Burma horror seeps out via social media

29 Sep

“And it’s true we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality.
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die.”

Journalism in the age of social media has moved along at a fast clip since, say, blog reporting after the tsunami of 2004. The news this week out of Burma of the beatings, protests and killing of the Japanese journalist, Kenji Nagai (yesterday) have all been captured and transmitted via social media at an amazing pace.

Yesterday, I noted the appearance of a Facebook protest group (grown since by more than 500 members.) Today, there is a BBC report on YouTube, that is available on several blogs, and online newspapers capturing the horrible shooting of Mr. Nagai.

There’s a Flickr image where people have posted comments and links to the video and news reports –one uses the U2 lyrics above.

And the best instance of citizen journalism out of Burma is this blog, where the author is uploading images probably taken on a mobile phone, with commentary. A word of caution: some images are graphic.

The person is obviously risking his/her life to do this, using a proxy server. Today’s message: “Now the internet is back but it is difficult to use proxy server.” On the right side of the blog, a text chat area has someone imploring another to “pls tell my brother who can use internet , abt not to enter blogger page without bypass, i think they r tacking who use those websites.”

YouTube. Flickr. Blogs. Proxy servers. Traditional media. Cell phone photo-journalism and people taking a lot of risk to get information out. That in spite of the age old tactic, the media censorship.


Posted by on September 29, 2007 in Social Media


4 responses to “Burma horror seeps out via social media

  1. Free Burma!

    September 30, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Free Burma!
    International Bloggers’ Day for Burma on the 4th of October

    International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.


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