Locating International Voices
I've been online for more than half my life. That's 11+ years of profiting from most of what the internet has to offer. I'm privileged in that way. Growing up in the '90s, in the states, with a father in the tech industry, my only barrier to getting online was whether or not my high school aged sister would be angry with me if I used the phone line for too long. I spent hours researching my favorite TV shows, my favorite celebrities, my favorite bands. I snuck into chat rooms my parents didn't know existed and met other kids like me looking for ways to escape the boredom of middle school. I had friends I could talk to in Canada, England, Finland.
Looking back I learned a lot from that 28K connection, but it wasn't until I became involved with PulseWire that I came to understand exactly what this access means, or exactly what this access can mean. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t considered the potential for change the internet offers us; I’d never considered the potential for revolution.
I feel like my eyes have been opened. Suddenly, the news I read isn’t just the news the US media wants me to see—it’s stories direct from The Guatemala Post, from Al Jazeera, from the Zimbabwe Herald . And it’s not just news reported by journalists—it’s the voices of the citizens living those news stories. It’s the writings of 14-year-old Iraqi blogger, Sunshine, and her mother, who simply goes by Mama ; the voice of Nyein Chan Yar in Myanmar; the political urgings of an Ethiopian woman blogger who remains nameless.
I’m excited. I’m excited about the changes that are taking place, about the prospects of Web 2.0, about the opportunities tools like blogs, RSS feeds, and now PulseWire, have to offer. Because while the possibility for connection and knowledge sharing has been out there since the Internet became a reality, it hasn’t been this easy for everyone to be heard, in, well, just about ever.
Certainly there are things that need to be done to make it even easier, but that’s another blog post. For now, I’d like to invite anyone reading this to share their favorite news sources or favorite blogs for other PulseWire members to check out. I really believe in the power of information sharing, and I hope this will get people away from reading mainstream sources and toward acknowledging the very important voices of those who struggle to be heard.