags on

    High-rise suspension drags on

    Developers desperate to restart suspended high-rise projects in Yangon remain in limbo as a government review drags on. Members of the Yangon Region government committee tasked with conducting a final…

  • Lotus Hill starts new villa sale

    Developer Serge Pun & Associates opened sales for its new luxury development, Lotus Hill, at the Pun Hlaing Estate in Hlaing Tharyar township on June 25.

  • More effort needed to tackle idle industrial land

    A month after the first site visits to inspect idle industrial plots in Yangon, officials are warning there will be no progress in freeing up unused land without a special…

  • YCDC stops accepting high-rise applications

    YCDC stops accepting high-rise applications

    As government engineers continue their inspections of high-rise construction sites where work has been stopped pending their review, Yangon City Development Committee has announced the suspension of existing policies and…

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  • Telco loan shows signs of life in onshore loan market

    Telco loan shows signs of life in onshore loan market

    The Yangon subsidiary of Malaysian telecom tower builder OCK Group has signed one of Myanmar’s first-ever onshore syndicated loans from foreign banks, and bankers expect more to follow.

  • Telenor tests 4G across five cities

    Telenor Myanmar has tested fourth-generation (4G) mobile services in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Myawady and Muse, a company spokesperson has told The Myanmar Times.

  • OPIC extends into Myanmar

    OPIC extends into Myanmar

    The United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) entered Myanmar for the first time on June 15 to start distributing a US$250 million loan to Yangon-based Apollo Towers Myanmar.

  • Phandeeyar accelerator goes live

    Phandeeyar accelerator goes live

    Calling all Myanmar start-ups: Do you have a good idea and proof the market likes it? If so, downtown Yangon innovation lab Phandeeyar may have US$25,000 for you.

  • Facebook racks up 10m Myanmar users

    Facebook racks up 10m Myanmar users

    The world’s most popular social network, Facebook, has made millions of new “friends” in Myanmar over the last few years. In that time, the site has played the part of…

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The Myanmar Times

Myanmar media reform: Publish and be damned?

A vendor sells journals on the streets of Yangon January 2012. (Yadanar/The Myanmar Times)A vendor sells journals on the streets of Yangon January 2012. (Yadanar/The Myanmar Times)

The announcement was hailed around the world as a further sign of reform: Myanmar would again allow privately owned daily newspapers from April 1.

In the media industry, where companies and journalists have lobbied hard for the right to publish daily rather than weekly, the news was greeted with a mixture of relief and trepidation, as the reality of compiling, printing and distributing a newspaper every 24 hours sunk in.

Even the editor-in-chief of one of the nation’s highest-circulation publications, U Thaung Su Nyein of 7Day News Journal, was unsure whether his team would be ready by April. He admits he was surprised that the announcement came so soon.

“Daily takes a lot of work – finance, human resources, machinery, more procedures and also responsibilities. We will try our best to be able to run daily by April. But things might not go well for whatever reasons. We might start later than that,” said U Thaung Su Nyein, who is also managing director of the 7Days’ publisher, Information Matrix.

Not all papers will make the transition from weekly to daily, and he said the weekly market would become more competitive.

“More people will read daily newspaper so only those strong weekly journals with solid news and opinion will remain. Small and uninteresting journals will get even fewer readers.”

But Mr Ross Dunkley, managing director of Myanmar Consolidated Media, which publishes The Myanmar Times in English and Myanmar, said he was confident his organisation would make the transition successfully.

“We have known for some time that [the announcement] was just around the corner and have commenced our planning,” he said.

“I’m confident that we have enough time to prepare ourselves. … This is going to be a tremendously exciting period for our organisation and we will pursue our goal. We’ve waited for this for a long time.”

While reports have suggested there could soon be eight to 10 daily newspapers, Mr Dunkley said there was “not room for 10 players or even half of that number”.

“I predict at the end of year one there will be no more than three left in the game,” he said. “I’d say don’t be in this game if you can’t afford to spend US$2 million or more. It wouldn’t be hard to drop $5 million before you saw some light.”

For journals lacking human or financial resources to go daily alone, there is the option of combining with like-minded publishers or focusing on smaller geographic areas, such as a single city or state and region. Dr Myo Min Htike, the owner of Venus News Journal, said he had already begun discussions with “some friends who share the same spirit and eagerness to publish daily”.

“We might combine to be a big publication but are still just discussing it at the moment,” he said. “The main challenges are capital, the staff capacity, printing and distribution.”

Even if his publication remains a weekly, he said he has plans to reform its contents to remain competitive in the daily environment.

“When daily private newspapers come out, I will definitely change our style. At the moment we focus mostly just on news.”

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In Depth

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Editor's Pick

For Kachin IDPs, going home is impossible ‘without lasting peace’

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