Free Speech

Through the web groups can expand their organizations and get in touch with the outside world. Activists have a much greater audience with sites such as “Digiactive” and Global Voices”. I went onto the sites that were mentioned in “Arab Bloggers Meet to Discuss Free speech, Reject ‘Journalist Label” and noticed that there were stories important things that I had no idea about. For example, I was able to read a story on Marcell Shehwaro, a young girl who dispatches on Syria and describes her like in Aleppo, the heart of Syria’s conflict. I was able to learn that the conditions of the people in Aleppo are much worse than I had imagined. Stories like these impact people more than the news, it has a way of connecting the reader to the person in the situation. I found it amazing that bloggers are coming together to share a common written language, as it develops solidarity. There is a difference between activists and bloggers that I had not realized, bloggers do not get the same type of security as activists. “Bloggers on the other hand don’t want to be victims or prisoners any longer than they have to be and emphasize that it shouldn’t matter what they say, only that they be allowed to say it” (Dheere 2008). Although many bloggers and journalists have things in common, bloggers do not want to be called journalists. Bloggers feel like they take a more active role in the news than reporting it. I agree, journalists seem to report news, whereas bloggers report deeper emotions and acts. Many times this blogger state of mind gets people in deep trouble, for example in Morocco Mohammad Erraji was arrested and sentenced to two years in jail for “criticizing the king’s policy of free gifts to citizens” (Dheere 2008). With the lack of security and support many bloggers, in my opinion, do not boundaries or as high of boundaries regarding the information they report. This is great as the world needs to know what is happening, but it is negative because it leads to further conflict. “The more they write, challenge, and get around the official clampdown on using blogs and other social media tools, the more sites like DigiActive can document and distribute their acts of speaking truth to power” (Dheere 2008).

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One thought on “Free Speech

  1. Very fascinating writing on the role of bloggers vs reporters. Yes, the blogger has the ability to add a more personal slant to the comments they post. In contrast, the reporter must answer to the editor and to advertisers of the media they are reporting in. The blog is an extraordinary tool that is new to the online world when you look at the history of other types of editorial comment. Also unlike editorials once again the blogger is relatively free to speak openly, unrestrained…freely…or are they? The internet and digital activism creates all sorts of new questions for the rights of Freedom of Speech now more than ever. Why do you think Trump spends so much energy posting in the digital world…Tweets ect.

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