Monday, June 15, 2009

Journalists abroad with smaller orgs at risk; Iran may find Internet protests unstoppable

The journalist Laura Ling and Euna Lee, sentenced to hard labor in the Democratic Republic of North Korea, were employed by Current TV, or Current News (here) known for producing short videos about modern culture (rather along the tone of these blog postings). Midlist type groups like these have much less pull to deal with potentially hostile foreign governments, so journalists working for them in totalitarian countries or radical Islamist countries may be at much more risk. I have wondered if amateur bloggers could be at risk when traveling in some countries if the host governments look them up with search engines and find “subversive” material (such as gay and lesbian).

The New York Times
story ("A World of Risk for a New Kind of Journalist") by Brian Stelter, June 14, is here.

Also, check the Times story by Brad Stone and Noam Cohen, “Social networks spread Iranian Defiance Online” here. The Iranian Internet shutdown seems to be ineffective (contrasting with censorship in China). So we shall see. The democratization of the world by Internet speech may take us around new corners, and perhaps not even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can stop it.

Update: June 16

Check the Wall Street Journal story by Christopher Rhoads, Goeffrey A. Fowler and Chip Cummins, "Iran Cracks Down on Internet Use, Foreign Media", link here.

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