The following article by Matthew Ricketson appears in today’s Melbourne Age:
Blogging is an inelegant term for an often inelegant activity. It is easy to be turned off by bloggers for whom civil discourse equates to personal insult — anonymously delivered — but this undersells the vast range of blogging swirling through cyberspace.
Antony Loewenstein is a journalist-cum-blogger who, frustrated by what he saw as a narrow approach to blogging in the mainstream media in western countries, set out last year to meet and talk to bloggers in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and China.
The fruits of his travels are in his just-released book, The Blogging Revolution, where he writes: “The horrific images and eyewitness accounts of the late 2007 Burmese uprising would never have happened without a handful of bloggers risking their lives to transmit them to the outside world.
“A citizen in Gaza and the Israeli border town of Sderot launched a joint blog to better understand each other’s plight, to overcome prejudices and misunderstandings.”
Loewenstein’s book also contains a useful list of current active bloggers in the countries he visited.