State-run news agency plans to start charging for news

Myanmar News Agency (MNA), a state-run news agency that is part of the Ministry of Information, is planning to sell news about the government, governmental departments and ministers to private news outlets.

Myo Nyunt, chief reporter of MNA, told DVB that MNA’s content is currently free, but once the organisation transitions into a public service news outlet, they would have to find their own income, he claimed.

“Even the state-owned newspapers will need to buy news from us, and other private media organization should also buy the news they want when we become a public service,” Myo Nyunt said.

“It is normal. We will provide all the news to those who subscribe to us.”

He did not clarify the exact date that the MNA will start charging for its content.

Phoe Thaykkya, president of the Myanmar Journalists Association, said that the governmental departments used to charge news organisations for using their content, but has ceased this practice since state-run newspapers started.

“The problem is whether we can use their news if we don’t subscribe to them. We haven’t spoken clearly about this with MNA yet,” Phoe Thaukkya said. “Now, the government has their own newspapers and they still want to sell the news to private newspapers for profit. That is not good.”

Private media organisations currently face massive hurdles when trying to obtain information from the government, with requests for public information ignored by state administration or ministerial spokespeople denying any responses.

Source: DVB Myanmar

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