Monday, December 28, 2009

What Has Been And What Can Be

Martin Luther King linked democratic development at home and abroad in his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. Thanks to Chris Commons article "Obama Dismisses King: Justifies War" I discovered his Nobel Lecture: "The Quest for Peace" in which he said:
"The present upsurge of the Negro people of the United States grows out of a deep and passionate determination to make freedom and equality a reality "here" and "now". In one sense the civil rights movement in the United States is a special American phenomenon which must be understood in the light of American history and dealt with in terms of the American situation. But on another and more important level, what is happening in the United States today is a relatively small part of a world development."
I intend to continue exploring this link!

On a practical level, a convincing example of how democratic development at home and abroad are closely linked is Mary Joyce, who was New Media Operations Manager at Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Her contribution to that operation has strangely been totally ignored by mainstream media. In my view her experience in digital activism through new media in Morocco and Chile gave the Obama campaign a strategic advantage.

The impact of Colored Opinions in 2009:

Through linking and sustained collaboration journalists like for example Stephen Kinzer no longer hold the monopoly on information concerning the great lakes region. Thanks to Ann Garrison and "this incredible linking and collaboration platform" Rick Warren's homophobic statements in Uganda didn't go unnoticed. Former MONUC commander Patrick Cammaert's statements concerning the FDLR security threat (he disagrees with Paul Kagame) to Rwanda on Dutch tv were picked up through Colored Opinions and transmitted to a larger audience by (globalvoicesonline's) Elia Varela Serra.

Institutionalized media is going through a deep crisis and reinventing journalism seems inevitable. In that context the political impact of migrants through new media resembles the distribution of illegal newspapers in the Netherlands during the second world war. Those newspapers didn't make money and results were hard to measure. The friendship among the resistance was probably an important factor to continue. However we know that Dutch illegal newspapers became big and profitable just after the war. Do you believe, with Jeff Jarvis, the future for entrepreneurial journalism to be just as bright? Migrants in Europe have been ignored by mainstream media and politics for decades, will the opportunities new media offer level the playing field?

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