DVB speaker praises role of Burma's citizen journalists

Sep 15, 2008 (DVB), A DVB representative was among those who spoke at the Global Investigative Journalism conference held in Lillehammer last week, praising the efforts of journalists working on the ground in Burma despite difficult conditions.

The conference was held from 11 to 14 September and was attended by 500 journalists from 87 countries.

DVB deputy director U Khin Maung Win spoke for an hour at 3pm on 13 September and described the difficulties faced by Burmese reporters trying to get the facts out in the face of the military junta' news blackout.

"As the repressive regime in Burma strictly controls the media, the international community rarely gets news and information about Burma," Khin Maung Win said.

"However, the entire world was able to get timely information on what happened in the country during the monk-led Saffron Revolution in September 2007."

Khin Maung Win said he welcomed the opportunity to speak at the conference.

"The international community now recognises the important role DVB has played in disseminating these images and information on Burma worldwide," he said.

"Inviting DVB to speak at what is probably the largest forum for journalists shows how much they value the difficult and challenging work DVB has been doing over the past 16 years."

Khin Maung Win highlighted the dangers faced by Burmese journalists and activists who risk their lives smuggling news out of the country.

He drew particular attention to the work of anonymous reporters and citizen journalists in providing news stories, images and video footage for DVB during the Saffron Revolution last September and when Cyclone Nargis struck Burma in May this year.

Conference organisers said DVB had been invited to the conference because of its success in transmitting TV and radio broadcasts despite the restrictions and news blackout imposed by the junta.

Reporting by Yee May Aung and Naw Say Phaw

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