Media News - Monday, June 04, 2012
The tormentor-in-chief of Myanmar's heavily censored media will put down his black marker pen for good in a month, signalling the end of one of the world's most draconian press scrutiny regimes. Tint Swe, head of the Press Scrutiny and Registration Department (PSRD), said he will release its iron grip on the country's media in the latest significant reform for a country emerging from decades of repression. "There will be no press scrutiny job from the end of June. There will be no monitoring of local journals and magazines," he told AFP in an interview in his office in Yangon. Stifling pre-publication censorship - applied in the past to everything from newspapers to fairy tales and the winning lottery numbers - was one of the key symbols of junta-ruled Myanmar, where even seemingly innocuous details were scrubbed from public discussion. Sweeping reforms under a new quasi-civilian government have seen a lighter touch from the once ubiquitous censors, with less controversial publications freed from scrutiny last year. Editors across the news media are now eager to have the same freedom. A more open climate has seen private weekly news publications publish an increasingly bold range of stories, including those about opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose very name was taboo in the past. Tint Swe directed the PSRD for seven years, mercilessly changing headlines, slashing paragraphs or scrapping entire articles deemed critical of the military and its cronies. (AFP)
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