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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Freedom closer in one place

  • An amazing thing happened Monday in the country of Burma.
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    An amazing thing happened Monday in the country of Burma.
    Since 1964, the residents of this dictatorship-led country have not been able to purchase an independently operated newspaper.
    But that all changed this week. There are now four independent newspapers in operation with plans for 12 more to open in the near future.
    Though this story remains underreported, it is huge in the big scheme of things around the world.
    In America and other democracies, we take for granted that we can pick up the newspaper and find out what is happening.
    But in many countries on this planet, the news is severely suppressed and controlled. So much so, there are people who have no knowledge about what is really happening in the world.
    China is the most glaring example of news being suppressed. However, even the Chinese government is finding it difficult to sequester the news, especially given the explosion of the internet and social media sites.
    But in smaller countries, it is far easier for the government to control the news.
    That's why the news out of Burma is such a big deal.
    Sure, those newspapers are going to be dealing with the issues all of us in this industry face every day — too much news and too few people.
    Yet we try to find a way to make sure the news is covered in the fairest and most timely manner possible.
    They will do the same.
    In journalism, it is said we are born with "ink in our blood."
    That is a fact.
    Page 2 of 2 - It is no different anywhere on earth. Those who love this business do it because of that, not the money. We feel a responsibility to inform the public about what is happening — good, bad and ugly.
    News does not happen between 8 and 5 and it is not always pretty. In fact, the news can be very ugly at times.
    Yet the news is the news and it must be reported.
    We in America are somewhat spoiled to have a free press. There is very little which is not reported.
    Now, the people in Burma will have a better understanding of their own surroundings as well as what's going on in the world.
    Information is crucial for the advancement of a society. In fact, it is the most important facet of a society growing and thriving.
    That's why we see societies like North Korea so repressed. It is not the North Korean people who are a danger, it is the leadership. That leadership controls the information given to the people, much of it downright brainwashing.
    But if the truth were told, those people would not harbor any ill will. In fact, they would most certainly rather be a free society.
    That is how important information is for a group of people.
    The situation in North Korea and other places is very sad.
    But the news coming out of Burma is positive. We have to take this kind of good news one step at a time and hope it can spread to other places on the planet where people are downtrodden because of their governments.
    In the end, freedom does win. But sometimes, it's a long, hard road to get to the finish line.
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