DIGITAL LIBERTIES FOR A FREE SOCIETY 22 February, 2009, Kathmandu, NepalHobby & Profession Reporting Online By Ujjwal Acharya MyRepublica.com
Blogs as hobby What is blogging? How to create blog? Why blog? How to run a successful blog? Portals as profession News writing versus blog writing Online journalism versus citizen journalism Things that helps in online reporting Rights and responsibilities Privacy and anonymity
NepalCricket.com (www.cricket.com.np) United We Blog! (www.blog.com.np) Radio Free Nepal (freenepal.blogspot.com) Nepali Voices (www.nepalivoices.com) Republica (www.myrepublica.com) Tarun Weekly Nepal Samacharpatra The Kathmandu Post
Generally, A blog is a personal website containing mostly personal posts (that may be news/feeling/views); regularly updated; in a form of a diary (most recent item at the top of the page) that is usually created and maintained by a single person Blogs are created using specially designed interactive tools – such as WordPress
Easy setup Setting a blog takes 5 minutes As easy as emailing people Quick publication If you have written something, YOU can immediately publish it for the world to read No screening No editing
Personal medium It’s personal - you are in charge of everything No worries about how good is your views or writing or language Interactive Your readers can comment on it that appears immediately below the your post
Free blogs Wordpress.com Xanga.com Blogger.com Blog.com Own Domain Domain (.np is completely free) / webhost Tools ▪ Wordpress.org (database required) ▪ FlatPress.org (flat text file, no database required)
Personal satisfaction Watchdog of the media Freedom of expression Fight censorship Promote business Create dialogue space Earn fame and money And, of course, create cyber identity!
133 million blogs (13 crore blogs) 900,000 blog posts per day 8 % bloggers are 55+, 23% are 45+ years old 34 % are females (27 % in Asia) 13 % Asian blogs (N America 48, Europe 27) State of the blogosphere 2008, Technorati No of Nepali blogs: 718 indexed Bloggers.com.np
Attractive ideas Consistent/contemporary writing and topics Modesty Write strongly (take you position) but be tolerant to different ideas from you readers Use humble language (let your readers picture you a gentleman/lady) Do not act KNOW-IT-ALL
Conversation Invite people to discuss (ask suggestions) Always reply as soon as possible to comments Link Link other’s blog/site whenever possible Participate in other blog’s discussions First is best Write early, write regularly
Be patient Blog does not bring you instant popularity Blog does not bring you a lot of money Blog is not easily recognized by others And most importantly, Luck “Risks are opportunities” “Bad news is good news”
News Writing Structured Balanced Objective Meant to be screened/edited Blog Writing Free writing (your style, your structure) Subjective Meant to be published as it is
Citizen journalism Citizen journalism, also known as public or participatory journalism, is the act of non- professionals "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.” Online journalism Journalistic activities to produce content that are distributed via the internet.
The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires. Alternative media (its not always possible for mainstream media to cover all voices – corporate interest/limited time and space) Feeling matters! (rather than facts)
Internet skills Comfortable with internet and a little bit of knowledge about it’s strengths / weaknesses Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) At least <strong>,<i>,<u>,<img>,<a>,<p>,<br> Upload You know what UPLOAD means! Images At least cropping, resizing and saving for web
Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 In Article 12 (Right to Freedom), Clause 3.a Freedom of opinion and expression Provided that nothing in sub-clause (a) shall be deemed to prevent the making of laws to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the sovereignty and integrity of Nepal, or which may jeopardize the harmonious relations subsisting among the peoples of various castes, tribes, religion or communities, or on any act of defamation, contempt of court or incitement to an offence; or on any act which may be contrary to decent public behavior or morality.
Such conditions can be exploited It’s not clear yet whether a journalist blogging can be covered under journalistic rights for something written on his/her blogs. No laws, rules or regulations for blogs. High Level Media Advice Council’s final report reads: online media should not be bound under legal registration process. Government provide press pass if a private registered company owns the site/blog.
All journalists ethics apply along with following additions: Do not delete anything after it’s published. Refer any change/deletion/editing. If commentators wants to keep his/her name/email/ip address private, let it be. And, of course, putting something public is not like talking to a few of your friends, so be responsible!
There are many reasons to blog under your real name, including credibility, honesty, and reputation. But some people live in places where what they write could threaten their safety. Think about your position and what are you writing about. It’s up to you to decide. Radio Free Nepal vs United We Blog!