Over a two week period, we have been undertaking a joint project with
, an online community that reports on blogs and citizen media, as part of the BBC's
, which focuses on the power of the internet.
Each day we will be liaising with Global Voices editors and selecting from the reports of their 200 bloggers and citizen media commentators across the world, to complement our news stories.
We will also be asking Global Voices editors to give their views on how the mainstream media handles the news
Here, Global Voices' managing editor Solana Larsen will be commenting on this process.
As part of the SuperPower season, the BBC World Service's
will also be highlighting the best international blogs in multiple languages.
BLOOD AND BLOGS
Tuesday 16 March - Solana Larsen writes:
Today we linked to another
Global Voices story
Thai 'red shirt' protests
in Bangkok, which now also include splashing blood. Somehow reading additional details and first-hand accounts in Thai blogs gives a more rounded impression of what is going on.
Inspired by the protesters, BBC News prepared a
featuring "unusual protests" from different parts of the world today. I sent an email to the Global Voices authors' mailing list and quickly received more than a dozen emails with ideas from different countries. From these, the
in India and the
in Indonesia made it into the final slideshow.
A couple of notable stories mentioned on Global Voices in the past few days do not appear on the BBC News website. Our Madgascar writer,
wrote about the one year anniversary of a coup, and also mentions a tropical storm last week that left 38,000 people homeless.
From East Timor, our author Keta has a story on the
hundreds of alleged "ninjas" on the border to Indonesia.
I've also been receiving daily links from our friends at Ceasefire Liberia about
violence in Lofa
Lofa since a young girl was murdered.
Of course the list of stories that the BBC has and Global Voices doesn't is much longer, but we've been reflecting on our differences.
THAI SHIRTS AND INDIGENOUS VOICES
Thursday 11 March, 18:00, Solana Larsen writes:
In Thailand, bloggers are writing first-hand about the massive "red shirt" demonstrations anticipated in the capital, Bangkok, on Friday. How are people getting ready in Bangkok? My colleague Mong
to several Thai blogs worth watching.
On the BBC News website
we highlighted a story
by Silvia Vinas on Global Voices that shows how indigenous Mapuche communities in Chile have been using the web since the earthquake to voice their concerns over the destruction of buildings and roads in rural areas where they live.
upon news of the death
of Egypt's top cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, my colleagues Eman and Mohamed in Cairo
from blogs across the Middle East that help shed light on his sometimes controversial legacy in the region where he was best known.
For anyone curious to learn more about our two-week project, here is an interview with me on
BBC Radio 5 live's Pods and Blogs
BUST-UP OVER INDIA WOMEN'S BILL
Tuesday 9 March, 12:40, Solana Larsen writes:
An extremely heated political debate in the upper house of parliament in India about a bill to increase the number of female lawmakers across the country, has spilled over into online discussion in Indian blogs and on Twitter.
On Global Voices, my colleagues Aparna and Rezwan have rounded up
for and against the bill. There is now a link to their post on the
I think it offers a great overview of how complex the debate is in India. Even among those who favour the idea of more women in government, the bill has some opponents. Who would the law be benefiting? Would voter rights be compromised? There are several questions one might ask that aren't always apparent before hearing a local voice.
Tuesday 9 March, 11.00, Solana Larsen writes:
of "Sunshine", an 18- year old blogger in Mosul, it's hard not to be drawn to curiosity about what it feels like to be a first-time voter in Iraq. Global Voices blogger, Salam Adil, has curated
a series of thoughtful posts
from several Iraqi blogs about
. The BBC is no stranger to stories about the
of individuals in Iraq, but I think linking to Iraqi blogs is an additional opportunity for readers to engage and converse directly with people in different worlds.
A good blog is like a window on someone's life. It's a journal of everyday experience that shows a development of thoughts over time. Not to get too poetic, but the best blogs are like pearls in an ocean of commentary. They are beautifully written, have compelling arguments, and invite further discussion.
FROM INTERNET RIGHTS TO WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Monday 8 March, Solana Larsen writes:
It was surprising for me to see the
BBC World Service poll
today suggesting that four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right.
FROM GLOBAL VOICES
Ivan Sigal, executive director of Global Voices:
This past year has been particularly eye-opening in terms of the increasing interplay between mainstream media and citizen journalism. Events in Mumbai, Moldova, Iran, Haiti, and now Chile are but a few examples in which the world has been eager to make immediate and direct contact with citizens in crisis in local contexts.
These citizens may have had blogs, Twitter accounts, and cell phones for years, but only in the last year has the mainstream media adopted the narrative of citizen media as an integrated element in their news reporting.
Read Ivan's full post here
It shows how closely people's understanding of modern communication - and maybe even freedom of expression - is associated with the internet. Too bad so many online writers are threatened or imprisoned around the world just take a look at our
threatened bloggers map.
The digital divide is massive, but I'd still bet that there are internet users and bloggers from every country in the world today. Many groups defend the rights of people to express themselves, but I think it's almost as important to help and encourage people to listen. Otherwise, what is the point?
Today, is international women's day. Global Voices'
has several stories. I can recommend two more.
In Singapore, an
recently gathered signatures for a petition to make "marital rape" a crime. Singaporean bloggers were torn on the merits of this idea.
Another recent story, described an online debate in
about to the light sentencing of two police officers who raped a young woman. The judge called it a "temporary crime".
Here is a selection of your comments on the project:
It is a very good idea to have a Digest of important blogs around the world. There are thousands of blogs every day and it is interesting to read about a few very important write ups highlighting life changes, like the current Women's Bill in India which is as important as the women's voting rights movement of yester years, health issues like swine flu, corruption everywhere not least in advanced countries, education, and of course terrorism including the causes thereof.
T.Vijayaraghavan, Dunn Loring,VA, USA
Well, with so many good blogs around.. Choose carefully, BBC..
Asriel, Coimbatore, India
EXCELLENT IDEA FOR VOICES OF THE WORLD, TO COME TOGETHER FOR HUMANITY, AWARENESS, UNDERSTANDING AND GLOBAL PEACE?
FREEDOM FIGHTERS FOR AMERICA/ WORLD, RIDGEFIELD,CT,USA