Monday, August 21, 2017

Two journals suspended indefinitely

Two news journals have been suspended indefinitely for failing to send articles to the censorship board for approval before publication, a Ministry of Information official said last week.

The Voice Weekly and Envoy published eight and seven uncensored articles respectively in their most recent editions, distributed in late July, U Tint Swe, Deputy Director General of the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, told editors at a meeting in the censorship board office on July 31.

“I don’t want you to assume this [suspension] means we are going backwards,” U Tint Swe said. “This is a transition period because the print media law has not yet been enacted. This is not the time to publish freely. The 1962 law is still in force and we want all of you to cooperate [with the ministry].”

The suspension comes after a planned transition to post-publication scrutiny for news publications failed to materialise.

Ministry officials previously said news journals would no longer have to send articles to the censorship board before publication from June 30, but then said this was only a targeted date and that the transition would most likely happen in July.

It was not clear whether last week’s suspensions would prolong pre-publication censorship.