Junta Proofers Quash Secret Syuu Kyi Coverage

I’m thrilled that news proof readers still have jobs in Burma (unlike the U.S. where proofreaders, fact-checkers, and even editors are now considered superfluous). I’m not thrilled that it’s the military dictatorship of Burma that keeps proofers in jobs in censorship office.

The front page of the First Eleven, with a hidden message announcing Aung San Suu Kyi's release.

Here’s a very creative example of how Burma’s “Sports Illustrated” announced the news of opposition leader Aung San Syuu Kyi’s release from house arrest. And how the government censors found out about it. This is creative nonviolent resistance in action.

A leading sporting weekly in Rangoon has reportedly been suspended for two weeks by Burma’s notorious censorship board, according to local journalists.

Burma’s best selling sports journal, First Eleven, led with a front-page story on Tuesday about English Premier League matches which presented a combination of headlines with slightly different colored lettering, cleverly revealing the news of Aung San Suu Kyi’s release.

Run by Dr. Than Htut Aung, the journal ran with three innocent-looking headlines—“Sunderland Freeze Chelsea,” “United Stunned by Villa” and “Arsenal Advance to Grab Their Hope”—but altered the letter colors to spell out a very different message: “Su Free Unite & Advance to Grab The Hope.”

When contacted by The Irrawaddy, staff at the journal refused to confirm the suspension.

However, a proofreader at the state-controlled censorship board, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division (PSRD), told The Irrawaddy: “The copy we read was in black and white. We were not aware of it. When the publication was released, people quickly began talking about it. That’s how we found out. After that, the Ministry of Information took action against the journal.” Read more.

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