Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon, the founders of Global Voices, are the guests for today’s class at Harvard Law School in Internet, Law and Politics.
– Ethan’s made clear that GV is a complement to mainstream media, and
not a supplement. “You’d be crazy,” he said, “to rely on Global
Voices alone for your world news.” Despite its rapid growth and
early successes in its first 14 months, GV is a work-in-progress and
one that supplements, not replaces, the news that is offered by other
(professional) journalists and informal sources not rounded up on GV.
– Rebecca says that neither blogs nor Internet makes democracies
stronger; “people make democracies stronger” and in some cases use
technologies to get it done.
– Ethan says that the places where Internet — in the hands of the
right users — can have a positive impact on democracy is in places
where the media environment is relatively closed.
– Ethan focuses also on Bridge Bloggers — Ory Okolloh, the Kenyan Pundit (and HLS ’05), and Mahmood
of Bahrain — who write not just for a local audience, but for a global
audience who are listening in to what’s happening in their home
countries, as an example of making a particular difference through
– Rebecca notes that while we are, in the US, focused on the US
companies-in-China story, the real story that the Chinese blogosphere
is paying attention to is the Steamed Bun Controversy (worth exploring, trust me).
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