Sunday, May 06, 2007

It's been a long week...

Once more a gap between posting, this time the excuse is a frantic week at work with multiple workshops, international visitors and pressing deadlines. But the other main aspect has been watching the fascinating Scottish general election unfold. For those of us in exile (apart from retuning Sky to pick Scottish version of BBC - ask and I'll tell you how!), though the Web has been our window on developments. Not just through online versions of newspapers, but also through the blossoming of the so-called "citizens' media." OK, I'll admit that probably gives it a bit more kudos than some of the rancidly poisonous (but often wickedly amusing) blogs deserve - but we shouldn't throw out the baby with the...[insert cliche here].

There have been many interesting developments in this election in terms of online presence, up to the minute reporting of the counts, videoblogging of the campaign, a popular activist site with discussions and social networking tools, even a party "TV" channel! I'm not sure the extent to which such will be manifest during the forthcoming Irish election. In the case of Scotland there was a very heated atmosphere and a battle of philosophies and constitutional futures going on that doesn't seem evident in the more "routine" issues election coming up here at the end of the month. But perhaps, I'm just displaying my "blow in" ignorance.

Anyway, why mention this here? Well it has a lot of academic interest in the sense that perhaps it is showing us alternative conceptions of political activism, journalism and democratic participation - always worth keeping an eye on such developments.

There's an article by Mike Small in the Guardian's Comment is Free this week on the topic and have a look at Citizen Tube for some other examples from across the world.

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