Monday, March 26, 2007

Blogging for Reform

My colleague David Phillips maintains (as his comments on here show) that e-communication is the future, I remain sceptical; however there are glimmers of hope that his brave new world may yet be a reality.
An interesting article in the FT highlights the growing number of activists in the undemocratic regimes of the Middle East are using their blogs to highlight inequalities in society, call for reforms and, importantly, get more people interested in the issues. They see that too many people are focusing on the bread and butter issues and not looking to the real reasons of social problems: the oligarchic nature of the state.
While in its infancy the movement could just build up to the proportions the anti-capitalist movement had in the early to mid 1990s, one that could gather momentum and carve an alternative future for the region. They take great risks in the open dissent, but their presence remains and grows: are they the new face of Middle Eastern politics who are embracing new technologies, cultures and ideas (if you understand Arabic have a look at some ideas and follow a few links) its inspiring stuff!


Tartan Hero said...

I thought the Newsnight piece last night by Guido Fawkes was interesting.. especially him accusing Jeremy Paxman of 'empty chairing' and letting the government/politicians off the hook.

I firmly believe that blogging and other developments in new media is providing a whole new alternative (albeit nascent) to mainstream broadcast and print media. Not that it is trying to replace it, but add a whole new perspective 9a dynamic commentary, perhaps even asymetric on a Grunig scale? Come on academics, put this in context!

Darren Lilleker said...

Certainly this is Nigel Jackson's thesis, and am supportive of the idea. The problem for politics is that the online community talk to each other but the large disengaged mass out there is not engaging. Given the initiative by Straw yesterday (see new posting) is there any evidence that the a significant majority of the public want to meet their MP online?

David Phillips said...

But, this is the whole point. Where is the morality or ethic in using journalists as intermediaries. If you want to talk to the public - talk to the public. The Lobby, in this day and age should be no more than a club. It does not have to be a blog. If a minister wants to be on TV, there is YouTube. If there is an empty seat and Governement's are not transparent - say so. Make the accusation to - the electorate - direct. e-communication rules.