Citizen Journalists Fight Back Against Myanmar Military’s Crackdown

Professional reporters in Myanmar say their job is nearly impossible under the fierce restrictions imposed by military rule. Now, citizen journalists have stepped into the breach, often working undercover to avoid arrests or worse.

After a coup ousted elected civilian leaders about a year ago, press freedom in the country rapidly declined. The junta banned several news outlets; hundreds of reporters have been detained and several killed.

The country’s crisis, however, has only inspired converts like 27-year-old Shane, an engineer who lost his job in the post-coup economic turmoil.

Shane joined anti-junta protests with the civil disobedience movement, or CDM, which initially organized street demonstrations featuring Myanmar’s professional class — doctors, lawyers, teachers — and then launched successive strikes.

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Tommy Walker