Press Scrutiny and Registration Division

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The Press Scrutiny and Registration Division (Burmese: စာပေစိစစ်နှင့်မှတ်ပုံတင်ဌာန, formerly the Press Scrutiny Board or PSB) is a division under the Ministry of Information, responsible for censorship of media in Burma today. Its current director is Major Tint Swe.[1] PSRD censors all forms of media, ranging from publications such as newspapers and magazines and other published content like books. New publishers are required to register publications with the PSRD.[2] The PSRD's time-consuming and arbitrary process has forced nearly all privately held news publications in Burma to publish on a weekly or monthly basis.[3] All of the daily newspapers in Burma are government-owned.

Its origins date to August 1962, with the promulgation of the Printers' and Publishers' Registration Act, which established the Press Scrutiny Board, by the Revolutionary Council.[4] In April 2005, the Press Scrutiny Board was renamed the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division.

In 2009, a medical malpractice incident that resulted in the death of a young girl, which was widely reported in local Burmese media prompted a crackdown in censorship by the PSRD.[5] Publications that report unapproved material, or "subversive" material can face publication bans.[6] "Sandwich reporting," in which messages are included in stories or written works, that aren't caught by the censorship board, have become part of the working vocabulary of Burmese journalists.[7]

The 20 July 2010 directive issued by the Press Scrutiny and Registration Board, called for "correct and complete quoting of the [2008] constitution, electoral laws and its rules". It also warns domestic journals that stern action could include loss of publishing licenses for breach of the directive.[8]


See also[edit]