ME and Ophelia

Saturday, October 23, 2004

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Harvard's Ethan Zuckerman co-authors World Changing

Ethan Zuckerman has a great blog out of Harvard in Boston that specialises in Africa and media and other things (usually technology) connected with the two topics. On a recent visit to World Changing, I noticed Ethan is now a co-author.

In his latest post at World Changing, Ethan explains he is especially interested in the idea that news and information from human rights groups could help correct media imbalances in the least covered nations.

He goes to say "many of the countries where Human Rights Watch has researchers have no regular news bureaus and only find themselves in the media spotlight when situations escalate to crisis proportions; as RSS feeds start to change the way information flows within advocacy organizations, groups like Human Rights Watch will likely find themselves serving as alternative wire services for people interested in places and issues rarely covered by mainstream media."


Here is an excerpt from Ethan's post "Blog Coaches for Human Rights" (filed under the heading of The Second Superpower – Cooperation, Politics and Activism) that explains why Human Rights Watch are recruiting "blog coaches" - and how bloggers can help:

" ... But while Darfur is the most visible human rights crisis in the world today, dozens of other crises rarely make the newspapers, and the reports and analysis generated by human rights researchers never makes it into the hands of policymakers, or the people who influence them.

The folks at HRW are smart enough to realize that bloggers are increasingly key players in the media cycle and that they, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations need to find ways to cooperate with human rights bloggers. They've taken a key first step, setting up RSS feeds for the dozens of countries and issues they regularly track. (There's been some RSS support for almost two years, but the feeds are now 2.0 compliant and centrally located.)

But they're also smart enough to realize that getting information from the grassroots into the blogosphere, wikipedia and other peer produced media requires skillsets they lack. So they're recruiting "blog coaches" - blog and wikipedia authors who have an interest in human rights - to help them figure out how to introduce their supporters to blogging and themselves to the blog and wikipedia communities. If you're interested, and especially if you're in the New York City area - please consider getting in touch with Minky and her team and lending a hand. ..."

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 10/23/2004
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