Historical affairs

Tired of current affairs? Then Northern Star might be the thing for you. This weekly periodical out of Yangon is in its second year covering not the most recent news but the news of half a century ago. It includes original articles and reprints from past publications, and is another of the Burmese-language serials to which the National Library of Australia has recently subscribed.

Northern Star has a current affairs format but it concentrates on modern political history, republishing a lot of photographs and cover pages from old newspapers and magazines. Recent editions have included a series of articles on the writing of the 1974 Constitution; another on Brigadier General Kyaw Zaw, by Thakin Tin Mya; the communist and Karen insurgencies; the 1970 arrest and subsequent trial of Thakin Soe for treason; past media views on past elections; and, film stars who participated in the independence struggle.

The journal’s editor is Thiha Aung. Its publisher is Major Win Tin (Retired), which may in part account for its mostly martial and masculine construct of history (except for the film stars). Perhaps some New Mandala readers can shed some light on their backgrounds and reasons for publishing Northern Star.

And for those who do insist on keeping up with what is going on these days—or some of it anyway—then there is also The Voice. This weekly news journal has distinguished itself from its competitors by devoting more space to opinion and editorial pieces. Recent editions have included features on the mechanics of the coming parliamentary elections, the financial cost of democracy, the media and law, and medical ethics. Featured interviews have included famous writer Dagon Taya, the Israeli ambassador, and assorted political pundits.

[This post is provided by the National Library of Australia as part of our Book Zone feature. For further information on the featured publications contact Nick Cheesman at ncheesman@nla.gov.au]