sábado, febrero 21, 2009

Global voices

Since a few months ago I wanted to write something about Rebecca MacKinnon and Global Voices, but because of one thing or another I never find a gap to do it...

Rebecca MacKinnon is a well-known journalist with an extensive background in Asia. Although she was born in America, she spent almost all her childhood traveling across Asia, due mainly to her parents academic research (her father was a Professor of Chinese History). Then she moved back to the States for high-school and college, where she graduated from Harvard with a B.A in Government (magna cum laude). After graduation she was granted a Fullbright scholar in Taiwan.

After that she joined CNN Asia, working in Beijing, as assistant, correspondent and chief officer. Later she would move to Tokyo under the same charge. Nowadays, she works as a professor at the Journalism and Media Studies Center at the University of Hong Kong.

Rebecca MacKinnon speech at the Web 2.0 Summit 2008, mainly focused on Chinese media censhorship

I think that a character like Rebecca is very unique and that's what make her special. She has spent almost all her life bound to Asia and that gives her a deep understanding on the region and how it has evolved. At the same time, she has been educated in the Western culture and, at least for what I can infer from her writings and dialogs, she seems to value tremendously the importance of freedom of speech, privacy, individualism, etc, some values that somehow collide with the more Asian values of strong sense of duty, extreme humility, filial piety, etc (most of them got theirs roots in Confucianism)

On her blog, Rconversation, she usually talks about politics, journalism, and freedom, mainly focused in China, a type of blog that is hard to find in Hong Kong. In addition, Rebecca has also participated very actively in the foundation of Creative Commons Hong Kong.

On the other hand, Global Voices Online, Rebecca co-founded website together with Ethan Zuckerman, is a collaborative blog contributed by thousands of citizens spread all over the world. It's the idea of every person being a source of information and knowledge. It's the same idea as OhMyNews, but with a different set of goals and scope.

There is still a hot debate about citizen journalism as a valid formula and the impact of new publishing tools on mainstream media. It seems traditional newspapers profits are dropping as more and more young people tend to consume their news via the internet. Some have started considering switching to micropayments as an income source.

The fact is that future is all about the unknown, and the only thing we can do to build new things is to innovate and experiment. Initiatives like Global Voices are the ones that make things go forward, time will prove if they were right or wrong.

2 comentarios:

Cygnus dijo...

He de deducir que has leído el libro Freakonomics? Está muy bien.

Diego Pino dijo...

No, no lo he leido, pero le he echado una ojeada. Lo tiene un compañero de trabajo en su escritorio desde hace meses, quizás se lo pida.

El blog de Rebecca MacKinnon lo encontré por casualidad hace meses, y de ahí a Global Voices.