Bookmarks 09/15/2011: Wikileaks, social media in the Arab world & the state of journalism in Morocco

  • The release of unredacted diplomatic cables by Wikileaks has led to an online manhunt in China as reported by Oiwan Lam on this article from Global Voices.

  • Ahmed Benchemsi on the state of the media in Morocco.

    • A visibly corrupt government but a wide space for journalists to denounce it, relentlessly harassed newspapers but still a vivid, daring and popular press—welcome to the kingdom of paradox.

    • This past April, I was invited to another international conference, this time in Washington, D.C. There I met a fellow journalist from Egypt who told me that even though Hosni Mubarak was toppled, she and her colleagues still faced arbitrary arrests and mistreatment—from beatings to torture—by the army.

    “What about Morocco?” she asked me. I didn’t know what to answer. In broad comparison, my colleagues back home still looked privileged. Yet this time, I didn’t feel like evoking Disneyland.

  • Excellent piece by my friend Jillian C. York on the role of social media in the Arab world, with emphasis on Morocco.

    • Morocco is not a dictatorship like Tunisia was before its revolution or as Syria remains today. It is a parliamentary monarchy with democratic norms followed to varying degrees, depending on the issue at hand.
    • Trilingual and multicultural, the country’s blogosphere thrives and expands as Moroccans communicate via Facebook and Twitter. As they do, the topic of conversation changes, leaning more toward the political. Individuals’ blogs fill in perceived gaps in local mainstream reporting while group blogs like Mamfakinch publish information about the ongoing protests sparked by the February 20th movement. Using Twitter and Facebook, people share videos of demonstrations, debate the movement’s relevance, and analyze the mainstream media’s depiction of what’s happening in the streets and in the halls of power.
    • George Washington University professor and Middle East blogger Marc Lynch observed in 2007, the Arab blogosphere is “chipping away at the encrusted structures of the Arab punditocracy.”
    • Blogs and social networking sites—and the Arabic Internet itself—are what Iskandar called in 2007 the “only regional venue for consistently non-hierarchical, socially-concerned, counter-hegemonic information, thereby making it the region’s most appropriate ‘alternative medium.’ “
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One thought on “Bookmarks 09/15/2011: Wikileaks, social media in the Arab world & the state of journalism in Morocco

  1. Pingback: Wikileaks Newslinks 15 September 2011 « William Bowles.info

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