Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cuban blogger talks about citizen journalism project and 'blogostroika'

Los Angeles Times

Yoanie Sanchez, Cuba's star blogger, has elaborated a little more about the citizen journalism project she launched on the island in January in an attempt to challenge media censorship there.

Sanchez, who is the author of the blog Generación Y, started the Voces Cubanas (Cuban Voices) blogging platform to gather citizen journalists from across the island, according to the Knight Center for Journalism's Journalism in the Americas blog.

Global Voices' Claudia Cadelo interviews Sánchez about the project, which she says is different from Generación Y and the existing Desde Cuba.

She says in the interview: "It is a website where all those who want to express ideas, put their projects online, can do so. It is born and inspired by the experience that we gained through the administration of other sites, but there is not an editorial policy that guides it, rather each blogger is his or her own director, editor and even censor."

Sanchez also talks about the concept of "blogostróika," the name used by many for the blogging movement in Cuba.

The idea of calling this new phenomenon with the label of blogostróika came from Cubans writing their blogs from exile. [It is what] they called this new wave of personal and collective sites with Cuban themes that have appeared in the past five years. The use of this term is a clear allusion to the process that came about when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, especially during the information transparency process called glasnost. Even though the term sounds nice, I have to make a small comment that perestroika was pushed from a position of power, while the alternative Cuban blogosphere did not ask permission from anyone to exist.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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