Session Notes taken by Rezwan I.
Nigel Nugawela – Sri Lanka
Groundviews, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka – 12th most dangerous country for journalists
Groundviews – publishing stories – no citizen media are willing to publish
hundreds of Srilankan bloggers – many blog aggregators..
Funding is not available.
Video sharing – docs
CMEV using blogs to disseminate information
There is lot of space for development
Challenge – is to address the digital divide.
Use of ICTs need to be developed
A minority of Srilankans are using blogs and citizen journo tools for dialog between communities
future outlook – Groundviews should expand.. – ensure robust participation of people – dialogue
Citizen media will continue to prosper in Sri Lanka.
Alexei Sidorenko – Russia
Global Voices – Runet Eco
Russia Internet penetration – 33% (40 mln)
Livejournal – main platform
High internet price
rapid growth of blogger
growing role of Twitters
Blogs are gaining trust
virtual campaigns are becoming popular
bloggers first spread the words
internet forums are only free platform for political discussions
bloggers are first to report
campaigns bring real life changes
blogs are being used by government to spread radical views
paid bloggers, splogs
form of govt. controls
anonymous publishing of compromising materials
Sana Saleem Malik, pakistan
Global Voices South Asia author
2007 –November state of emergency – citizen jounalists came into picture when gov cracked down on media. People turned to blogs for information
Judicial crisis – Chief justice was sacked for cases against the president – citizen media protested online and offline.
This moved on to nationwide long march.
Murder of Benazir Bhutto – the situation worsened and bloggers highlighted the situation
The war against Taliban – media focuses on war itself…the conflict – but not on the humanitarian aspect – the IDP crisis totally ignored
Bloggers actually went down to the IDP camps – took pictures and shared in Twitter, Blogs – the mainstream media ignored human stories..
text message – register – information
bloggers active on protesting on the crime bill. You could not publish any jokes against president – 7 year imprisonment
bloggers created awareness of the bill and the protests increased.
Pakistan is very diverse – the role of citizen journalists – are covering authentic issues – where mainstream media focuses on sensationalized news
Bo Chen – China
China – maintains display of stability
Protest videos are not available to the Chinese.
Last year there was a major uprising. And govt had to report some of them – why? Because citizen media already covering
A girl was raped by someone from authority – the court did not serve justice – was put on video – 10 people were hunt down and imprisoned for the charge of slender.
People gathered in front of internet and protested.
If virtual campaigns cannot be turned into active campaigns – whats the use?
What do these countries have in common?
Sri Lanka – war
Russia – lot of movement
China- overwhelming threat
Pakistan – various internal problems
Russia – coopting bloggers
- Is there a chance whether to exploit this chance.. In Russian condition its different. In a lot of cases – no action will be taken against bloggers. It can be a way of communication between bloggers and authority
Ans: Its pretty kind of norm
Bob from google
– What about self censorship?
-Ans: there is definitely a self censorship Chechnya
– there are several issues in Russia
Sri Lanka: ideology of nationalism – within mainstream media
- citizen media is more outspoken – will not be published in mainstream media
China: – service providers follow self censorship – with bloggers less ss
sensitive word censorship and find alternative words.
From Open Society
– If possible – some success stories
– how to work with mainstream media
Ans: Right now mainstream media refers to bloggers as information source. – Russia
Sri Lanka: mainstream media publishing citizen media contents without attribution
Pakistan: Success stories – there are some – Navin Naqvi – senior journalist – add Twitter in TV program – journalists are on Twitter
With growth of an Internet community -
What is the practical way
Citizen media is thinking of becoming mass media –
actual physical violence increased – being anonymous?
how the authority can participate in the blogosphere?
Hi! The way the government in that country has dealt with its civilians and journalists is disgusting. But even more disappointing is the way all governments seem to have more or less allowed it if they didnt actively support it and worst of all, the international media has largely gone along with this. So its up to bloggers/social meda to try to fill the gap. And if you have info / pictures pls send to the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org
Neil (I’m a volunteer with the campaign)