Nancy Messieh, a journalist at The Next Web, recently published a story about Myanmar journalists’ use of social media to bypass government restrictions during elections. The country’s tight media censorship has loosened relatively, but journalists are still questioned by the government if criticism is posted about the nation’s rulers or military.

Unlike journalism in the United States, all printed content in Myanmar must go through a censor before reaching an audience. Unfortunately, because news and social media are some of the greatest tools for societal growth and change, prior restraint can damper or hinder progress. To avoid these unfair limitations, 7DayNews, the largest media group in Myanmar, began posting election coverage updates multiple times per hour.

Much like Egypt’s semi-recent use of social media to enact change, Myanmar’s struggle shows how social media can, in a way, act as a conduit for journalism. One of the tenants of journalism (and my personal favorite aspect of the profession) is to serve as a voice for those who don’t have one. Social media can be that voice.

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