The ‘abduction’ of a gay activist in Syria: A cautionary tale for media

I first heard about the abduction of the 'gay' Syrian blogger through the Facebook feeds of friends following events in the Middle East in general, and Syria in particular, closely. A number pointed to this Al Jazeera article, but really, this was picked up and reported on almost all the major wire news services. The … Continue reading The ‘abduction’ of a gay activist in Syria: A cautionary tale for media

Blogging as a journalist, woman and individual in Sri Lanka

One or two years ago my friend Tarika Wickremeratne delivered a presentation on blogging to a group of female journalists in Sri Lanka that I had spoken to previously. I champion blogging in Sri Lanka for many reasons, and the empowerment of women being one of them. Over the past 10 years I have spoken to … Continue reading Blogging as a journalist, woman and individual in Sri Lanka

Relaunch of Vikalpa: Engaging opinion and analysis in Sinhala from Sri Lanka

Vikalpa (www.vikalpa.org) relaunched its website yesterday, with a renewed focus on compelling and original opinion and analysis in Sinhala from Sri Lanka. First launched in 2007, the old website had become unwieldy, inelegant and hard to navigate. The new website introduces a number of new sections, and makes it easier to follow content updates on … Continue reading Relaunch of Vikalpa: Engaging opinion and analysis in Sinhala from Sri Lanka

The arrest of the ‘blogger’ in Sri Lanka: Crowd-sourcing trumps traditional media follow up

Ayubowan, a blog I didn't know of before, helpfully posted a screen grab of a post from Gossip Lanka, a blog I also didn't know of before, on the recent arrest of a 'blogger' in Sri Lanka that had many concerned. Gossip Lanka's post is in Sinhala and doesn't render at all on my Mac, … Continue reading The arrest of the ‘blogger’ in Sri Lanka: Crowd-sourcing trumps traditional media follow up

State of the blogosphere in 2009

Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2009 report is out, and as in previous years, makes for interesting reading. The findings help dispel somewhat the commonly held perception that those with the most influence online are 'ordinary citizens', when in fact many, as in Sri Lanka, come from privileged backgrounds. Importantly, this would not be the … Continue reading State of the blogosphere in 2009

Internet and Web based Citizen Journalism in Sri Lanka

Background paper to a workshop on Citizen Journalism I'm organising in the near future. Full paper with references as a PDF from here. Many less radical institutions - governments, NGOs, think tanks - are struggling to address the same challenge, unable to respond to the rapidly shifting balance of power between the individual and the … Continue reading Internet and Web based Citizen Journalism in Sri Lanka

125 journalists in jail. 3 in Sri Lanka. Bloggers next?

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) came out with a disturbing report last week, in which it noted that out of 125 incarcerated as of 1st December 2008, 56 of them were online journalists including bloggers. As CPJ notes, [it is] a tally that surpasses the number of print journalists for the first time. The … Continue reading 125 journalists in jail. 3 in Sri Lanka. Bloggers next?

Journalism of the future? Problems and challenges.

Late last year, Ashoka received a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to create a program aimed at identifying, supporting, and connecting social entrepreneurs in knowledge and news. The idea was to use Ashoka’s existing global network to find innovators using journalistic strategies to create transformative social change—and to create a … Continue reading Journalism of the future? Problems and challenges.

The charges against Tissainayagam: Implications for bloggers in Sri Lanka

Tissa’s case is more than a set of ludicrous charges against an individual. The charges, the length of time he was held without any charge and the manner in which he was treated while imprisoned are all carefully engineered to generate fear and anxiety amongst independent journalists and media. In this, the Rajapakse regime has … Continue reading The charges against Tissainayagam: Implications for bloggers in Sri Lanka