The Nation and Myanmar's Eleven Media sign a joint publishing venture pact

Economy May 10, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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Thailand's Nation Multimedia Group Plc has signed a comprehensive agreement of cooperation with Myanmar's Eleven Media Group Co Ltd that will lead to the formation of a joint venture in a wide range of English-language publications in the near future.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Yangon last Friday by Nation Multimedia Group chairman Suthichai Yoon and Eleven Media Group chairman and CEO Dr Than Htut Aung.

Both pledged to combine their editorial and business efforts to benefit the peoples of both countries and the Asean region with high professional standards and ethics.

“The Eleven Media Group is Myanmar’s No 1 private publishing group with a highly impressive record of independent and hard-hitting coverage against corruption and undemocratic activities in Myanmar. I have great respect for Dr Than Htut Aung’s crusade against

dictatorship and corruption,” Suthichai said after the

signing ceremony.

“This is a landmark agreement with both media organisations sharing similar histories in independent and impartial news reporting, as well as supporting democracy,” said Aung.

Both sides also announced an immediate set-up of editorial offices in Yangon and Bangkok with immediate effect. The initiative will intensify news coverage of Myanmar and Asean affairs out of Thailand and Thai and Asean affairs out of Myanmar at a time of significant international interest in Myanmar.

Eleven Media publishes the largest-circulation newspaper, operates websites in local and English languages, and is the pioneer and leader in SMS English-language news. Nation Multimedia publishes Thailand’s leading newspaper The Nation, which is also co-founder of Asia News Network, an alliance of 21 leading newspapers in 18 Asian countries.

Aung founded Eleven Media 11 years ago as a sports weekly. The group has since expanded to general news publishing with an aim of promoting democracy for the people and adhering to a public interest agenda in Myanmar. Eleven Media is also preparing for Myanmar’s further integration into Asean and the international arena as the country opens up.

“We share the same mission in freedom of the press, public interest agenda and democracy as well as regional outlook. Nation Multimedia Group and Eleven Media will utilise and optimise existing assets with minimal new investment in our various aspects of close cooperation,” said Suthichai.

Both sides will proceed to form a joint venture for an English-language website as soon as possible and to set up a daily English-language newspaper at an appropriate time. Eleven Media will have a majority in the partnership. The joint venture hopes to be listed as a public company when Myanmar sets up a stock exchange scheduled in 2016.

Eleven Media has also entered into a broad professional cooperation with NMG in the areas of editorial staff exchange, training, new media, English-language training and editing. The Nation and Eleven Media local and English-language websites will exchange news on a daily basis.

Eleven Media will represent distribution of NMG publications in Myanmar and NMG can represent distribution of EMG publication in Thailand. Both will also work together on organising conferences and events. In advertising and commercial areas, NMG will act as media representative for EMG in Thailand and EMG will act as NMG’s media representative in Myanmar.