Citizen Media and Global Attention: Will Blogs and Twitter change who speaks online?


  • Ethan Zukerman

The rise of Web 2.0 means that anyone with internet access can become a publisher. Throughout the developing world, people have used these tools to call attention to political movements, natural disasters, and to under-reported news stories. While more voices from the developing world can - potentially - be heard, it's unclear that citizen media is changing the news agenda, bringing important, undercovered stories to the forefront. Based on his experiences with citizen media network, Global Voices, Ethan Zuckerman will talk about online speech in the developing world and the complicated relationship between citizen and professional media in reporting international news.

Ethan Zuckerman is a senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. His research focuses on the distribution of attention in mainstream and new media, the use of technology for international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists.

With Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan co-founded international blogging community Global Voices. Global Voices showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and thirty languages, publishing editions in twenty languages.

In 2000, Ethan founded Geekcorps, a technology volunteer corps that sends IT specialists to work on projects in developing nations, with a focus on West Africa. Previously Ethan helped found, one of the web's first "personal publishing" sites. He blogs at and lives in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, USA with his wife, son and a small, fluffy cat.