“BE INFORMED BY BEING THE INFORMATION” – CITIZEN MEDIA IS THE FUTURE
In North America and Western Europe, debates rage over the merits of blogging, this strange new form of “self-publishing” that has stormed the media industry since the dawn of the new century. Supplemented by social networks like Facebook and micromedia tools like Twitter, blogging in all its forms and confederates, from e-journalling, sousveillance, tumblelogging, podcasting, and thumbcasting, is opening vast new vistas of communication.
The blog has become the cornerstone of “Citizen Media”, media controlled by and for everyday non-professionals and avant garde journalists. At every turn it is challenging the dominance of traditional, mainstream media and reshaping communication conventions. Yet, this phenomenon, and the debate surrounding it, have tended to be centred in the West and around Western concerns — until now.
The most valuable aspect of blogging is its ability to cultivate a plurality of opinion in countries dominated by restrictive state and cultural media practices. Indeed, not only does the informal style and quick response time of bloggers present a dramatic opportunity to increase the circulation of alternative information, but beyond this, blogs can provide an interactive conduit to the outside world for freethinkers.
Simultaneously, blogging can also open a window into cultures for Westerners and other outsiders who are interested in breaking down the barriers too often erected between societies. It is with this in mind that neweurasia strives to connect young bloggers from within and without Central Asia of all backgrounds to work together in wedging open the channels of communication between “developed” and “developing”, “Western” and “post-Soviet”, and expanding what it means to be informed.