Citizen Media Watch

november 28th, 2006

Reporters without borders issues handbook for bloggers

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

The organisation Reporters without borders released a pdf document in 2005 titled ”Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents”, offering hands-on tips for bloggers in countries where freedom of speech is restricted.
Reporters without borders write:

Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.
Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation.

Dan GillmorDan Gillmor has a chapter in the document about blogging ethics, and Ethan Zucherman gives advice on how to blog anonymously. A chapter called Personal Accounts gives perspectives from around the world.
Read more here, or download the pdf document which is very much worth reading even if you live in a free country.

Ethiopia is one country that is trying to limit the public’s access to certain blogs. Mark Comerford currently teaches there, and has some interesting things to report in his blog.


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november 28th, 2006

BBC pioneering "citizen tv" with Your News

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

BBC News 24’s launch of Your News, a tv news program to be made up of user-generated content, marks another step in the convergence of citizen and established media. The pilot of the show was aired Saturday, and was comprised of material sent to the BBC by its viewers, readers etc, and also a top 10 list of the most talked about news on BBC News’ site.

”We are a BBC news program, we just don’t look like all the others. And the stories and images you will see over the next 20 minutes or so, you won’t see anywhere else..” says Richard Bilton in the pilot.

”It is a short pilot run at first to see how it goes, but the first edition was watched by more than 300 000 people”, writes Kevin Bakhurst, controller of BBC News 24.

Viewers are encouraged to get in touch with Your News and suggest what they should look at more closely. Not all material is actually made by the viewers, but they have the initiative.
So the story initiatives come from the citizens, but the tv reporters then follow up and try to answer questions posed by the viewers.
You News also has a mobile studio they travel around with, where people can record themself stating what they’d like to see on tv.

You can watch the pilot here.

BBC has been in the frontline in the UK for reader participation for quite some time, the Have Your Say section being the hub for all of this. It’ll be interesting to see how this evolves.


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