“When I see ordinary people speaking on the program, I feel motivated and confident that I also could speak in front of the public.”

This was what a 46-year-old woman from the rural area of Surkhet district told a researcher studying the impact of the radio/television show — Sajha Sawal, literally, Common Questions.

My questions! A woman speaks during Sajha Sawal’s shoot! Photo Courtesy: SajhaSawal

Continue reading “#SajhaSawal”

The Tweeting Editors

Popular microblogging platform Twitter has become popular among the editors in Nepal.

Although the level of impact by the editors’ tweets is yet to be analyzed, they are expressing their opinions and debating on national issues on Twitter.

I follow as many tweeting editors as I could find with my Twitter account (@UjjwalAcharya) and it all went interesting last week when the editors exchanged views on system of governance (especially on directly-elected president). Continue reading “The Tweeting Editors”

Internet Intermediaries & Freedom of Expression

(This post is a result of my participation in the South Asia Meeting on the Freedom of Expression and the Internet in Kathmandu, 2-4 November. This is my personal opinion but I owe to participants of the meeting whose comments may have helped me to shape this.)

By Internet intermediaries, I mean those companies or people who has a role in providing internet services to the people including, but not limited to, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), webhosts, web service providers, website owners, and also cyber cafes and telecommunication companies. Continue reading “Internet Intermediaries & Freedom of Expression”

Constructive youth engagement through social media

At the time when the term Facebook generation is increasingly being used to refer to youths uninterested in political and social responsibilities, youths have came together to use the social media for constructive political and social engagements.

Many consider that Nepali youth in today’s urban societies normally detach themselves from politics, social responsibilities and look for opportunities to go abroad. While not completely false the ongoing political instability, decade long Maoist conflict, lack of opportunities and development have contributed to the rise of pessimistic thoughts among the youths. Equally true is the fact that the youths, at least some of them, have refocused themselves towards constructive engagements with an aim of contributing to the social and political causes.

Through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, they have found a tool to give life to their initiatives; which can be accredited to the events around the world, the rising popularity of social media and most importantly, the trendiness of the social media that matches the youth’s curiosity.

Use of Facebook and Twitter is still considered by many as a detachment from what is happening around. Looking at someone, who is constantly checking on Facebook and Twitter updates on their laptop and/or mobile phones, the detachment, seems obvious. But when the social media feed them the information on what is going on around them along with opinions to their peer groups, it is safe to say that social media is just a new way of communication of the society. Continue reading “Constructive youth engagement through social media”

Tweets: People’s voices

Click for full image.

Egypt is in turmoil. The North African nation is going through the mass protests it had never seen before in an attempt to rid itself from the clutches of 30-year autocracy of President Hosni Mubarak. Regime change in Tunisia, its neighbor, fueled the protests in the streets of Egypt that are growing violent, without any sign of subsiding until Mubarak steps down.

In the Egyptian as well as the Tunisian protests, social media on the internet such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube acted as a platform for the people to share their opinions with the world along with exchanging information. In fact, some of the optimistic social media advocates are calling these revolutions Facebook revolutions, which in my opinion is an exaggeration. People used these means of communication media to spread and share information, only because they are global and more powerful than traditional means – word of mouth or telephone. Continue reading “Tweets: People’s voices”