Burmese rafters cross into Thailand on inner tubes along the Moie River between Mae Sot, Thailand, and Myawaddy, Myanmar (Burma).
Yesterday I wrote about the hazards faced by western journalists working in Libya and the Middle East. While those hazards are real, they’re nothing compared to the risks local journalists take in those countries every hour of every day.
Western journalists are somewhat protected by their status as foreigners. People at the New York Times started looking for their coworkers as soon as the four New York Times journalists went off the radar in Libya. The same thing when Joe Raedle and the two AFP journalists went missing. Calls were made to the Libyan foreign ministry and diplomats are notified, and wheels start turning. The seven disappeared under relatively public circumstances. No one came into their hotels in the middle of the night and snatched them.
Local journalists are not so lucky. When one of them disappears, it seldom makes headlines here. No one raises alarms about their missing colleagues. Foreign diplomats don’t get involved. Local journalists are routinely snatched from their homes or off the street after work.