May 17, 2005

The voice of global blogging

Finally Singapore bloggers have a chance to hear the voice behind Singabloodypore - Steven McDermott is interviewed by Radio Open Source on their second pilot show featuring Global Voices. He's Irish all right, confirmed.

According to their website, Global Voices "is an international effort to diversify the conversation taking place online by involving speakers from around the world, and developing tools, institutions and relationships to help make these voices heard."

The podcast is a series of short interviews with bloggers all over the world from Iran, Nigeria, India, Scotland (Steven) talking about how their blogging experiences, and through their blogs, how their offer an alternative source of news about their respective countries as opposed to the often America-centric perspective of the likes of CNN. It also mentions, where podcasts from across the world are listed in a Yahoo-like directory. Under the Singapore directory is a lone entry of who else but mr. brown!

Interestingly, Rebecca MacKinnon of Global Voices, who was a former CNN Beijing and Tokyo bureau chief, recalls why she resigned from CNN to join Global Voices:

CNN television news is really the past, in terms of the way it is done right now. I was being told things by my bosses like "Your expertise is getting in the way of doing the kind of stories we want on CNN."

Basically they wanted me to cover my region more like a tourist, and the fact that I had been living in Asia for a decade and I had a lot of personal insights and knowledge about the region was actually too complicated, they felt, for the viewers. They'd rather I cover the place sort of with a "Gee-whiz, aren't these Japanese strange" kind of tone.

The reason why I became a foreign correspondent was because I wanted to bridge gaps. I wanted to help Americans understand what it's like to be a Japanese person or what it's like to be a Chinese person and why Chinese people react to events the way they do. That means you have to cover events not like a tourist, but as somebody who is getting inside the heads of the locals.

But I felt more and more that my job was not bridging gaps but in fact my bosses were asking me to reinforce stereotypes, which is why I eventually decided to resign from my job at CNN.

Think about that the next time you watch the world according to CNN.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Singapore blogs are getting known worldwide. Two of them are featured within the last 48 hours on an American blog, Capital Region People.