Blogs and freedom: the big story

Blogs and freedom: the big story
: Matt Rosenberg writes a very good piece for the Seattle Times reporting on the weblog revolution in Iraq:

Something more powerful than terrorist attacks and resistance was under way there even before Saddam’s dramatic capture. It is reflected partly by a growing cadre of passionate, pro-democracy Iraqis providing firsthand reporting, commentary and pointed media criticism on their own Internet “Web log” sites, or “blogs.”

All told, there’s an impressive network of U.S. bloggers rooting on their Iraqi colleagues, spreading their message, and even providing software and other technical assistance….

The importance of blogging to cultural and political liberalization (note the word, please) is evident elsewhere in the Persian Gulf. The BBC reported last week Iranian bloggers and their supporters have taken online their grievances with the government’s Internet censorship, posting hundreds of comments on a site of the United Nations’ digital summit.

Blogging from and about emerging democracies is more than Internet news from the front. The high-touch feel and inter-connectivity of blogs allow participants to confront and outflank old media in force, while building transnational political communities….

Now more than ever, the fresh voices of Iraqi bloggers will be an invaluable counterweight to traditional media coverage. In the weeks and months to come, turn to them for crucial, first-person insights on this unfolding, and uplifting, birth of a democracy.

Amen and cue the trumpets.

: These are great stories.

If you’re a big-media editor or producer, you should be rushing to do the story of Zeyad or the story of the Iranian webloggers (the escape of Iranian blogger Sina Motallebi is your peg). Matt’s beating you to a great story, big guys.

If you want to report this yourselves, it’s only an email away

: Donald Sensing says there’ll be a story in Knoxville Thursday (I haven’t heard from the reporter).

Seattle… Knoxville…. Hey, New York and Washington, you’re being left behind….