Saturday, May 06, 2006

We Media Redux

I am woefully behind the times in writing about the We Media Global Forum in London this past week. Bloggers more diligent than myself have already made some very insightful comments about exactly how the event was so disappointmenting. In fact, I'm devoting this post to some of my faves.

Indian blogger Neha writes: "who exactly is the We in We Media?"

Israeli blogger Lisa recounts her harrowing attempt to bring the voice of women or bloggers or people under fifty or any combination of the three to the panel on the Middle East.

GV founder Rebecca expressed her annoyance with the stale "journalists vs. bloggers" debate and points out that, "the question we really ought to be focusing on is: how can citizens and professional journalists work together to create a better and more well-informed public discourse?" Couldn't agree more.

I also found myself agreeing a lot with GV Editor Rachel Rawlins, who noted in her blog that "the "rest of the world" has featured entirely peripherally. One unfortunate panellist referred to the plucky media in the developing world operating in conditions "from the stone age in a mud hut. " I mean WTF?" She also became my personal hero when she took Jeffrey Sachs to task about patronizing and passifying Africans in his attempt to "save" them. A white man's burden for the 21st century?

Also, it's important to note that the "ankle nipping" wasn't only coming from the GV fringers, but also from one self-described "overweight middle-aged MSM suit" who wrote that he "heard a lot of stuff that has been ruminated upon for years - even pre-blog years. Unfortunately the organisers took a rather old media modal - people on a stage talking and people in the audience listening and "if we have time for a few questions …" Pity - I had expected a rather more free wheeling discussion and continuous participation."

When the "suits" revolt you know that something went wrong.

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