Blogs try to counter censorship in Fiji

In May 2007, months after Fiji had suffered its latest coup, I noted reports that the military was trying to prevent access to anti-government blogs. Now the transition to a military dictatorship is complete, the censorship crackdown on the local media has been redoubled, leaving local blogs and other websites as a crucial source of uncensored…

Continue reading →

20 Answers to a Fellow Blogger

Paul Birgin is a blogger and political activist in the UK.  His blog, called Mars Hill,  stretches back nearly four years. He has produced a long series of posts over that time in the category of 20 Questions to a Fellow Blogger. It’s a simple format, but it works well.  Most of the 20 questions…

Continue reading →

Best blog posts of 2008

Once again this Club Troppo and Online Opinion have joined to reproduce a collection of  some of the best blog posts of 2008.  They are featuring regularly at Online Opinion throughout January. I’ve had some of my pieces published in the collection in previous years. I didn’t expect to have a piece featured this year,…

Continue reading →

Political cartoon competition

Over the last few months, New Matilda has been running a competition for political cartooning.  It has all boiled down to twelve finalists, with the winning entries being announced tomorrow night (Wednesday 29th) in Sydney. I am one of the judges of the final entries, along with newmatilda.com’s Editor Marni Cordell and satirist Ben Pobjie,…

Continue reading →

The blogging VC

There was an interesting piece on the value of blogging in the Education section of The Australian by Steven Schwartz, the Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, who started his own blog last year. His straightforward assessment of the interactive benefits of genuine blogging is just as applicable for politics, business, academics or many other fields as it is…

Continue reading →

Do-it ourselves censorship

This report from Reporters Without Borders details the decision by European satellite company, Eutelsat, to stop broadcasts into Asia of an independent US based Chinese-language broadcaster NTDTV, using the dubious claim that the halt is due to a ‘technical problem’. NTDTV includes stories on human rights issues amongst its coverage, and not surprisingly the Chinese…

Continue reading →

Political blogging in the UK

I’ve mused a number of times about the potential impacts of blogging on politics and politicians, and the differences between various countries. One longstanding blogging politician is Peter Black, a Liberal Democrat member of the Welsh Assembly, who has been at it for over five years. He has written an interesting piece on the impacts of blogging…

Continue reading →

High value blogs – a human rights example

This post by Gary Sauer-Thompson’s blog reflects on some of the common (mis)characterisation of blogs as being not credible and non-transparent in comparison to mainstream journalists. I must say I find talk about bloggers versus journos fairly pointless, as there is plenty of overlap and we’re really just talking about people writing words and providing information…

Continue reading →

Google rots yr brane?

Nicholas Carr in The Atlantic reckons our endless surfing of the internet is making it harder for us to concentrate on one thing for any length of time. I know cos I’ve read bits about it on two other blogs. I still haven’t read all of Carr’s original piece yet, but it sounds interesting – I must…

Continue reading →

Participation vs punditry

I participated in a panel of speakers at the Microsoft Forum on Politics & Technology earlier this week, along with Antony Green, Joe Hockey, Kate Lundy and Matt Bai. It was an interesting discussion, although I did get a bit irritated that the debate seemed to keep turning inwards into a discussion about how politicians…

Continue reading →

I have returned!

Astute readers will have noticed a complete inability to access this blog for the last three weeks. The site got hit by a particularly virulent attack of spam which managed to get into many of my old and draft entries. I was planning to reformat it for when I finished in the Senate on June…

Continue reading →

Malaysian MPs rushing to blogging?

Further to my preceding post about the effectiveness or otherwise of politicians using the internet to genuinely engage with people, I thought I would have seen a bit more comment about a genuine blogger, Jeff Ooi, being elected in amongst the upset results of the recent vote in Malaysia, (as I mentioned in a previous post). Whilst…

Continue reading →