At last! I’m finally here in Santiago, Chile for the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2010. After some delays due to some snags in my flight itinerary, I finally flew all the way through Singapore, Tokyo, Frankfurt, and Sao Paulo to reach Chile. Half a day late but still, I’m here.
I arrived in the Biblioteca de Santiago (the Santiago Public Library), the Summit venue, yesterday just in time for lunch. I had sandwiches. With me in the Summit are a diverse group of bloggers, IT experts, citizen media activists, journalists and press freedom advocates from all over the world.
I missed the morning’s discussion on the social media landscape in Chile and the rise of citizen media. Fortunately, there were still more in store after lunch. First was a presentation of the citizen media project, Nomad Green, which seeks to raise environmental awareness of Mongolians.
Then there was the session on the use of new media for elections, for exposing electoral violence and irregularities, for voters information, for election monitoring, for predicting election turnout. In some cases, citizen media challenged a corporate media that is perceived to be under the pockets of rich politicians.
Meanwhile, useful insights on how new media can be incorporated for causes and advocacies were presented in the Tactical Technology Collective’s 10 Tactics video.
The evening ended with the Breaking Borders Awards given by Global Voices Online and Google for outstanding new media projects. The winners are the Battery Operated Systems for Community Outreach (BOSCO) Uganda, which integrates ICT for rural development, Kubatana.net project, which seeks to make human rights and civic information accessible in Zimbabwe, and my country’s very own Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).
I am glad to be given the opportunity for learning presented in the Summit. Not only am I meeting from around the World and get to know diverse cultures, but more importantly I will be acquainted with the challenges confronting the peoples of the different regions of the world and how their experiences can be used back in the Philippines.
On the side, the Summit venue is in itself incredible. The Biblioteca is a modern architectural wonder and cultural center while Santiago City has cultural heritage which it seems to have preserved as can be seen from all the historical structures and monuments dotting the urbanscape.
Today is the Summit’s last day. I’m sure there will be more things to learn about the theme, “Next generation citizen media, public access and citizen participation.”
Tomorrow we will start a two-day internal meeting for Global Voices editors, translators and contributors. Global Voices Online is an international community of bloggers who report and translate on blogs and citizen media from around the world, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media.
I am attending the Summit in part because Mong Palatino, the Southeast Asia editor, cannot go to Chile because he’s running for reelection as KABATAAN Partylist’s 1st nominee. So in conclusion, I’d like to extend my gratitude for everyone who in any way in helped me relation to my attending this event:
- to Global Voices Online, obviously;
- to Maryalice Quinn, in particular for helping me with my flight itinerary;
- to all the friendly people in the Summit,
- to Mong Palatino, for inviting me to represent the country to the Summit;
- to my family, for the moral and financial support;
- and to my girlfriend Sheila, for the company in Manila and the support from the outset.
And one more thing, it’s still the 7th of May as I’m writing this. ■