Chronology of the Press in Burma
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Monday, September 25, 2023

Chronology of the Press in Burma

By The Irrawaddy Saturday, May 1, 2004

(Page 2 of 8)

It ceased publication in 1942, when the British left Rangoon.

1861—The Rangoon Gazette is established as a rival of the Rangoon Times. It is published twice a week and later daily. It ceases publication in 1942.

1862—The Dhamma Thadinsa (the Religious Herald), first published by the Baptist mission in 1843, changes its name to the Burman Messenger.

The Times Commercial Advertiser, the Daily Advertiser, Pole Star, British Burma Gazette, the Mercantile Gazette and the Arakan News are still published during this period according to newspaper research conducted in 1868.


1869 – 1879

* Freedom of the press is guaranteed by King Mindon, the second last Burmese monarch, in an Act of 17 articles that is regarded as Southeast Asia's first indigenous press-freedom law. The Kingdom publishes an official newspaper.

1869Myanmar Thandawsint Thadinsa (the Burmah Herald) is published once a week by Myanmar Thandawsint Press, possibly as early as 1871. It is the first Burmese-language newspaper in Rangoon. In 1884, it becomes a daily with a circulation of around 500. It ceases publication in 1912.

May 8, 1871—The Burmese-language paper, the Burmah Gazette, appears in Rangoon. This weekly newspaper alters its name to the Burma News in May 1872. It ceases publication in 1916.

January 11, 1873Law-Ki-Thu-Ta (the Worldly Knowledge) newspaper emerges in Rangoon.

November 1874—The Burmese-language Friend of Maulmain newspaper appears in Moulmein.

August 15, 1873—King Mindon (1853 – 1878) bestowes immunity on the local press corps with the introduction of an act consisting of 17 articles that ensure freedom of the press.

1875Yadanabon Thadinsa (British Burma News) appears in Rangoon.

March 20, 1875Yadanabon Nay-Pyi-Daw (with the heading of Mandalay Gazette in English on the masthead) is published weekly by King Mindon, possibly as early as 1874. Publication ceases in 1885 when Upper Burma is annexed by the British.

1876—The Burmese-language Tenasserim Thadinsa (The Tenasserim News) appears in Moulmein.

1878—The Burma Herald is set up by the King of Mandalay to counter the pro-British views of Rangoon newspapers. Two other English newspapers, the Rangoon Daily Mail and the Daily Review, are established and halted six months later.

March 11, 1878—The British government enacts a law called the Vernacular Press Act to ban newspapers from reporting and picturing defamation of the government.


1880 – 1890

* King Thibaw, the last Burmese monarch, is removed and Upper Burma is annexed by the British. One of the most outspoken newspapers,Hanthawaddy Thadinsa, is established along with some other new newspapers.

1884—The English-language weekly, the Maulmain Almanac, is published in Moulmein.

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