I stopped in London for an hour the other day and picked up my usual Frappucino (thanks to Sky for trying to put me off them) and a copy of the Big Issue. With Reverend & the Makers on the front page, I didn’t expect the issue to be much good, but as they say you should never judge a book magazine by its cover.

Inside it had an article on a group of journalists in Burma, who risked their lives to show the world pictures of the monks’ uprising in Burma back in 2007. 

It tells the story of another country’s media being controlled by the state and the battle of a bunch of independent journalists, working for the Democratic Voice of Burma, to “give their people a voice”.

Whilst you can no longer get a copy of the issue to read it, you can watch the controversial film – Burma VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country, which combines their footage with re-enactments. But a word of warning: apparently it’s not easy to tell what is real and what isn’t. Quoting from the article, a writer for Time magazine said it “undermined the film’s credibility and dishonoured the very profession its subjects risk their lives to pursue.” Either way I think it’s going to make an interesting watch.

In other news, the real reason for my London trip was to photograph the American artist Joshua Radin busking in Carnaby Street. I returned fairly unhappy with my photos (bad angle), and so decided to turn them into a Vuvox presentation as a bit of an experiment – it’s now the first collage on Vuvox's featured list! If I wasn’t so cynical I’d believe that it was there for more than just his fame and pretty face. It’d be great if you could tell me how to improve it ready for my next one...

 

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I met a professor in the English department at Canterbury recently and he told me about his son who works for the Democratic Voice of Burma. After graduating and a couple of low key jobs in the Uk working on magazines he was taken on by the DVB and now works out of their offices based in northern Thailand. He has been into Burma several times (posing as a tourist) in order to make undercover reports. The work itself is obviously very demanding and dangerous but in addition to that the Thai authorities are not well disposed to DVB which presents further difficulties. Nevertheless it sounded fascinating - a bit different from most other entry level journalism experiences.

Burma VJ: battling to break the silence