Eleven Media responds MPC ads in private newspapers

1. The Myanmar Press Council (Interim) paid money to place advertisements in the daily private newspapers.

2. The ads pose the following questions to readers: “Is the news you read inaccurate? Does the news you read come from unreliable sources? Does media expression undermine your reputation?” The ads also invite readers to file complaints against news outlets with the interim MPC. The address of the interim MPC is included in the ads.

3. Eleven Media Group (EMG) believes that the MPC is exaggerating the risk posed by free press. People harmed by media reporting already know they can complain to media outlets and publishing houses. The MPC’s ads also refer to abnormal cicumstances.

4. The MPC’s action goes beyond necessity. EMG finds it odd that the MPC has placed ads in the daily and weekly journals. It appears as though the MPC is trying to control the media in a way that has not been seen elsewhere in the world. EMG believes that the MPC is trying to restrict freedom of the press in Myanmar.

5. The MPC has accepted funds worth Ks 50 million from the government of President Thein Sein. Therefore, it is doubtful that these ads bode well for the people of Myanmar. EMG will not run ads of this sort in its daily newspaper or weekly journals in the future.