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Emerging from hibernation on posting, twittering, and all things media and social, and hanging out in Los Angeles at Beyond Broadcast 2009. In past years BB has focused mostly on US public media and its relationship to digital media. This year, BB has brought speakers from around the world to provide alternative visions and experiences. We’ll have speakers such as Anthony Ian M. Cruz, of TXTPower, an initiative in the Phillippines that describes itself as “an organization of cellphone users that aims to empower Filipinos both as consumers and as citizens,” Nouneh Sarkissian, of Internews Armenia, who works with independent mass media in Armenia and across the Caucasus, and Daudi Were, a Kenyan blogger who writes at Mentalacrobatics, and others.
This community has in the past few years evolved a dialogue around the language that we use to describe digital media: Citizen media, citizen journalism, participatory journalism. Most here are aware of the traps of ascribing a permanence and value to the verities of professionalism as the height and goal of journalism – rather than journalism’s role as a connecting force within a democracy. This is of course a strongly American debate, and I’ll be especially interested to see what international perspectives bring to the discussion.