Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Our Friend the General

Yesterday, as Pakistan was crushing democratic opposition and throwing peaceful protesters and progressive lawyers into jail, YouTube was strangely only showing recent videos about the region from the India-Pakistan cricket matches. No sign of the user-generated types of material uploaded by potential citizen journalists that we hear so much about in public diplomacy circles. After all, not everyone thinks youth-oriented rock video aesthetic will always do the political trick or that MTV alone will bring democracy to the world, although the Knight Foundation might.

Today Avaaz.org, Amnesty International, and other groups have started online petitions, but their electronic materials don't have the visceral quality of a world witnessing scenes of injustice and mass resistance that the recent distributed digital video from Burma had. Only state-run broadcasters are allowed to report the news, so rumor apparently dominates the nation's infoscape. For some local flavor, check out Metroblogging Islamabad for some cynical cosmopolitanism.

Luckily the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting website is still on line, as is the web copy of the nation's Constitution, which has -- of course -- been suspended. And the state-sponsored Islamabad Media University will soon be launching its slate of academic programs. Maybe they are hiring.

(Please send links to interesting political sites and online video from the region to the Virtualpolitik home office.)

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home