Session Notes: China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Russia

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

blog hacks


ddos attacks


blogger councils

anonymous publishing of compromising materials

physical violence

Criminal cases

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
Global Voices
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?
Ivan summarizing:
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?

blogging platforms

1 comment

  • 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
    Neil (I’m a volunteer with the campaign)

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