This article from the International Herald Tribune casts an interesting light on the recent protests in Burma. (I’m going to use the old name of the country since the new name, Myanmar, was imposed by the military junta.) The article notes that the revolution in communication and Internet technology has made it impossible for even the most repressive regimes to operate in total secrecy. The violent suppression of the peaceful protests in Burma was captured on cell phone and video cameras, sent via email, posted on blogs and Web sites.
"There are fewer and fewer events that we don’t have film images of. The world is filled with Zapruders,"
said Mitchell Stephens, a journalism professor at New York University, referring to Abraham Zapruder, the only person to capture film images of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Just as important, the article notes, is that these images and reports were rebroadcast back into Burma by foreign media. And of course that’s when the regime shut down the country’s only two Internet service providers.
Phillip Knightley, the author of "The First Casualty," said,
"Today every citizen is a war correspondent, …Mobile phones with video of broadcast quality have made it possible for anyone to report a war," he wrote in an e-mail. "You just have to be there."
Maybe Shakespeare said it best, "truth will out."
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