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Citizen Journalists Often Suffer

In countries like Iran, Myanmar, China and Venezuela, it is about how to stay out of jail, how to avoid beatings

Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer

Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer - In the USA and the rest of the free world the debate about citizen journalism surrounds things like accuracy, sourcing, journalistic standards, reliability, consistency, etc.

While the discussion about citizen journalism in totalitarian countries like Iran, Myanmar, China and Venezuela is about how to stay out of jail, how to avoid beatings and how to keep from “disappearing.”

Canadian Blogger Jeff Jedras is in attendance at the World Blogging Forum in Bucharest, Romania Nov. 9 – 12 and appeared on a panel with bloggers from China, Egypt, Finland and Holland. The following information is gleaned from his report found on GlobalPost.com.

Zhou SuguangChinese blogger Zhou Shuguang reported that China has 40,000 police that monitor the Internet full-time. They have blocked over 500,000 websites from the people. It’s called “The Great Firewall of China.” It is designed to keep all non-government approved foreign sites from getting into the country. Shuguang said that 80 people were jailed last year for things they had written on the Web.

Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger who was named Middle East person of the year in 2007 by CNN, told of the problems all journalists face in his country under the guise of security.

Journalists there have no protection and must suffer constant censorship and intimidation by the Wael Abbasgovernment. He said that presses are shut down, papers confiscated, tapes and video files seized and television stations raided. Bloggers, according to Abbas, are not directly censored, though they are bullied, harassed and arrested. Abbas has had his Facebook, YouTube and Yahoo accounts shut down by the government and the government has accused Abbas of being a criminal, homosexual and convert to Christianity. The result is a self-censorship by members of the press so they don’t have to fear interference or arrest by government officials.

Abbas is calling for an alternative media to grow in Egypt so the people could have real, uncensored news.

You can’t help but be moved by reports like this and I am thankful that Jeff Jedras attended the conference and told us their stories.

I conclude that citizen journalism will help bring an end to tyranny around the world.

Let it be said and let it be done. From this page to God’s ears.
Read all of Jedras’ report: http://www.globalpost.com/webblog/canada/day-1-bucharest-wbf2009-blogs-a...

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More Stories By Ron Ross

Dr. Ron Ross is a publisher, author, speaker, radio personality residing in Loveland, Colorado. He is the author of two published books and several e-books. He is the host of Tidbits Radio on 1310KFKA-AM and on CastleRockRadio.com. He writes a weekly motivational and inspirational column that is published in a variety of newspapers.

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