Selasa, Mei 06, 2008

Blogs help foster civil society

Whether politics-based or personal, blogs have helped to foster Malaysia's civil society. The blogging community has helped shape and influence public opinion by whistle-blowing on abuse of power, corruption, acts of bad governance as well as standing up for freedom of expression and information. The impact of bloggers on the outcome of the recent elections showed that many members of the public view the comments provided by bloggers to be more reliable, honest and truhtful than that provided by the government-controlled mainstream media.

Various events and movements concerning civil society were launched as a result of discussions and interest on blogs. "The multi-faith prayers for Dr. Mahathir Mohamad when he was not well, paper-free Tuesday on Jan 28 by the People's Parliament and the launch of the People's Declaration on Feb 23 were all initiated online".

While some civil society groups are now part of certain state governments, the blogosphere will still keep a watchful eye on them. The current participation of government officials and prominent mainstream media editors on the blogging scene. Their decision to blog might inspire other journalists to blog openly, which might be probelamtic for the mainstream newspapers. But for the civil society, this is a great turning point. It is a shorcut to greater press freedom.

-- The Sun

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