Stories about Citizen Media from May, 2013
Leaving North Korea
Concerns over insufficient protection of North Korean refugees have grown ever stronger as news came out that nine young North Korean defectors have been forced to return to North Korea after being captured in Laos. The Dreamer blog shares a story of a young North Korean defector which explains in...
Disaster Highlights Roma's Struggle for Human Rights in France
A violent fire destroyed an abandoned factory in the eastern French city of Lyon squatted by families from the Roma community, killing two women and 12-year-old child. In the aftermath, the survivors relocated into a school open only in the evenings, leaving them outside in the rain during the day. The tragedy has put the spotlight once again on France's controversial policy toward the Roma.
What's Going on in Michoacán, Mexico?
Is Michoacán a failed state? The state is besieged by organized crime and has lawlessness problems, with self-defence groups and in some regions with religious fanaticism. Governor Fausto Vallejo, meanwhile, is on sick leave. The Army and the Navy have arrived at the state in another attempt by the government to restore order.
Macedonian Journalist's Arrest Stirs Protest
Macedonian journalists gathered [mk; video and text: sq, mk] in front of the Criminal Court in the capital Skopje today to protest against the arrest of their colleague, Tomislav Kezarovski, according to this note [en] posted in the Macedonian Facebook group titled “Journalists and citizens in defense of the right...
Guinea: Special Guest at the 2013 Turin International Book Fair
The 26th International Book Fair took place in Turin, capital of the Italian Piedmont region, between May 16 and May 20, 2013. The Francophone West African country of Guinea was the sole representative of the African continent to be invited as a special guest country. This news did not pass unnoticed in Conakry and on the Guinean blogosphere - both at home and abroad.
Tajik Constitution's ‘Fairy Tales’
Mardikornoma blog comments [tj] on the constitution of Tajikistan, suggesting that it has become more of a fairy tales book than the country's supreme law: As I skim through the pages of Tajikistan's Constitution, I cannot help thinking that this document must be from some other country.
Central Asia's ‘Weird, Sad’ World Records
As Turkmenistan celebrates a recent Guinness World Record award for the highest density of white marble buildings, Caravanistan writes about the “weird, sad, and revealing” world records held by other countries of Central Asia.
Turkmenistan's White Marble-Clad Capital
Turkmenistan already has a record-breaking president and ever-rising wheat harvests. But this is not enough for the oil-rich country. Don Croner reports that Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, has recently been awarded a Guinness World Record for the world's highest density of white marble buildings.
#SafeCityPledge: Indians Take a Stand Online for Women's Safety
A Twitter campaign has Indians flooding social media with personal promises to combat sexual harassment and sexism.
Journalists Fight Hired Hooligans and Police Indifference in Ukraine
May 18 was an eventful day in Ukraine's capital Kyiv. But of all the highlights of that day, only one incident - an attack on journalists that the police first failed to prevent and then failed to investigate properly - still remains in the spotlight, fueling online discussions and real-life protests.
New «Squadron» of Exorcists for the Archdiocese of Madrid
The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Monsignor Rouco Varela, is assembling a team of eight exorcists to address "the high demand from his parishioners for help in being freed from demonic possession and other evil influences."
Blackout Mapping in Cambodia
A massive blackout in Cambodia has sparked online discussion about the country’s power supply situation. Citizens are demanding explanation about the recurring blackouts in recent months. Urban Voice, a crowdsourcing initiative, has mapped the blackouts in Phnom Penh City.
Cheat.org: What's Wrong with Russia's Online Petitions?
The Russian government-sponsored initiative to increase public participation in policy making through a petition process, was met with suspicion even before its launch in April. Now, almost two months later, opposition bloggers are crying foul, claiming that the process has already been corrupted.
VIDEO: How Two Men Worlds Apart Fought Injustice and Won
Mkhuseli "Khusta" Jack and Oscar Olivera led two different non violent civil resistance movements, one in South Africa in 1985, the other in Bolivia in 2000. A video produced in the School of Authentic Journalism tells their stories.
Alleged South Korean Tax-Evaders Revealed
South Korea's independent investigative journalism site, NewsTapa, together with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), released its initial list containing names of South Korean corporate moguls who allegedly have founded paper companies in the British Virgin Islands to avoid tax. Net users in Daum Agora filed an online petition [ko] calling for severe punishment on...
Peruvian Physicians Separate Conjoined Twins
Peruvian physicians accomplished an unprecedented medical achievement in the country: for the first time they separated two female conjoined twins who were born united by their abdomens and shared a little part of their livers. Baby sisters Shadya and Shandell Vásquez Vargas were born on February 26, 2013 and the...
Independent Projects of Ecological Solidarity Flourish in Puerto Rico
Ecological solidarity is getting stronger every day, thanks to the people working hard to develop independent projects in Puerto Rico. Here are a few examples that confirm once again that the goal of preserving nature, cultivating non-toxic products and advocating for sustainability isn't an impossible dream.
Rebels in Thailand's Troubled South Make Public Debut on YouTube
In Thailand's southern borderlands where various Muslim rebel groups have led a deadly nine-year insurgency, the majority of the violence has remained anonymous, committed without any one group coming forward to claim responsibility, make demands, or put a face to the conflict. That is until one of the insurgent groups released a rare video introducing their movement.
The “Brave” Democrats of Russia's Growing Civil Society
Last week, when Surkov-ally Alexey Chesnakov quit United Russia and publicly criticized the party, few in the English-speaking world noticed, but the event—like Surkov's ouster weeks earlier—could just as easily represent an important moment for Russian society.