Living Censorship in Burma

| 5/13/2008 10:34:07 AM

New InternationalistNew Internationalist’s May issue on Burma includes a first-person narrative detailing a day-in-the-life of a onetime Rangoon journalist. Her story (not available online) is striking for its simple chronicle of the banality of censorship.

Now it’s 2:00 p.m. – my boss calls me to go to the censorship office for a meeting.

As we arrive, journalists of all the journals and magazines are sitting in the meeting room, waiting to hear words of wisdom from the head of the censor board, Major Tint Swe.

The meeting has been called to discuss co-operation between journals and the censor board, particularly how to speed up our submission deadlines, because all journals sit one week in the hands of the board’s officials – meaning that when news reaches readers it’s outdated.

But to me it is a boring process and one-sided – whatever suggestions or advice we offer to Tint Swe, he won’t listen to us anyway.

Another piece in the package flips the scenario, tracking a Western journalist, Dinyar Godrej, as he poses as a tourist and quickly learns the ropes of self-censorship.

5/19/2008 4:42:26 AM

Thanks for drawing this to our attention. The New Internationalist also has some useful blogs from Dinyar Godreg - editor of the Burma issue of NI - which were written later: BJ

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