subscribe: Posts | Comments


How the new media can support the freedom of speech and human rights in general?

I think new media give the people a very useful tool and a very simple tool, that we can keep our attention on very on many cases that are violating human rights , because in the mainstream media the time is limited, the coverage is limited people will forget what happened. But on the internet people can always search this information, and on internet we have more possibility and more masses to show that information. For example take global voices advocacy which is a project, of Global Voices, we use blog, we use podcast we use video, and we use online map showing locations for example how many cases, how many bloggers have been detained or how many bloggers are missing or how many bloggers are in prison right now in each of the different reasons. And we keep this record to know that these cases are continuing. There are still people behind the bars, they are not released. And people can always use these tools to express these ideas anonymously, without being cached. Because if you write without being anonymous police will find you within an hour, two. There are a lot of tools that are easy and simply to use and spread your opinion to the society.

Services like Facebook and Twitter; can they also help protect freedom of speech?

Facebook and twitter of course also useful tools, but I think that the object of these tools is different and we use them differently. For example if we use Facebook, we are “recruiting” people with the same mind set. With twitter we want to spread things as quick as possible. I think we have different targets when we are using different tools. And blogs are fundamental tool that we can use, and we have developed a lot of different possibilities that we can try. And there is lot of new tools coming out and probably some people can create their own online tools.

Which are these new tools that are being used, except blogging or Facebook?

Sticker action, when you are putting a sticker in the web showing your ideology in a topic and you can know how many people are joining this. In Facebook you can be count easily, because you are in a certain platform but in the World Wide Web, are difficult to count. So we have the tool called sticker action that you can join a certain action and protest for a certain issue

Do you see any dangers in using citizen media for protecting human rights?

Of course there are a lot of threats to bloggers and to citizen journalists. That is why there are so many cases behind the bars. Being a blogger you can choose the safe ways to blog, you know maybe the goal of someone is to become famous via blogs. You can write about travels, you can write about foods. But some people choose to do something for a reason. So when people choose to irritate their government they know what will happen. So actually, is a choice we make.

There was a big discussion about China in this meeting and it was heard that when the demands of the bloggers agree with certain financial and economic interests of let’s say some important companies or people is easier to achieve what they want. Is any effort being made to try to win the support of such companies, to help to protect human rights?

It’s an issue of corporate responsibility, corporate social responsibility. I think it is quite difficult because corporate have their concerns for different markets there are only a few who are not afraid of those markets being closed for them because they have done something for the human rights .For example, even Google in China they had to sacrifice something, and Yahoo, they are from the biggest companies in the world and they still had to make sacrifices .I am not very optimistic for business companies. They will tend to be neutral.

How would you like “traditional” media to help protect human rights, freedom of speech?

Traditional media is its self a corporate company. They have the pressure of entering different market; they have pressure from their audience and readers and from “above”. This is one of the most important issues , the quality of the nowadays journalism I think .Of course we still have some very good journalists , investigative journalists , but business media , I think if they can return to the old track …If they can follow the ethics of the journalism is enough already . They don’t have to invent or to appear to the new generation that “oh I am one of you I also using Facebook and I ask all my reporters to become twitters “. They don’t have to do thing like that. They just need to keep their track and do good journalism. That is good enough. And in Global Voices we want establish some kind of collaboration. For example we have collaboration with Reuters and the BBC and CNN and New York Times and La Stampa. We can work together, and we are happy to work together.

Tania Georgoupli

  1. Thank you for the interview. I love it.

Leave a Reply

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *