As the Bolivian voters go for polls for a general election today (6 December 2009), a number of Bolivian netizens are using Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook to share other perspectives of the election. Although the international mainstream media coverage on Bolivian elections is limited, there are plenty of coverage in Spanish thanks to these citizen journalists’ efforts. Some members of Voces Bolivianas, the Rising Voices grantee from El Alto, Bolivia, are also taking part in this citizen media coverage.
Cristina Quisbert at Bolivia Indigena provides a background:
In 1825 Bolivia was created. Throughout the history it has developed many choices. However, 2009 will be a very important year for the state. This December 6, for the first time the Bolivians abroad can vote. It also expects a large turnout of voters in rural and urban areas.
According to the National Electoral Court, unlike other elections, the results may be known more quickly.
And this time around there is another revolutionary change. Hugo Miranda reports about the initiative of the Bolivian internet users:
With many people in the country, we decided to cover the election tomorrow and although certainly there is a winner, it remains an interesting exercise to cover what will happen tomorrow.
The proposal is to go beyond what has been done so far, namely organizing and attempting to media coverage of not only citizens but also from traditional media, using the advantages that the web gives us in those days.
We opened a site in which we are all somehow working together:
And he has instructions how the netizens can take part in the coverage through Facebook, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Radio Television, Google Wave, newspapers, blogs and many more tools:
If you're on facebook, just ask yourself a fan of Bolivia 2.0 Elections page. Once you do that you can post pictures, video or text. All this information will appear in elecciones2.0bolivia.com site
If you're on twitter, so you just bring in photos, video, text using the hashtag: # 6dBol. All this information will appear in elecciones2.0bolivia.com site
If you're not on twitter or Facebook account, but you want to participate, we will have a chat conversations within elecciones2.0bolivia.com so you can also contribute with links to publications or text.
If you want to send SMS, and you do not have the option to connect, no matter, you only need to send your message to the number 703377881, signing your name or nickname. All this information will appear in elecciones2.0bolivia.com site.
Cheer up, participates. Let us use technology to meet Bolivia's general elections this 6 December!
Our Twitter is: @elecciones20
Facebook: Elections 2.0
Official page: Elecciones 2.0bolivia.com
Technorati Tags: Bolivia 6dbol + election +
Check out the Elecciones 2.0 Bolivia site for the latest info on the elections.
Mario Duran was interviewed by the Re-Visto magazine on the impact of citizen journalism during elections in Bolivia. Here are some excerpts:
What are the plans by the bloggers and citizen journalists in Bolivia?
We intend to use Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, flickr, youtube, twitter and facebook used by citizens to show the other faces of the election.
How important do you think these activities of “citizens” are to public opinion in Bolivia?
Occasionally members of the community using the web 2.0 comes out in the media, and Hugo Miranda as one of the blogger that capitalizes its activity, as Nicomedes Flores, who suffers from blindness and uses free software for browsing the web, as Voces Bolivianas (Bolivian Voices), dedicated to digital literacy for people of lesser means. In these times, public opinion turns his attention to us, but we have not yet learned to place items on the public agenda as the promotion of accessibility to the Internet, using free software and others. However, this situation may change, with each of these activities (eg citizens’ coverage) is evangelized and extends the number of users, the day that will mark your calendar.
Do you think citizen journalists can help an objective coverage in your country?
Ever told you the difference between the citizen journalist and the journalist is that the citizen journalist who writes as he does with the emotion of the moment and that journalists should reflect on the information. Therefore, the citizen journalist takes the photo of the moment, the objectivity and then leaving, but they are learning …
Mario Duran is live-blogging today's elections. He has also set up a live streaming video. He shares some learning which can help the citizen journalists in reporting the news of the elections properly.
Alberto S. Medrano Flores at El Alto Noticias writes about the initiatives of El Alto netizens:
Undoubtedly in these elections several Digital Communities will report what happened in the 9 provinces and precisely in the city of El Alto can not be excluded, so the blogs Letras Alteñas, Mi ciudad de El Alto, El Alto Blogs Bolivia and news portal EABOLIVIA are disseminating to everyone what is happening in Bolivia.
You can see in the El Alto Noticias site that the first pictures and reports are appearing.