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If George Packer Did PR For RFE/RL...

He wouldn’t be half-bad. Seems a Burmese journalist recently asked him why she should bother with the whole reporting thing, given that it’s a thankless, dangerous job in her country. Packer responds:

"The best I could come up with was that one day Burma will change and will need an independent press, and then they’ll be ready. I don’t know if this answer satisfied them any more than it did me."

More satisfactory, perhaps, is the fact that undercover reporting can destabilize a regime (which, incidentally, RFE/RL's record proves) -- the "change" on which Packer hangs his case for keeping the job.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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