Category Archives: Blogging

Noha Atef on Skype call in Nicosia’s Buffer Zone

Noha Atef, courtesy of Noha Atef, under Creative Commons license

Guest post from attendee at BZB 30 April 2011:

I just heard a live web discussion with Noha Atef, journalist, activist and editor of http://www.tortureinegypt.net. Noha was incredibly inspiring, offering her perspective on the recent events in Egypt, with insight, charm, humour, and a searing intelligence. Noha spoke about the role of social media in the Egyptian revolution, and urged us not to switch off from the situation in Egypt, now that it has seemingly dropped off the news agenda. It’s been a great afternoon here in the buffer zone, but best of all has been hearing directly from people like Noha. Thank you Ms Atef.

Visit:

http://tortureinegypt.net/

http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/author/noha-atef/

Tahrir Square, Cairo, 2011

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Buffer Zone Bloggers is happening now!

A quick update on the first day of BZB in Nicosia’s buffer zone! Great turnout, and lots of interesting discussion going on. Here is a photo from the social media workshop which took place outside in the sunshine:

The Present State of Internet Freedom

The excitement is rising as Buffer Zone Bloggers prepares to launch tomorrow, Friday 29 April 2011. We look forward to greeting our numerous registrants who are coming hungry for fun, information and community. It is also only 5 days away from the World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2011. So as our final post before the event, we thought we should report on the conditions of internet freedom around the world.

Freedom On The Net 2011 Map

Freedom On The Net 2011 Map

 FreedomHouse.org, an independent watchdog organization that supports the expansion of freedom around the world” for the past 70 years, has released a report, earlier in the month, investigating the global state of internet freedom. According to Freedom on the Net 2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media, cyber attacks, politically motivated censorship, and government control over internet infrastructure are among the diverse and growing threats to internet freedom.

As internet communication explodes around the globe, with the number of users doubling during the past two years, certain governments seem to be increasingly inclined towards restricting the free flow of information and otherwise inhibiting the rights of users. “These detailed findings clearly show that internet freedom cannot be taken for granted,” said David J. Kramer, executive director of Freedom House. “Nondemocratic regimes are devoting more attention and resources to censorship and other forms of interference with online expression.” But it’s not only the autocratic regimes that are following the trend. The United States comes second, after Estonia, lagging behind in terms of broadband penetration and connection speeds. Further, the U.S. government’s surveillance powers seem to provide cause for some concern.

Freedom on the Net 2011 identifies key trends in internet freedom in 37 countries. Evaluation for each country is based on barriers to access, limitations on content, and violations of users’ rights. More than half of the countries evaluated, demonstrate a negative trajectory of measures taken in dealing with the above. Their actions include crackdowns on bloggers, increased censorship, and targeted cyber attacks, often coinciding with broader political turmoil.

For more information on the subject please click on the following links.

IFEX: extensive article on Freedom on the Net 2011

FreedomHouse.org: the organization, the report, the media

World Press Freedom Day: info

Buffer Zone Bloggers Website: http://www.digime.org.cy/en/

Buffer Zone Bloggers is delighted to announce the launch of the DigiMe project website featuring Buffer Zone Bloggers:

http://www.digime.org.cy/en/

All information you might need on the Buffer Zone Bloggers weekend can be found on it, in English, Greek and Turkish; plus lots of interesting extras! Journalists’ resources are available under the section Press and Media / MME / Basın & Medya. In case more details are necessary, Sarah from Cyprus Community Media Centre and Stelios from NGO Support Centre will be happy to assist you respectively on sarah@cypruscommunitymedia.orgor stelios@ngo-sc.org.

Buffer Zone Bloggers Press Release

 
Buffer Zone Bloggers English Press Release

Buffer Zone Bloggers English Press Release

Buffer Zone Bloggers Δελτίο Τύπου

Buffer Zone Bloggers Greek Press Release

Buffer Zone Bloggers Greek Press Release

Yonkis: Colombia’s First Gay Webshow

Nineteen year old blogger Jhoncito Arango has caught the eye of the local media in his native Colombia, with an online project centering on a very delicate issue in Latin America: homosexuality. The name of the project is Yonkis: Arango’s gay teen web series, which fans and youtubers have embraced quite warmly.

Arango had been meditating on the project for a year before its launch. His aim was to use his passion for videoblogging to create the first LGBT webshow in Columbia. “This will help us establish a new image about us, about the LGBT community, we will take down some stereotypes and maybe we will confirm others, but we will always try to give the best of us and show that as young people we can be part of the change and become peaceful and positive activists for the collective we belong to and which makes us proud,” he writes in his blog.

Remarkably, Arango writes, directs, produces and edits the series. He also launched a strong promotional campaign in anticipation of the webshow’s premiere, on 11 April 2011,  which included teasers, trailers and character profiles, all made public through blogs and social media. With more than 6,700 views on the first video only eight days after release and significant mention in the mainstream media, Arago can boast of a job well done.

Comments and ratings tend to be positive, but of course there has been some criticism, alleging mainly that the show’s characters are shallow and effeminate. Jhoncito explains that the characters are faithful reflections of the actors portraying them.  He goes on to add that in order to fight homophobia, members of LGBT communities have to accept diversity within their own ranks.  He further challenges members of any gay group who do not feel adequately represented by Yonkis, to produce their own show documenting their way of life in the gay community, and pledges to give them his full support.

For more information and links on this topic please click here for the extensive article posted on http://globalvoicesonline.org/