The Blog and Freedom of Speech

Robin Lustig at the BBC has recently conducted a survey of blogging in countries where curbs on the right to free speech are extensive, focusing particularly on the Middle East. Lustig met with Arab activists and journalists to discuss how blogging has opened up the public forum in many highly-restricted societies, and notes a resounding enthusiasm for the growing news-blog phenomenon. Many of his participants asserted that they would trust a news blog far more than any state-controlled news agency, regardless of questions of bias and authenticity of news often associated with the world of blogs.

However, bloggers are not universally safe behind the cover of the internet. One Egyptian online journalist has been imprisoned for “insulting Islam” and denouncing Hosni Mubarak. In the U.S., the laws that curtail what can be published in print also apply to blogs, although many write their online journals unaware of potential consequences. To read more about blogs and the law, click here for an article from the Washington Post.

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