Privately owned daily newspapers have returned to Myanmar's news stands after an absence of almost 50 years.
Four new dailies — The Voice, The Golden Fresh Land, The Union and The Standard Time — went on sale Monday morning, becoming the first papers since 1964 not controlled by the state. Twelve more are due to follow.
"We've been waiting half a century for this day," Golden Fresh Land's editor Khin Maung Lay told Irrawaddy Magazine.
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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."
Myanmar's once vibrant, multilingual press was effectively shut down by the junta that seized power in 1962, with newspapers either forced to close or put under state control by 1964.
Myanmar's reliance on printed news recalls the Western world's pre-Internet era, when citizens watched dramatic events unfold through hand-delivered papers. Some major outlets, such as Eleven Media, had already been skirting a government ban on private dailies by updating their Web sites frequently.