Last year, as Rohingya Muslim men, women and children ran from their burning villages in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, an alarmed world turned to the internet for news. Some looked at The Irrawaddy, a publication named after the country’s signature river, which has been a pillar of journalistic probity since the student activist Aung Zaw founded it in 1993. The website, which publishes in English and Burmese, has covered all of Myanmar’s big moments, from the “Saffron Revolution” in 2007 to Cyclone Nargis in 2008 to the triumph of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy in 2015. As the military “clearance operations” targeting Rohingya unfolded, impartial information was at a premium. Authorities had closed northern Rakhine state, the centre of the violence, to journalists, who resorted to tracking fires from across the river in Bangladesh. The arriving Rohingya told stories of shootings, machete attacks and rapes by security forces and civilians that were to precipitate...

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