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The Irrawaddy suspends print publication

The IrrawaddyBurmese weekly newspaper The Irrawaddy is to close its print edition after just two years of publishing.

The Burmese-language title has not turned a profit since launching in 2014, and has struggled to compete in an advertising market dominated by state-owned monopolies that have better access to advertisers and distribution deals, the paper’s editor U Thar Lon Zaung Htet told The Myanmar Times.

The last print edition of The Irrawaddy will be published on 21 January, although U Thar Lon Zaung Htet said that the title plans to re-launch in print when market conditions improve.It will continue to publish online.

“We aren’t saying that publishing has stopped. We are saying that it is suspended because we have a plan to republish when the government changes its policies on newspaper publications,” he told Myanmar Times.

“We cannot compete with state-owned newspapers. Policies that allow state-owned media to monopolise advertising and the readership need to be amended. If that happens, we will definitely resume publication of our paper,” he said.

The Irrawaddy, which launched in Thailand in 1993 and was originally banned from Myanmar, became available online to Burmese in 2011 when censorship of the internet was relaxed. The English edition of The Irrawaddy magazine stopped printing in English in September 2015.

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