Facebook is supposed to bring people together. But it can be divisive and problematic. We only have to look at recent incidents to see how it can incite hatred, anger or misunderstandings.
Myanmar’s relationship with China has always been uneasy. After Chairman Mao assumed power in 1949, remnants of the Kuomintang fled into northern Myanmar, creating all kinds of problems for the newly independent government that was already dealing with a widespread armed ethnic insurgency. The US eagerly supported the KMT.
In the old days it wasn’t easy to get to know Myanmar government officials. The system was designed to discourage too much fraternization with visiting foreigners.
I write to you today from Mizzima’s new headquarters on Pazungtaung Street in Yangon. It is an exciting time for Mizzima, but not only because of our new location. Today, we also celebrate the transition of our Myanmar language Daily News service from print copy to a digital format, as we embrace our drive as a pioneer of a new age of media for a new Myanmar.
How can journalists reconcile the need to share information with the danger that the news they report could potentially incite violence or spread panic?
Last week two seemingly unrelated events attracted the attention of this writer. The first was the announcement in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar that the temporary ID documents known as white cards will expire at the end of March and those who hold them will lose their voting rights.
Myanmar’s university students are known at home and abroad for their strident activism against dictatorship. In the old days, grainy images of defiant marchers, demanding greater rights and an end to authoritarian rule, circulated around the world.
|Archive photo of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi posing under a portrait of her father, independence leader Aung San, at her family home in Yangon. Photo: Mizzima File|
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was given a heroine’s welcome at Natmauk in Magwe Region on February 13 for celebrations marking the birth in the town 100 years earlier of her father, General Aung San.
For more than forty years state media dominated Myanmar’s media landscape. State newspapers and television channels routinely fed the public the government’s view, often amounting to flat out propaganda.