With foreign journalists barred from what is one of the world’s most closed states, much of the worldwide media coverage is coming from exiled newshounds in countries such as Thailand and India — and their clandestine contacts on the inside.
Technology ranging from the latest Internet gizmo to satellite uplinks to camera phones are ensuring pictures of the massed marches of monks and civilians and the response by security forces is on TV screens around the world in hours.
The contrast to Myanmar’s last major uprising, in 1988, could not be more stark. Then, as many as 3,000 people were killed when soldiers opened fire on the crowds but it took days for the news — let alone pictures or video footage — to emerge.
“The difference is night and day,” said Dominic Faulder, a Bangkok-based British reporter during the 1988 uprising.
“Now, the whole population are journalists on the move equipped with all sorts of information-capturing devices from telephones and video machinery that you just couldn’t use in 1988.”
Then, Faulder said, all information went via the telex at Yangon’s posh Strand Hotel, a single line that on one day accounted for 90 percent of all international calls, according to the government spies who came round the next day to find out why. Read more.