Listening to global voices

Ethan Zuckerman says new media not helping us transcend national barriers as much as hoped.

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    Though Ethan Zuckerman did not coin the term "bridge blogger," in the years since he co-founded Global Voices Online with Rebecca MacKinnon, he has quite possibly become the world's foremost expert on - and proponent of - the idea.

    As a blogger and researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Zuckerman's work is rooted in the idea that we, as global citizens, should be listening to what others have to say.

    In a recent talk at TEDGlobal 2010 in Oxford, Zuckerman expounded the idea that new media, in its current incarnation, is not helping us reach across national barriers as much as we think. Presenting a variety of statistics on media consumption, Zuckerman demonstrates that the Internet has not - as we had hoped - become the great leveller ... yet.

    The solution, in Zuckerman's opinion? "You need someone to bump you out of your flock and into another flock - you need a guide."

    Taking the audience through an array of what he calls xenophiles and bridge figures -"someone who literally has feet in both worlds" - Zuckerman makes the case that, in order to view the world more broadly, it is necessary to cultivate these types. Or in his own words: "It's not enough to make a personal decision that you want a wider world - we need to fix the systems that we have."

    Click here for more information on TEDGlobal.

    This video is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND.Outside image from Flickr and also under CC.

    SOURCE: TED


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