Like many people worldwide, I have turned to blogs written by Zimbabweans, to get the latest information on the post-election crisis that continues to unfold in that country. Often I find updates and news posts on these sites before the stories are reported by the mainstream press. I appreciate the diverse perspectives offered by the writers, and the community created by people who leave comments and information.
On Tuesday, the BBC ran a story that featured three prominent Zimbabwean blogs. The focus of the article was on bloggers’ unanimous dismissal of a recount of parliamentary votes. What is more interesting to me, is that the BBC has noticed at least peripherally, that these blogs are sites of protest, opinion, and action. Enough people are visiting the blogs and leaving comments, to make an impression.
When I visit This is Zimbabwe, I am struck by the fact that the blog functions like a social movement. Action alerts are posted sometimes on a daily basis, and resources and information on every aspect of Zimbabwe’s elections are available. Most importantly, the bloggers have galvanized their readers to act. A few reader comments:
I contacted ‘The Guardian’ here and they are looking into it. I also spoke to someone from ‘The Observer’ (because I was somehow bounced to him by the system) and although they are a Sunday paper he said he’d keep an eye on it as it develops. I have also called ‘The Times’, and ‘The Independent’ and all asked for the link to this page and said they will look into it.
Have to say, I felt really nervous making the first call – first time I’ve done this! But I am now trying to find more press contacts to help.
How can we help get more of these printed and distributed in Zimbabwe? Maybe translated into vernacular languages as well?
-Sally D, South Africa
did it, sent it,took action,
Here are links to the blogs featured in the BBC article: