The National League for Democracy (NLD) is aiming to join the ranks of Burma’s fourth estate by applying for a licence to publish a daily “public” newspaper, the party has revealed.
In February, the NLD applied for a licence with the Ministry of Information to begin printing a daily newspaper, with the party’s chair Aung San Suu Kyi named as the publisher.
“We submitted an application [for the license] on February 27 – a bit late – so our status wasn’t included in the latest announcement yet,” said Ohn Kyaing, NLD spokesperson and editor of the party’s weekly D-Hline [D-Wave] newsletter.
“We hope the approval would be granted at an appropriate time. We are aiming to publish in July.”
He said the daily newspaper will not serve as an organ for party propaganda, but will produce content that is in line with the public’s opinion on current events. According to the spokesperson, the NLD’s weekly newsletter will continue to serve as a partisan publication.
“Our aim is that the newspaper will be the people’s newspaper to reflect their opinion and feelings with news photos, reports on democratic movements, international news and feature articles,” said the spokesperson, who is set to serve as the interim editor until another candidate is selected to fill the post.
Meanwhile, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party has already been granted approval to print their own newspaper, The Union Daily, which will begin publishing in April.
Last week, the government announced that only eight of out 14 publications that recently applied for licences to print daily newspapers had been approved.