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Guatemala: Journalist's Column Strikes a Nerve Among Bloggers

This year Dr. Mario Roberto Morales, a prominent writer from Central America was awarded with with Miguel Angel Asturias National Award of Literature by the Ministry of Culture, for his work over the last thirty years . He is a columnist in El Periodico, one of the most important daily newspapers of Guatemala. This week the topic was “Thinkers of the Blogs,” where he analyzed the lack of credibility among bloggers and the content of their articles. He alleges that suffer from poor education and that they lack knowledge and analysis of their chosen topics. In addition, they expose a fragmented vision of the situations written about in their posts.

Reactions apperared not only the comments section of the on-line version of the article, but Guatemalan bloggers also reacted immediately to Morales’ attitude:

Stephanie Falla, in her post “Columnista de El Periódico critica a los Blogs” [ES], analyzed each and every point of the article and made her point describing her fellow bloggers:

Nos dedicamos a opinar en otros blogs, crear comunidades virtuales que amplian nuestra perspectiva de lo que sucede en el mundo. Somos protagonistas de los cambios, generamos opinión sin censura, informamos optimizando los recursos multimedia. Somos conocedores de los sucesos más relevantes, manejamos tecnología. Nuestros recursos y conocimientos son cada día mayores, crecemos intelectualmente y nos alimentamos de información a cada minuto.

 

We express our opinions in other blogs, we create virtual communities that expand our perspective of what is going on in the world. We are the protagonists of the changes, we state our opinion without censorship, we inform by optimizing the new media resources. We know the most relevant facts and we help ourselves with technology. Our resources and knowledge are increasing every day, we grow intellectually and we are fed information by the minute.

Blogger Sabina Galeano expressed his point in “¿Y Mario Roberto Morales de cual fumó? [ES]

Llegamos a 700 personas publicando, con entera libertad, resalto esto último, porque nunca, aparte de otras soluciones tecnológicas menos manejables, había existido la oportunidad de dar a conocer nuestras ideas al mundo, sí, el mundo entero puede ver por medio de la red lo que publicamos, pero mucha atención, tiene además eltotal derecho de no hacerlo; así que si tanto le disgusta a ese gran académico y sus maestrías leernos, que no lo haga, tampoco debemos permitir que se nos corte a todos con la misma tijera…

 

We are almost 700 people blogging with absolute freedom, and I stress this, because never, except with other less simple media solutions, has the opportunity to express our ideas to the world, yes, the whole world, can be read attentively through internet where we publish. However, they also have the right to not read it. So, if the grand intellectual with his academic degrees is so upset with bloggers, he is free to not read us, but he cannot generalize and cut all bloggers with the same cloth.

RomeroGt wrote “Prejudice against blogs by columnist in El Periodico [ES]”

Me parece arrogante de su parte creer que porque alguien usa una herramienta contemporánea de comunicación ha dejado de leer libros o prepararse académica y profesionalmente.

 

It seems arrogant to me to think that if someone is using a contemporary media tool [blogs], that he/she has quit reading books or study in order to have a solid academic or professional background.

Many think that it was a positive thing that the column acknowledged the importance that bloggers are gaining in the media, but not the best informed opinion on the topic.

Nevertheless, the column generated enthusiasm, good attitudes and openness shown in the comments of newspaper article, and in the posts quoted above. Important journalists in Guatemala are blogging their columns, such as Luis Figueroa, Claudia Navas, Ana María Rodas, Marta Yolanda Díaz – Duran and Jorge Jacobs among others. All of them write in the most important newspapers of Guatemala.


4 comments

  • It is a good thing to note the way columnist you mention and other professional can use blogs (a tool) to share, enrich and publish its work to a broader audience.

    Blogs doesn’t impose a style, or let people or topics out, every coverage of blogger’s work in traditional media is a good think for information’s sake.

  • Soledad

    Well, I wouldn’t say that there the column aroused enthusiasm. It’s really sad to know that there are people who would like to impose their point of view like President Chavez in Venezuela. I, the reader, am the one who decides what to read or not. It is a matter of subjective opinion.

  • BRE

    I, as a global citizen and avid reader of news and other forms of information from around the world, am more likely to read information composed and published by a Guatemalan blogger than a column or paper published by Dr. Mario Roberto Morales. If I want to find out what is going on inside of Guatemala I will instictively first check Global Voices Online and not do an online search for Guatemala’s leading newspaper online.

    Bloggers are bringing Guatemalan news and issues out into the light of the world today at a pace and in ways that the traditional media of the country has not been able to achieve in the past one hundred years. Perhaps the good professor should be thinking of ways in which he and other media professionals can support the Guatemalan blogger community vs. criticizing the authors for their lack of professionalism and education.

    Only 700 Guatemalan bloggers? This time next year there should be 10 times as many blog authors publishing from the heart and cradle of the great Maya civilization (Mirador Basin, 1500 BC).

  • jason baca

    Dr. Morales is a little jealous now, because trained journalists have tendencies to be subjective when they are objective… By not knowing which side of a story a journalist is on this can brainwash listeners over many years to think the way the journalists want, and they are losing there control over the people now..
    I enjoy readers because they give their subjective views as stated about different news and politics.. By knowing their ideals, I can then form my own educated opionion.

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