Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Freedom of Blogging

As Americans we see somewhat of a balance of opinions in our media, but in other, lesser-developed democracies the Internet is one of the only sources to get different outlooks.

This article from RadioFreeEurope uses Russia as an example of how blogging is affecting the political landscape. Surprisingly, Russia is the second largest user of Live Journal. Many of the blogs are about politics and government, offering a point of view different than the mass media.

We have talked about corporations trying to deal with two-way communication, but its important to note that governments are also facing the same problem. As popularity of alternative news sources grows, governments are scrambling to protect the image it has created for its citizens.

Citizens around the country can have conversations about the inefficiencies of the government and if enough people keep talking then something will have to change.

I’m grateful that we have the protection of free speech and so far it has extended to the Internet. However, it is not a liberty we should take for granted, as governments like Russia are trying to censor the communication.

“President Vladimir Putin created a new government agency to monitor the media and the Internet, sparking fears that sites like Live Journal would be censored.”

In light of this article, I think that it is important to take advantage of political blogs. Sometimes I can get more out of a blog post with good responses than I can with a segment of Hannity and Colmes.


Geoffrey said...

Sometimes I can get more out of a blog post with good responses than I can with a segment of Hannity and Colmes.

Personally, I couldn't agree more with that statement. After the 2000 presidential election and, of course, the coverage that followed Sept. 11, 2001, I really found myself needing to get away from mass media news networks. It's really hard to describe why I felt that way. I guess it just got too depressing. But I wasn't like many who say they turned immediately to the Web to talk and find out about current events. I really just tried to stay away from what was happening in the world for quite some time. But later, through message boards and other Internet communities, I found myself getting back into the discussion. I just thought it was very liberating to hear what "real people" had to say about the issues and be able to shoot my thoughts and ideas right back at them. To this day, I rarely sit down to watch what's on CNN or Fox News. However, I do stay current by way of message boards and blogs. They can be informative and just plain fun.

Alicia said...

I feel this article directly relates to the chapter in "Cluetrain Manifesto" called The Hyperlinked Organization. Although political regimes, like businesses, will try to use their authority to prohibit blogs and control the use of them, in my opinion, it is just not possible today. I think this is the best reason to support the web and blogging. It gives society a bottom-up control, which in many cases is the best way to run a country, take for example America. Although we have people in power, our society is based on free speech and we believe in sovreign power. I salute the Russians who blog about the problems in their country, their opinions will make a difference.