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25 October 2005

The eight Reporters Without Borders nominees for the blog contest

Reporters Without Borders / Internet Freedom desk

24 October 2005


The eight Reporters Without Borders nominees for the blog contest

The German radio station Deutsche Welle has published the list of nominees for its weblog contest, including those chosen by Reporters Without Borders for the "freedom of expression" category. The bloggers who have been singled out include former Tunisian judge Mokhtar Yahyaoui, currently on a hunger strike in protest against President Ben Ali's repressive policies.

From the more than 130 blogs proposed by Internet users, Reporters Without Borders and Deutsche Welle picked the shortlist of eight because of a particular passion they have displayed in their defence of free expression. All of these eight blogs carry news and information not found in the traditional media.

Internet users can vote on http://www.thebobs.de/ to indicate who they prefer. But it will be up to the panel of judges to choose the final winners. The results will be announced on 21 November.

These are the eight nominees in the special category sponsored by Reporters Without Borders:

  • China Digital Times (http://chinadigitaltimes.net/) A news blog about China that is published outside of the country. A very rich source for those who want to follow Chinese current affairs.
  • Chronique d├ęplaisante d'une dictature ordinaire (http://www.addisferengi.net/) A French resident in Addis Ababa criticises repression in Ethiopia. The blog includes lots of interviews with Ethiopian dissidents.
  • Manal and Alaa Bit Bucket (http://www.manalaa.net/) An Egyptian blog promoting free expression and human rights. A forum for discussion, but also a resource centre for Arabic-speaking Internet users who would like to set up their own blog.
  • Wang Yi's microphone (http://zhivago.tianyablog.com/) A Chinese intellectual who uses his blog as a microphone to denounce the repressive system that rules his country.
  • Hanif Mazrooie (http://hanif.ir/) An independent Iranian journalist's blog which led to its author spending a month in prison in September 2004.
  • Parastood (http://www.parastood.com/) One of the oldest Iranian blogs, famous for its open criticism.
  • Colombian realities (http://lacoctelera.com/realidades) A Colombian journalist who writes critically about a range of issues including his country's pervasive violence and corruption.
  • Yahyaoui (http://yahyaoui.blogspot.com/) The blog of former judge Mokhtar Yahyaoui, one of Tunisia's leading political dissidents and the uncle of cyber-dissident Zouhair Yahyaoui. His blog was recently pirated and rendered unavailable. But it can still be accessed by using Google's "cached" function (enter yahyaoui + blogspot in Google and then choose the "cached" option). Mokhtar Yahyaoui is one of seven Tunisian civil society figures who are currently on hunger strike in protest against the lack of freedom in Tunisia, where his blog is censored, along with dozens of others. Nonetheless, Tunis is to host the World Summit on the Information Society on 16-18 November, which is being organised under the aegis of the United Nations.

24 October 2005

Working like a dog

Yet more doggy nonsense from the TUC. The long hours culture is pretty familiar to many people in new media, where mobile devices, home access and 24/7 reporting cycles can blur the boundaries between work and home life if they're not managed properly. This little flash animation ("Pup Where We Belong") pokes some gentle fun, and some terrible puns, at the issue.

13 October 2005

Paper, scissors, iPod

Interesting run-through of some of the technology issues facing the newspaper industry in the Guardian by New York Times (Interesting given last month's story - see below) reporter David Carr. Carr sees a role continuing for 'companion media' (media you need to sit down and take time out with - not cherry picking or background-listening), but thinks it needs its iPod moment - the time when a new technology device makes people start to use a medium in a totally new way. He sees the dedicated eBook reader as this device - if anyone ever gets around to inventing one good enough.

Also, speaking of the NYT ad funding dilemna, evidence is emerging that this is a UK phenomenon too. This piece in Netimperative reveals Internet Advertising Bureau research showing that online is taking an ever bigger slice of advertising revenues, currently half a billion pounds in the first half of 2005 (for the first time this is more than was spent on outdoor advertsing in the same period).