Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Favorite Article, A Sad Story

I'd write about my sweet, sweet Saturday, but discussing the Kaohsiung National Games Opening Ceremony properly requires me to get some multimedia from my roommates. You can look forward to that in the next few days.

I was going through some papers earlier this week and I stumbled upon a photocopy of this article about being on the last plane out of Burma before Cyclone Nargis hit from the August edition of Outdoor magazine by Patrick Symmes. I'm keeping it because I like his writing style and the way he ends the piece (no spoilers here). It also reminds me of the most important lesson I learned while working at NPR this summer: no one will run a story on Burma (aka Myanmar) unless something changes. Since change seems unlikely at this time, the only news we'll see comes when someone from the western media manages to get inside.

If there is no change, there will be no news. If there is no news, will we forget?

**The answer is yes. In June when all the Zimbabwe stuff was fresh, Peter Maas of Slate Magazine wrote an article on why we don't hear more about Equatorial Guinea. He writes:
The reality of the regime's brutishness nearly hit me over the head as I was being expelled from the country while researching a book on oil in 2004. I had already been chilled by the docility of the people—unlike other countries in the Third World, no one approached me as I walked the streets. (The only place where I had felt a similar pattern of fear was North Korea.)

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