Blogging in Central Asia

As I have a special interest in the region of Central Asia and Eastern Europe, I was pleased to read of a BarCamp in Georgia in June where over hundred of bloggers from that region met.

Blogging is in some states even the only possibility besides the state-controlled media for people to get news. One example:

In Armenia, where a post-election state of emergency limited the media to publishing only official government news for 20 days after the March 1 clashes, blogs moved in to fill the gap. (…) “Blogs were the only alternative to the mass media, especially as independent and pro-opposition online media sites were blocked or censored. Blogs registered phenomenal numbers in terms of readers.” – as Artur Papyan, Armenia Country Director for the Media Diversity Institute puts it in [this article]

There exists a flourishing scene of bloggers in these countries – the article talks about 3000 in Armenia, 8000 in Azerbaijan and 10-15 000 in Georgia – which was definitely new to me.

As in many of the post-Sowjet countries there are still dictatorships or other repressive regimes, it’s substantial that internet finally gives the possibility to publically express own opinions and views.

In that context initiatives like Global Voices Online who point a spotlight at these regions and offer guides how to start blogging and especially how to stay anonymous during blogging when free speech is unwanted are highly valuable.

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Blogging in Central Asia
was published on 06.08.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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