16/06/2009 Blogging & Censorship Special


Mobile phone, internet, TV and radio services have all been blocked intermittently inside Iran since last week's election.

However, Iranians have been combating the censors and using sites like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter to disseminate videos, pictures and news. So how have internet users been bypassing these blocks?

Gareth speaks to Hamid Tehrani, Iran Editor of Global Voices, about the tenacious methods citizen journalists have been using to make their messages heard.


China recently announced that all new computers will be fitted with pre-installed internet filtering software. However, despite the recent clampdown on websites during the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, bloggers still managed to bypass the filters.

In other countries too, like Vietnam, the combination of fast internet access and communist controls on state media, has resulted in an 'army of bloggers' reporting online.

Many popular political bloggers in Vietnam, such as ChangeWeNeed and Osin, are thought to have top-level sources inside government who leak political scandals.

Conversely, in Cuba internet connections are slow and few people have access to home computers. However the Generation Y website, written by Yoani Sánchez, has brought the plight of ordinary Cubans to worldwide attention. Last year she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Gareth discusses the role of blogging, censorship and citizen journalism with regional experts from BBC World Service:
- Shirong Chen, China Editor
- Giang Nguyen, Head of the Vietnamese Service
- Americo Martins Dos Santos, Regional Executive Editor, Americas

28 minutes

Last on

Tue 16 Jun 2009 19:32 GMT