Global Voices Summit 2008: Not just anyone..
This must be every repressive regime's worst nightmare a room full of passionate bloggers determined to get use the latest technology to report what's happening in their countries.
I'm at the Global Voices Summit in Budapest, Hungary, a gathering of bloggers from around the world: I'm not sure there is a representative from Antarctica, but every other continent must be represented.
This week's iPM comes from the Summit and focuses on the issue of censorship and the persecution of bloggers, themes that come up time and time again at the conference. (click here to listen, unfortunately I can't update the podcast from here).
My colleagues at Click have also been discussed here, in particular their interview with Lee Siegel author of Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob. Siegel believes that, "No-one would talk of citizen heart surgeons, for example," he says. "But on the internet they talk of citizen journalists, because it seems that anyone can take up a keyboard and write a story".
His views have angered some participants and It's easy to see why. Not just anyone who lives under a repressive regime has the courage to take up a keyboard and blog. I've met several people here who have faced persecution and imprisonment because of their blogs.
For these people, and the governments who expend significant efforts oppressing them, blogging is much more than vanity publishing.
I'll write more from the conference over the next couple of days. Incidentally, the name badge in the photo above belongs to Pakistan based blogger Teethmaestro aka Dr Awab Alvi, one of the guests on the first ever iPM. He's an excellent fellow, though taller than he sounded on the radio....