I'm starting to write this on Wednesday 7 December, as tomorrow I leave for London to attend the Global Voices '05 Summit, so apologies in advance for not including anything posted in the latter part of this week.
A couple of days ago I posted the meeting agenda at Caribbean Free Radio, soliciting input from my fellows in the Caribbean blogosphere. Tyndale, a journalist with many years’ experience under his belt who has only recently started exploring the idea of blogging, left this thought-provoking list of predictions:
1) Journalists will not become great bloggers. They will concentrate on places where they get paid to write/talk.
2) Journalists will however come to see good blogs as additional resources, and will start to pick up and report (maybe even quote) material from them (e.g. the celebrated Baghdad Blogger).
3) Bloggers can become journalists by writing the zillions of stories professional journalists don't get to, don't care about, or are told by their editors not to touch.
4) Lively bloggery develops fastest in societies where there is plenty going on but conventional journalism is repressed, self-censoring or slack; and which are not so small that everyone already knows everyone else's business.
5) One big problem is going to be a surfeit of bloggers and a shortage of bloggees: i.e. more people writing than reading. How to direct international attention to blogs that are consistent, accurate, thoughtful, interesting and useful?
And here's what some of the other Caribbbean bloggers had to say:
– Nicolette Bethel proposes that the Bahamas become a federation, and decries Bahamians’ ignorance of local history.
– Sir Arthur Foulkes tackles the subject of proportional representation for the Bahamas.
– Larry Smith wonders what impact the rapid development of New Providence will have on life.
– Lynn Sweeting waxes poetic about wanting a woman prime minister.
– Melody reports that the Belizean Defence Force is training an elite Special Forces Unit.
– Escribbler unveils the Belize Jungle Dome web site.
– The Bermudan government wants to ban smoking in company cars: the Limey wonders what next. The Limey supports random drug testing in sports, but believes “it's none of an employer's business whether their employees like to smoke a spliff or snort a line of coke every now and then – as long as it's not affecting their job performance”.
– Valentine Michael Smith skewers reports “naming Bermuda as the best place in the world for women to find a mate” by imagining the response of government bureaucrats.
– “Hope we get low tide so them city council people can pump out the water,” says Guyana Gyal, writing about one of the realities of life in on the Guyanese coast. And don't miss her primer on how to talk like a Guyanese.
– Michiyo's house has flooded as well.
– Living Guyana disagrees with the suggestion that crime reporting should be removed from the front page of the daily newspapers and takes issue with the term “men who have sex with men”.
– Yon ayisien wonders what has happened to the web site of the CEP, and takes to task pundits who find South Korea's election-time donation to Haiti insufficient.
– “Starting in 2004 and carrying over into 2005 there has been a major shift in Jamaican music,” says Charles Matheson identifying song of the year contenders from Damian Marley, Gyptian and Jah Cure.
– Kingston Girl notes certain peculiar features of an oldies concert at Heineken Startime, but has a good time anyway.
Trinidad & Tobago
– A new web site for “The Republic of Cedros” attracts the attention of both Jacqueline Morris and Hassan Voyeau. Jacqueline notes that in spite of the “joke” (Cedros, for the record, is not a republic, but a coastal community in south-western Trinidad), the site “is quite serious with regard to the development and community action suggestions for the Cedros area”. “Hassan also raises the topic of the aluminum smelter which is to be built in Cedros by ALCOA with the blessings of the government. “Most of the residents of Cedros are opposed to such a plan,” he says, adding that “www.nosmeltertnt.com goes into some detail why this is not a good idea.” The versatile Hassan also posts photos of the “Magnificent Seven”, the seven historic buildings which line the western side of Port of Spain's largest public park.
– Sungoddess discusses the value of an oral family history.
– Taran Rampersad and Jacqueline Morris both attend the CARDICIS meeting in the Dominican Republic.