Reporters Without Borders Offers Handbook For Bloggers & Cyber-Dissidents
This book is meant mostly for people in countries where no free press exists.
The handbook discusses ways to get around official censorship, ways to remain anonymous and tips for running a good and successful blog.
ROB states that in countries without a free press that bloggers may essentially serve the function of a press.
I think this handbook also has value in the United States. Both freedom of the press and the independence of bloggers are under assault from many sides.
I see this in the following ways—
* The Bush administration has scant regard for civil liberties and little concern about spying on private citizens.
* Political bloggers are increasingly allied with political parties at the same time they engage in ritual bashing, (sometimes justified), of the so-called mainstream media.
When will the line be crossed from independent-minded citizens to propagandists? When will the motives of many political bloggers become inseparable from the candidates and parties they promote?
* Traditional media outlets are under great financial pressures from investors. And traditional outlets did indeed give President Bush something of a free ride in terms of hard scrutiny leading up to the War in Iraq. This greatly damaged the creditability of many “old” media sources.
Genuine independence of mind and spirit is a rare thing. Groups such as Reporters Without Borders do great work in protecting this important quality of true independence.
In the end though, the real work of independence and freedom must be done by individuals. Sometimes individuals must work together in groups and other times they must, if need be, go it alone.