4 local language newspapers – The Voice, The Golden Fresh Land, The Union and The Standard Time — went on sale Monday morning, becoming the first Burmese papers since 1964 not controlled by the state. Twelve more are due to follow.
Up till March this year the only daily newspapers available were all published by the government.
“We’ve been waiting half a century for this day,” Golden Fresh Land’s editor Khin Maung Lay told Irrawaddy Magazine.
All 80,000 copies of his paper’s inital print run had sold out by late morning, he said, which shows “how much people long for private daily newspapers. This morning, I was in tears seeing this.”
Among the papers now permitted to go daily is D-Wave, published by the political camp of parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi, an icon of dissidence whose image was until recent years forbidden from the media. She now appears on journal covers every week.
In all 16 private newspaper licence have been issued, the remaining 12 licence holders are still trying to raise finance, hire journalists and buy modern printing equipment.