The two-day summit was broadcast live in its entirety and the presentations were watched worldwide. The full archive of taped videos can be found at our Ustream Show Page and many clips have been stored at blip.tv. Below is our selection of highlights and videos, skillfully edited by Sami Ben Gharbia, that are worth watching again. Click on the pictures to be redirected to them, and enjoy:
Day one – June 27, 2008
Section 1: “Toward a Global anti-censorship network”
Chris Salzberg, a graduate student in Tokyo and the GV Japan Editor, says that censorship in Japan means something different to what censorship is in Egypt, or elsewhere – “Censorship means different things in different contexts”.
Session 2: “Citizen Media and Online Free Speech”
If you google “Oiwan Lam” you will find the ‘Free Oiwan’ blog, but Global Voices Regional Editor for Northeast Asia Oiwam Lam was clearly free, speaking at the summit and explaining why a sense of humor helps change society’s psychology.
Session 3: “Living with censorship”
Rezwan on self censorship and the media role of citizen journalists in Bangladesh: “Blogs in Bangladesh are growing rapidly, bloggers defy threats of emergency act”.
Yazan Badran on online free speech in Syria. “It’s not just the censorship online, it is not really the regime that is blocking, the regime is doing a great job in censoring voices, but again the censorship is not about what we are saying but mostly about how we are saying it, how we are thinking, how we are living our lives, how we read and how we understand what we read, which is very very sad, there is a lot more to overcome than only censorship”.
John Kennedy, who lives in China, focuses more on things that people who live under censorship can do rather than what they can not.
Session 4: “Frontline Activists meet the Academy: Tools and Knowledge”
Roger Dingledine introduces Tor, a technology which increases privacy and anonymity when surfing the web, and which allows people to get around censorship.
Isaac Mao talks about the business model for Digital Nomads Project, a non-profit service supporting Chinese people (but not limited to them) to set up their own independent blogs, which the government can not reach easily.
Session 5: “NGO’s and on-the ground activists: Defending the Voices”
Elijah Zarwan, from Human Rights Watch, explains why “the best thing International NGOs can do is listen to all people including those who can not speak English”.
Clothilde Le Coz, from Reporters Without Borders, believes that bloggers are not “stealing” journalists’ work and that the more the the two groups work together, the better.
“Don’t wait to be deprived of news to stand up and fight for it”, advises Nasser Weddady, from Hands Across the Mideast Support Alliance.
Summary of the day
Rebecca MacKinnon wraps up the first day of the summit, focusing on censorship as a legal and political, but also social, problem. Citizens need to work together to get past censorship and focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t. “Bloggers have a role to play in educating the media and also pushing people in their own countries to think globally about the implications of the debates in their own countries”.
Day two – June 28, 2008:
Session 1: “Web 2.0 Goes Worldwide”
Director of outreach, David Sasaki, presents a short video about the Rising Voices project, which is the star of this session.
Session 2: The Wired Electorate in Emerging Democracies
Engaging the audience with comparisons between elections and football, Luís Carlos Díaz explains how the Venezuelan blogosphere “reflects the rainbow of political opinion, contrasted with the polarization of a media landscape either controlled by Hugo Chavez or even those against Chavez”.
After the last elections last February, when for the first time blogs and YouTube were used to cover the process filling a gap left by a government controlled/associated media situation, the president of Armenia requested a meeting with bloggers, Onnik Krikorian tells us.
Daudi Were provides some background on the Kenyan elections in 2007 and comments on the roles of citizen and social media during the process. “The Kenyan Election was truly blogged – Everyone was covering it.”
Session 3: “When Biases Meet Biases”
Session 4: “Translation and the Multilingual Web“
Portnoy introduces the Lingua project and the new Macedonian, Albanian, Hindi, and Italian sites. Claire Ulrich talks about the original purpose of GVO Lingua and its interaction with diasporas. Rezwan speaks on local blogosphere enrichment and cultural bridging through translation, Chris Salzberg discusses “translation and participatory media” and how GV/Lingua fits in this context, and Paula Góes elaborates on a few free available tools to help translators to work collaboratively.
Session 5: “When the World Listens“
Juliana Rotich about the Ushahidi, a mash-up that tracked violence during the post-election crisis in Kenya, indexing information for the future. “People have short memories, people tend to forget (…) if the stories are not covered by they media, they will get forgotten, but if we have these incidents reported online there is at least a way to track these issues “.
Summary and final remarks:
Ethan Zuckerman shows one more website as a reminder: “Global Voices Online 3.5 years ago was an idea, a little nothing more than that, it was an idea of a conversation; Global voices 3 years ago was a very very simple website, something that had been put together by one person with the help of a couple of others; Global Voices 3 years later isn’t just a website, isn’t just a project, it’s a community, it’s a family.”
Following this, on the same video, Rosental Alves, Global Voices Board Member, The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas director and an “ink instead of blood” journalist, wraps up the Global Voices Online Citizen Media Summit in Budapest. On the Rising Voices Project and its achievement in South America, he says: “If this is not revolutionary, I don’t know what revolution is about”.