Altered Images: Burmese leader 'in costume' confuses press
- 11 February 2014
A doctored image of Burmese President Thein Sein in traditional dancing costume has appeared next to a picture of a historic agreement between the Burmese government and its main ethnic minorities, causing confusion.
Some commentators say The Right Time's front-page mash-up of the president and the 1947 Panglong Agreement is misleading because it connects him with efforts to reach a ceasefire with ethnic minorities. Others say the photo is inappropriate and disrespectful.
Ko Ko, editor of the Yangon Times, says such images set a bad precedent. "We are trying to promote ethics among journalists, so I am upset by this," he told the Irrawaddy newspaper. But Shawn Crispin, who represents the Committee to Protect Journalists in South-East Asia, said: "Burma's leaders need to be more open to criticism and less prickly about their portrayals in the press."
The image has appeared not long after several journalists were put in jail, earlier this year, and as the government prepares to discuss legislation that might increase press freedoms. Burmese media reports suggest the weekly publication has not commented on the image.
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