[Newsletter] Does New Media Training Help or Hurt Indigenous Knowledge?

In the past two and a half years this community has grown from an initial 70 individuals interested in citizen media training to nearly 1,000 people representing citizen media projects, small and large donors, university institutions, and NGOs based all around the world.

When we first started this mailing list it was much more conversational and almost every email led to two or three responses. With this much larger community the list has become less conversational and more like a standard weekly newsletter.

This week, as an experiment, I’d like to see if we can start some more discussion. So here is a basic question that is related to the work that many of us are involved in: Does new media training help or hurt indigenous knowledge?

One of the criticisms we hear most often at Rising Voices is that helping under-represented communities join the online global conversation will inevitably lead to their westernization. I put that question to Álvaro Ramírez and Diego Gomez of the HiperBarrio project in Colombia, and I found their responses to be very interesting.

http://rising.globalvoicesonline.org/blog/2009/09/24/video-does-new-media-outreach-lead-to-westernization/

Over at Global Voices John Liebhardt has collected opinions from bloggers from Ethiopia, Ghana, Australia, and the USA about the same question:

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/10/05/icts-and-the-spread-of-indigenous-knowledge/

So, what do you think? Does new media development help or hurt indigenous knowledge?

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