Burma's Pens Mightier Than Censors

Info-starved population gets creative to bypass government's gags
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 13, 2008 1:17 PM CST
In this image released by the Democratic Voice of Burma, people protest against the military government in Yangon Myanmar in September. The government has continued its censorship of media nearly six...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Never shy about censorship, Burma has cracked down even more since September's monk uprising—no small event in a country that ranks 164th out of 168 on the Press Freedom Index. But information-starved citizens are finding creative ways to circumvent an extreme government that bans even benign news about soccer team losses, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Youngsters hack past blocks on everything from foreign news to Gmail and Paris Hilton's latest antics, while newspaper editors rewrite rejected stories, burying the main point in jargon to slip it by bored censors. Villagers listen to foreign broadcasts on cheap radios, and copies of the Economist make the rounds. "The times where you could isolate a whole country will never return," says one publisher. "Ours are small victories, but they are still victories."