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 @ 9:06am

    Will freedom do them any good?

    It was the end of gasoline subsidies, not the internet, that triggered these protests. The Burmese rabble are upset that the government deregulated gasoline so it can be sold at free-market prices.

    If the monks, Suu Kyi have their way and overthrow the government, what will happen? There will be a short-lived celebration, but the retail price of gasoline will go up anyway. Power struggles between competing factions, plus public discontent at the inability to buy basic goods will cause widespread unrest, and Burmese will burn down their own cities.

    Burma will turn into a country whose primary exports are drugs, AIDS, and black-and-white photos of sad children.

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