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Marta Cooper

I am a British/Italian freelance writer and blogger interested in the intersection of media and politics, with particular reference to issues of censorship, civil society and social and political reform. I am fascinated by the future of journalism and press freedom in the digital age and the pace of change in emerging markets.

I am currently an editorial assistant at Index on Censorship in London. Since October 2009 I have written about Brazil and China for Global Voices Online, where I sit on the Board of Directors.

From 2009 to 2011 I lived in Shanghai, China, where I studied Mandarin and contributed to Shanghaiist, Shanghai Daily, The China Beat and the China Economic Review. I have also written for openDemocracy.

I have an MSc (Merit) from the London School of Economics in Global Media and Communications, and a 1st Class Honours degree in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies. I speak Italian, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.

Twitter: @martaruco.

Email Marta Cooper

Latest posts by Marta Cooper

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United Kingdom: Making Sense of the London Riots

  9 August 2011

London woke up to a wave of destruction on Tuesday morning, following another night of anarchic rioting and looting. As communities clear the damage and brace themselves for more unrest, the country is trying to make sense of the events, which have highlighted deep tensions in the relationship between political leaders, the police and the communities they aim to serve.

China: editorial on 2008 earthquake blacked out

  14 May 2011

China Media Project has translated an editorial from liberal newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily commemorating the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The piece, which featured references to detained artist Ai Weiwei, who had attempted to investigate the deaths of children and collapse of school buildings in the disaster, was removed from the newspaper's website...

China: Facebook's PR strategy

  21 April 2011

Bill Bishop at DigiCha and Imagethief's Will Moss ruminate on Facebook's PR strategy as speculation grows over the social networking site's possible entry into the Chinese market.

Brazil: President Lula defends WikiLeaks’ Assange

  10 December 2010

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula) has this week criticised [pt] the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, condemning the Brazilian press for not having defended the Australian activist. Lula said [pt, en], “the boy was arrested and I'm not seeing any protest against [the curtailment of] freedom of expression.”

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Brazil: President today, blogger tomorrow

  26 November 2010

Outgoing Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) was interviewed for the first time this week by a range of progressive bloggers, an event seen by many as a major step in the ongoing push for a more democratic media system in the country.

Brazil: President Lula grants blogosphere first-ever interview

  23 November 2010

Outgoing Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva will tomorrow (24th November) be interviewed [pt] for the first time by a range [pt] of progressive bloggers regarding Brazil's changing media system. Renato Rovai, editor of liberal current affairs magazine Revista Forum [pt], called the event a “celebration of informational diversity” [pt]. The interview will...

China: bridge-blog posts original documentary of rural life

  22 November 2010

C. Custer, of bridge-blog ChinaGeeks, has posted his first original documentary of life in China's rural northeast. Plans are also underway for a second project, entitled Finding Home, which will look at the kidnapping and selling of children in the People's Republic.

China: thousands gather at site of Shanghai fire

  21 November 2010

Early reports coming in from Twitter say that thousands are gathering at the site of Monday's deadly fire in Shanghai that claimed 58 lives. Coverage in Chinese and English can be followed by using the hashtag #jiaozhoulu (the name of the road the building is located on).

Brazil: five days of cyber-activism to end violence against women

  21 November 2010

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25th), a group of Brazilian feminist bloggers will take part in five days of cyber activism [pt]. Those involved will post interviews with activists and lawyers to raise awareness of causes, consequences and prevention of the practice. Meanwhile, online collectives have...

Brazil: Black Awareness Day

  20 November 2010

To mark Brazil's annual Black Awareness Day (Dia da Consciência Negra), journalist and blogger Elaine Tavares explains [pt] why she is proud to be Afro-Brazilian. Meanwhile, celebrations and cultural events [pt] to commemorate the day in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador are in full swing.

Brazil: dreams of competing with China

  19 November 2010

Writer and analyst Bradley M. Gardner weighs in on billionaire entrepeneur Eike Batista's plan [pt] to bring Apple’s manufacturing process to Brazil. Gardner writes that Batista “wants his country to be China”, where Apple's products are currently manufactured. He adds that he “wouldn't put it past” Batista, the world's eighth-richest...

China: Shanghai fire claims 53, local coverage criticised

  16 November 2010

53 lives were claimed and 43 others remain missing as a result of the tragic fire that ripped through a high-rise apartment block in Shanghai yesterday afternoon. The 28-storey building was undergoing renovations when welding sparks caused the scaffolding to catch fire, eventually spreading to the building itself. City blog Shanghaiist...

Brazil: digital culture forum kicks off in São Paulo

  15 November 2010

The second annual Fórum da Cultura Digital Brasileira (Brazilian Digital Culture Forum) [pt] has begun in São Paulo. Due to run until 17th November, the forum aims to bring together cultural initiatives and communications-related organisations “in order to promote the development of public policies for the digital age” [pt].

China: fire ravages Shanghai apartment block

  15 November 2010

A high-rise apartment block in downtown Shanghai became engulfed by flames at around 2pm this afternoon. Early reports say firefighters are trying to rescue residents and construction workers still trapped inside the building. Photos from the scene are available here [zh] and here.

China: Ai Weiwei under house arrest

  7 November 2010

Controversial and outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was on Friday placed under house arrest for, it seems, planning to host a dinner for 1,000 people to commemorate the demolition of his Shanghai studio. Meanwhile, updates and images [zh] coming in from Twitter show that many have continued to gather outside Ai's studio...

Brazil: online xenophobia targeting north-easterners

  4 November 2010

Lirabellaqua, from blogging collective Trezentos [pt], and political blogger Rodrigo Vianna [pt] weigh in on the recent slew of online hate speech [pt] that has targeted north-eastern Brazilians who voted for president-elect Dilma Rousseff. Supporters of Dilma's opponent, Jose Serra, spread tweets condemning voters in the impoverished region, where Dilma won a...

China: Shanghai World Expo comes to an end

  1 November 2010

As the Shanghai 2010 World Expo has drawn to a close, Shanghai Scrap's Adam Minter looks at why the six-month long extravaganza mattered, and how foreign correspondents missed an opportunity in covering it.

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