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A New Age in News

by Prasad Krishna last modified Apr 02, 2011 11:26 AM
Citizen journalism and online piracy were key topics during the opening day of the Mekong Information and Communication Technology conference. The 2010 Mekong ICT conference in Chang Mai, Thailand, has brought together an experienced crowd of experts from all over the globe. They have gathered to discuss the status, trends and the current situation of the ICT world.

Participants with expertise from various fields will be sharing ideas and exchanging information until June 12 in Thailand. The intensive session includes participants from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, the United States, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Germany.

The way that technology is changing the scope of media and the new wave of citizen journalists are playing a powerful role in the way that the information age is emerging. Citizens are now a powerful force of information and the Internet is their tool. Social networking sites such as facebook and twitter have changed the way information is shared and examples of how to utilize these sources posed both debate and discussion from the panel of experts and participants.

Veteran journalist Tharum Bun shared that, "The flow of information, the quality, the speed, it is all changing. Youtube, blogs, twitter and social networking have greatly changed the game for journalism and are essential to the new age of reporting."

Also addressed was the idea that journalists have as much responsibility as any other public figure and perhaps more because of the audience they can reach. Media was described as a "war of ethics" that citizen journalists are raising the bar in. One major challenge is the abundance of information leaving those who read to question or scrutinize more carefully what is factual because there is, at times, an overflow of information.

The way that average citizens are getting the word out and becoming a new source of information was a topic of great interest to attendees. Citizen journalism is fast-becoming a way for the general population to become reporters. There was also talk of how video is becoming a weapon of choice for citizen journalists and is an essential supplement to the written word as images are important because they are so powerful.

In closing, keynote speaker Sunil Abraham spoke on the topic of piracy and the availability of everything from books to movies online. He pointed out that the war against piracy has become an invasion of privacy. Examples of authors, such as the worldwide sensation Paulo Cohelo, and how they have used online sharing to their advantage were highlighted. The sharing of information is now a fact and people can either find ways to utilize (and still profit) from this new age, or they are fighting something similar to a war on drugs that has no end in sight. Abraham pointed out that bibles are available for free worldwide, yet it is still the most sold book in history. So despite its ready availability, it hasn't stopped it from being sold.

Music has also always been, "Shared, it's remixed, it's borrowed, it's changed..." illustrating that information should be available. The topics, discussions, and meetings at the 2010 Mekong ICT will continue for the next week.

Read the original in dtinews

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