The Los Angeles Times has a moving article by a reporter who went undercover to explore the devastation after Cyclone Nargis in Burma, aka Myanmar. Notable about this story is how the reporter ends it:
One night, when several suggested we would be safer tying up to a tree in their creek than risking the busier river route, a man heard the crackling Voice of America and British Broadcasting Corp. on the interpreter’s shortwave radio. He joined him on the roof of my hiding place and listened for several hours.
At dawn, when the pilot was cranking up the engine to a sputtering start, the man returned to ask a favor.
He didn’t want food, medicine or water. He needed the radio so the whole village could hear.
So we donated it.
Information pathways must be maintained and managed. For maximum effect, sometimes for any effect, they cannot be stood-up reactively. A core audience that will draw in other listeners, intentionally or not, must be maintained. There will be benefits down the road, but even if the benefits are short-term hope, is not the same as delivering (or attempting to deliver) relief supplies? The world runs on information, even in lands pushed back, or held back, centuries.
One thought on “VOA and BBC in *Burma*”
“The world runs on information, even in lands pushed back, or held back, centuries.”We are human. Until there are none of us, communication is an essential part of our being. We cannot help it, we are social animals.
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