Guardian column: Zeyad

My latest Guardian column is about Zeyad and his birth as a journalist — and war correspondent — as a tale about what the tools of citizens’ media can help create.

So witness the power of the humble tools of citizens’ media. A citizen dentist used them to become a journalist. He used them to give the world a unique and human perspective on a story where too much is unreported. He gained an appreciative and supportive audience around the world. He helped give birth to a new medium. And journalism is all the better for it.

(Nonregistration version here.)

  • beachmom

    Thanks for this wonderful tribute. Yours is the first blog I ever read; I had no idea you were so involved in getting Iraqi bloggers going. I am lost understanding Iraq without the Iraqi bloggers, and wanted to thank you for your role in making it happen. I have to admit though, that I won’t feel rest assured that Zeyad will be okay, until I hear he is safely out of Iraq.

    I just heard “Raed in the Middle” on NPR today, and he left Iraq in 2004. He said everyone he knows is either dead or left Iraq. Perhaps we should just evacuate all of the coalition troops and ordinary Iraqis, and leave the terrorists and militias to fight amongst themselves. Then when they’ve all killed each other, the good people of Iraq can go back in and rebuild their country.

  • Steve Reno

    To me, Zeyad’s story serves as another example of how the American news media falls short of doing its job. While newspapers print the news in terms of military actions and bureaucratic decisions, they overlook the stories of the citizens of Iraq. Although publishers are paying more attention to Iraqi bloggers such as Zeyad and Riverbend, the voices of these citizens should be making headlines instead of pushed back to novelty status. The people of Iraq want their voices heard, and the people of the United States want to hear them. Bridging the gap is a task the American mass media must undertake to best serve the democratic ideals we are trying to uphold in both the U.S. and Iraq.