Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Newsonomics: What was once unthinkable is quickly becoming reality in the destruction of local news
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March 13, 2013, 12:46 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   March 13, 2013

For the first time in five decades of authoritarian rule and ironclad media regulation, Burma’s media, previously relegated to weekly publications, will be allowed to print daily newspapers. The Atlantic takes an in-depth look at their high hopes and likely struggles.

Kyaw Min Swe, the chief editor of the news journal The Voice Weekly, is one journalist who professes to have long dreamed of publishing a daily newspaper. But like Ko Ko, Kyaw Min Swe has no illusions about the challenges that must be overcome to launch a daily and admits he knows little of how a daily newspaper operates. The Voice is also publishing a daily newspaper in-house to allow reporters and editors to practice on tighter deadlines. But delivering the newspapers to readers hands will be the primary obstacle, Kyaw Min Swe said.

Internet connections, necessary to send design files to printers, remain slow and inconsistent. Much of the country lacks well-paved roads to bear newspaper-laden trucks. Burma still struggles even to provide consistent electricity. As Kyaw Min Swe discussed the challenges of launching a daily newspaper, the power failed several times in the downtown Rangoon building that houses The Voice. “We are just preparing, preparing,” he said. “Hopefully we will publish daily paper, but were not confident yet. Well try to publish as soon as possible.”

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