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Freedom of the press returns to Myanmar after 50 years

Lynn Bo Bo / EPA

Journalists work in the Voice Weekly News Journal newsroom as they prepare for publication in Yangon, Myanmar.

Lynn Bo Bo / EPA

A Buddhist monk and a man read a new private daily newspaper in Yangon, Myanmar on April 1. Myanmar ended a five-decade state monopoly on daily news, when four privately owned newspapers hit the streets.

Lynn Bo Bo / EPA

A journalist works in the Voice Weekly News Journal newsroom in Yangon, Myanmar.

Myanmar ended a five-decade state monopoly on daily news, when four privately owned newspapers hit the streets on Monday.

In August of 2012, Myanmar's quasi-civilian government embarked on media reforms as part of its democratization program and recently granted licenses to 16 media groups to print daily papers. Only four publications were available on the first day that the reforms took effect.

"All four papers sold out quickly today," Kyi Kyi, a roadside book vendor, told Reuters.

"But it's very hard to predict their future sales since three of them were distributed free of charge today and the remaining one was sold at 150 kyat ($0.17) per copy." Continue reading.

Myanmar media was ranked among the most oppressed during its military rule.

-- European Pressphoto Agency, Reuters, Associated Press

Khin Maung Win / AP

A press operator holds a page of a daily newspaper at a printing press on April 1, in Yangon, Myanmar.

Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters

Workers arrange the pages of The Voice Daily newspaper at a press machine house in Yangon on April 1.

Lynn Bo Bo / EPA

A street vendor displays new private daily newspapers and journals to a taxi driver at a road of Yangon, Myanmar on April 1.