Cyclone Nargis made millions homeless 
[GALLO/GETTY]

This week on The Listening Post we look at media news solely from the Far East.

We examine the media fallout from Cyclone Nargis that ravaged Myanmar - the country formerly known as Burma - nearly a month ago.

In the first of two reports, The Listening Post's Simon Ostrovsky goes undercover to seek out a true picture of the devastation wrought in Myanmar by Cyclone Nargis - a truth carefully concealed and deliberately obfuscated by the ruling military junta.

Despite entering the country on a tourist visa (no foreign journalists are allowed into Myanmar) he soon realises how difficult it is to leave the capital, Yangon, and approach the cyclone-stricken Irrawaddy delta.

With the official death toll now estimated at 130,000 the disaster and loss of human life is on a similar scale to that of the South East Asian tsunami of December 2004.

However, this disaster is not attracting anything like the same level of media interest, thanks largely to the military junta's tight control of access.

Simon learns of a burgeoning black market in illegal videos sold by and to the beleaguered Burmese in a desperate attempt to get the real story of the cyclone and its devastating aftermath into the public domain.

In part two, we take a wider look at the shortcomings of the media in the coverage of this humanitarian disaster.

Yangon is still under tight vigil[GALLO/GETTY]
By not issuing prominent cyclone warnings, were the media - both domestic and international - in some ways culpable for the extent of the subsequent loss of life?

And what factors lead to the cyclone story being superseded by other world events - namely, the Chinese earthquake that hit the Sichuan province a week later?

Simon Ostrovsky goes to Thailand to ask Myanmar's journalists in exile how they covered the story.

In this week's Newsbytes, a Chinese magazine plunges the depths of taste with a fashion shoot against the backdrop of the recent earthquake.

A Japanese cartoon series stokes controversy as it inadvertently shows an evil character reading the Quran, irony in Singapore as a media freedom movie is shut down at its premier, and the ongoing failure of courts in the Philippines to bring those responsible for the murder of journalists to justice.

Finally, our internet video of the week is a classic 'only in Japan' game show set piece: Binocular Football.

Watch how Japan plays 'Binocular Football'

Watch part one of this episode of The Listening Post

Watch part two of this episode of The Listening Post


This episode of The Listening Post aired on Friday, May 30, 2008

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