Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Journal Suspended after Running Child Labor Photo

The photograph that appeared in Tuesday’s True News ran with the caption: “A Burmese child working on a construction site in Phuket, Thailand.”

The Irrawaddy News

RANGOON — Two weekly publications have been suspended by Burma’s notorious censorship board, after being accused of violating rules and regulations, local journalists said on Tuesday.

The decision came after a large photograph depicting a Burmese child working on a construction site in Thailand appeared on the front page of Tuesday’s True News. It is unknown why Action Times has been suspended as it did not run the picture or one similar.

“The Press Scrutiny and Registration Board summoned the editors of True News and Action Times and ordered them to stop publishing their journals for two months and one month respectively,” said a Rangoon-based journalist who is close to staff at the two publications.

The censorship board reportedly accused the editors of failing to submit clear draft layouts to its office for inspection.

According to the board’s regulations, every journal in Burma must submit a draft of its final layout with clear photographs, captions and pullouts.

A freelance journalist in Rangoon who requested anonymity told The Irrawaddy that the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division’s decision is related to the sensitive photograph published on the front page of True News.

The caption under the photograph that ran in Tuesday’s journal read: “A Burmese child working on a construction site in Phuket, Thailand.”

However, another source, who claimed to have spoken to a reporter at True News, said the censorship board had passed the photo and its caption, so the journal published it.

According to a source within the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, certain authorities were annoyed by this photo and because the censorship board had failed to spot it.

The source said that the head of the censorship board, Maj Tint Swe, was reportedly admonished by Minister of Information Kyaw Hsan over the incident.

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