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← Global Voices Online: "The world is talking, are you listening?"

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Showing Revision 3 created 05/04/2013 by Paula Góes.

  1. The world is talking, are you listening?
  2. Hello my name is Michele Richinick and I am a student journalist at the Northeastern University.
  3. I recently sat down with experts to talk to them about one social media website
  4. that is adding to the changing landscape of journalism.
  5. The website is called Global Voices Online, and it is an online community of more than
  6. 300 bloggers, translators and editors who are working together to bring
  7. the voices of bloggers and citizen media from around the world
  8. that are not otherwise heard in international mainstream media.
  9. It was founded in 2005 by CNN Tokyo and Beijing bureau chief Rebecca MacKinnon
  10. and Africa expert Ethan Zuckerman while they were working
  11. at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
  12. So what makes Global Voices so interesting is that
  13. while you have got the mainstream and alternative media narratives
  14. then you have got this third narrative of what people are saying on their inner personal space.
  15. And those personal spaces, luckily for us, are public, and so now it's not just blogs but also Twitter,
  16. Facebook, Youtube videos, all sorts of different media
  17. that goes into making a good Global Voices post.
  18. What it does is that it tries to filter, select and amplify voices
  19. that we think are getting wider heard around the world.
  20. Most people recognize Global Voices' importance in moments of crisis.
  21. I love the diversity of Global Voices, so diverse,
  22. so many different issues are being covered, people really do
  23. (the bloggers and journalists and authors) do such a wonderful job in curating and really selecting
  24. what's going on in their bloggosphere and social media sites.
  25. We have lots of breaking news, that has been super important right now
  26. for instance in the whole Middle East uprisings,
  27. but also we have features and interviews,
  28. and we have videos,
  29. and it's just a wealth of information on cyberactivism, gender, technology,
  30. politics, freedom of speech, it's just incredible!
  31. It really gives you a whole different vision of the world.
  32. Not only do we have people on the ground in all of these countries, that are of course very
  33. knowledgeable on the Internet, social media and everything,
  34. but also the job of curating hundreds of posts,
  35. of tweets, of videos, of podcasts,
  36. so it's really becoming an invaluable source of information on what's going on in the Middle East,
  37. and also of other kinds of information
  38. that maybe were not seen anywhere else, right ?
  39. We are at a moment in professional media where
  40. media networks are spending less and less time and money on international coverage.
  41. And social media doesn't replace that, but it is a way for us to keep a eye
  42. on corners of the world that are getting a whole lot of attention
  43. at this particular moment in time.
  44. So I think that it is great that moments like now we get a whole lot of love
  45. and people are paying attention because there is so much unrest in the world
  46. but I honestly think that most the important work we do
  47. is the stuff that most people don't pay attention to.
  48. The biggest team on the Middle East and North African team in Global Voices is the Egyptian's.
  49. We've got I think six or seven Egyptian authors,
  50. compared to two for Morocco or one for another country.
  51. And so particularly when the Internet was shut down,
  52. all of us felt the responsibility to our friends on the team to make sure
  53. that the news in Egypt get covered.
  54. And so while our friends couldn't cover it
  55. because they didn't have an Internet connection,
  56. we could still see some tweets coming in,
  57. as there was one ISP (Internet service provider) still available,
  58. and then we could also see tweets from the Egyptian diaspora
  59. and then of course Google and Twitter speak to tweet function
  60. where people called up and left voice mails. And folks were translating those
  61. and we were actually saying "OK, well, so if this is all we can get out of Egypt right now
  62. we're just going to take these voice calls and transcribe them
  63. or translate them when necessary, and post about that,
  64. because that is social media too!
  65. I mean social media, specially after the turn of events,
  66. have demonstrated that private citizens can break the monopoly
  67. that mainstream media organisations have had on news and news making.
  68. Social media provides a really important voice,
  69. and it's not social media that is providing it,
  70. it's ordinary people, citizen journalists, bloggers who have lived
  71. in that space their entire life and know more about the subject that anyone here ever could.
  72. Global Voices is doing good job in actually transforming
  73. and going up to pace with everything, with all the new things that are happening,
  74. and I think it is going to become, it is gonna be much more important towards the future, actually
  75. and I think they are actually a vision of the future
  76. and it has been at the very forefront of what has been happening.

  77. Improving Internet access in all of these countries will allow us to
  78. understand more about the rest of the world, appreciate the world better
  79. without ever travelling.
  80. You know, that was one of those thing where there is so much of the world to grasp
  81. and I think that we can learn so much about it through its citizens and their use of social media.
  82. By: Michele Richnick, April 22, 2011