Myanmar Protests Reported by Citizen Journalists, And Possibly Government Journalists As Well

from the information-is-power dept

As Myanmar struggles towards democracy after 40 years under military junta, the Internet is playing a crucial role in the fight. News of Monday's protest was reported within a few hours of it starting, due largely in part to thousands of citizen journalists who sent their stories, photos and videos to global news sites. This is in stark contrast to the days that it took for news to break about the 1988 8888 uprising, where 3,000 civilians were killed. Now, armed with cameraphones and email, coverage of the events in Myanmar are posted immediately to blogs and news sites, forcing the junta to play out this weeks events under the scrutiny of global eyes. Well, perhaps the government has started to take notice -- false reports are being sent out as well, presumably by Burmese authorities looking to undermine those reporting the news or to spread government propaganda. However, regardless of how the medium is used, the most important thing is that the Internet has made it easier for information to be free, which presumably will make it more difficult for totalitarian regimes to hang on to the reins of control.
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Filed Under: citizen journalism, myanmar

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  1. identicon
    dorpus, 27 Sep 2007 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Fear of the unknown?

    I'm not inclined to say what Burmese should or shouldn't do. They merely have a dilemma of bad choices. They could "democratize" and turn into a failed state that nobody cares about, or keep their current state of notoriety.

    Other governments in the region have had female heads of state in the past, from Benazir Bhutto, Indira Ghandi, to Corazon Aquino. Although they talked big about "progress", their countries did not do well, and they were either assassinated or exiled by their own country.

    Westerners have a strange attachment to Suu Kyi as some sort of Burmese Ghandi, but the reality is not so simple. Suu Kyi's father was a fascist who helped the Japanese conquer Burma, even though he calls himself the "founding father". Suu Kyi became famous only because she married an Oxford Professor who used his influence to make her into a martyr. She has no proven track record of leading countries out of difficult situations; for the past 5 years, she has remained clueless, and we could well just see her clamming up, demanding "investigations" but otherwise doing nothing.

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