On May 16th 2011, Washington DC’s Newseum – interactive media museum that instills an appreciation of the importance of a free press and the US’ First Amendment – hosted the Journalists Memorial Rededication honoring the journalists who died covering the news in 2010.
Between 1837 and 2010, 2,084 courageous journalists lost their lives while staying dutiful to their profession – 59 of which died in 2010 – determined to report the truth and inform citizens, regardless of the consequence.
U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton – speaking on behalf of the Obama administration – expressed views on the power of media via a statement on 21st Century Statecraft:
“… We have seen the possibilities of what can happen when ordinary citizens are empowered by Twitter and Facebook to organize political movements, or simply exchange ideas and information… we have the potential to engage in these new and innovative forms of diplomacy and to also use them to help individuals be empowered for their own development…”
And engaging is indeed what the administration is doing. (more…)
In the digital 21st century, Jürgen Habermas’ public sphere and Marshall McLuhan’s global village have gone electronic, hence citizen journalism and the blogosphere. In 2006, TIME magazine named ‘YOU’ person of the year, calling the Web “a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter.” The ‘YOU’ person of 2011 – at least for this year’s World Economic Forum event – is Canadian video blogger and citizen journalist Shawn Ahmed. (more…)
A technological search and find; a social media scavenger hunt.
An advanced way to stay connected while being offline or a plot with technological vandalism written all over it? An anonymous treasure or a mission of digital dangers and uncertainties? To participate or to self-censor? (more…)
On July 4th 2009, Emin Milli — blogger and one of the Alumni Network founders —spoke at “a Heinrich Böll Foundation roundtable dedicated to a democratization process in Azerbaijan, where he criticized the Azerbaijani government strongly.” Four days later, on July 8th 2009, he and Adnan Hajizada — blogger and co-founder of the OL! Azerbaijan Youth Movement — were attacked at a Baku Café by unknown ‘sportsmen.’ The bloggers were arrested and the following days they spent in detention — which turned into months — became a blow-to-free-speech headline in cyber history.
Chad Hurley, co-founder of the video-sharing website YouTube, has recently stepped down from his position as CEO. And the Turkish court has stepped down from the Web 2.0 video-sharing website — all together.
The people of Burma will vote on Sunday — for the first time in 20 years — but domestic reporters are “prohibited from going within 50 metres of polling stations.” Free from international journalists and electoral observers — a decision favored by Chairman of the Election Commission Thein Soe — it’s believed these elections will mimic a democratic façade and be used as an attempt by the regime to legitimize its role. (more…)
Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month too all you tech-savvy, Internet loving folk out there!
Let’s Celebrate — by examining The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University’s October “2010 Circumvention Tool Usage Report” (CTU Report) — that examines the usage of web tools for circumventing Internet filtering.
In September 2010, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report titled “Looser Rein, Uncertain Gain,” A Human Rights Assessment of Five Years of King Abdullah’s Reforms in Saudi Arabia. In this report — in the “Greater Margin for Freedom of Expression” section — HRW discusses the paradox between King Abdullah creating a greater space for free expression, but still an ongoing repression of freedom to express critical opinions. HRW notes how the Saudi government censors free speech, with the help of legislation such as the 2007 Law to Combat Information Crimes, and how a new cyber law is brewing that would restrict expression via electronic media.