I got some comments on my latest blog. I have mostly gotten positive feedback. However some critical voices have been raised though, who summarized say: â€œIt will never work out. This is just a gimmick.â€
My opinion: It will, it should and it must.
I will elaborate shortly on the comments I have gotten over the phone, in emails, on IM and in person. (Especially since one of my closest friends believe I blog too long entries. :) )
Challenge 1: The good guy never wins in wars, because they are naÃ¯ve.
Does that really mean it is not worth fighting for goodness? We should always jump right into the action. Everyone who knows me knows that is only a matter of time before I bring up the water drops on the stone will always make a hole. I use it to keep the faith that there is a solution.
Challenge 2: Journalists are already able to give this personal view of events.
How many are the journalists and how many are the rest of the world? I know, I know. This is really an unfair comparison. The biggest advantage to use citizens is however that they are everywhere. There is a big need for the news organization to participate in presenting the news as they can via their professional presentation provide it with the credibility needed.
Challenge 3: Seeing the uncensored, unfiltered and unedited view will probably just stir up emotions and is not a force towards peace.
Darn right it will. It should. However, when we see these “reports” whether they are broadcasted on BBC, CNN or on the blog by a private person, we should always start to question what we see, why we see it. Is it the truth? Thinking critical is a responsibility for each citizen. I cannot make it enough clear that the traditional media has a crucial role to play here. They can help the new media learn it lessons, and learn from it.
Before continuing I would like to kill one myth that has come up during my time here at Stanford and my various discussions with different people. Just because a citizen â€œreportsâ€ something does not necessary mean that it is newsworthy. Most of what is written only has news value for you friends and family. There are cases where big things have been brought to the attention by the blogosphere and the new media initiatives. Many of these examples are brought up in the book â€œWe The Mediaâ€ by Dan Gillmor.
Showing pictures of dying wounded, starving and/or suffering people are never fun and seeing the misery will initially stir up more emotions. However the first step towards any change is to understand, and for that you will have to see. See the human perspective, in some form. I guess that she has never heard of the Swedish saying: â€œAfter the storm there is always peace and calmnessâ€. Storms will come one after the other, but understanding the storms will help us protect us against it. Another example is found in our human ancient past. Before us as human beings knew how to handle fire, we fought, and feared it. Then we learned that it could be our friend. Now it is an essential part of our life and has played an important part of our societyâ€™s development.
We should the possibilities, working towards changing this world to a better place. Obviously there are so many people out there, who are against seeing the pain, who wants to cover it up and against openness. One of my favorite quotes is one by a certain Mr Kierkegaard: â€œTo dare is to loose control for awhile, not to dare is to loose yourselfâ€.
We should remember this. It is easier to hold on to the past than to go on. The path is usually rocky, unclear, narrow and long. But hey I like roller-coasters, thanks to someone really special to me…