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Blogs as a vehicle for democracy

LesechosalexdecarvalhoRecently I organized the Brazilian delegation's participation at the 6th World Forum on e-Democracy, an event held by the French "high-tech Mayor" Andre Santini, at Issy-Les-Moulineaux, near Paris.

During the event, Monique Ciprut of Les Echos quoted me regarding the role of blogs in Brazil (pdf version note: copyright Les Echos). We spoke about the importance of participatory journalism in a democracy and how bloggers in Brazil were contributing to open up the debate. In particular, she picked up my reference to the popular blog by the right-wing politician Cesar Maia, who has been openly critical of the Lula administration. However, the blog has been 'too" popular and was recently discontinued (on 30/9/2005) because it took too much of Maia's "mental time," even though he had three assistants, each less than 25 years old. I expressed reservations about how open the conversation can be in countries were internet penetration was relatively low, were there were high levels of illiteracy, and where access to computers and the internet were reserved to the middle class and above. I believe the government has an important role in providing conditions for greater internet access, in providing lower-priced computers and in financing local municipalities to support them in e-government initiatives. 

Brazilian Delegation
Brazilian Delegation 

The Brazilian delegation, pictured left included Minister Carlos Velloso, President of Brazil's Superior Electoral Tribunal and in charge of the country's elections, Ana Cristina Hofmann, President of Petropolis-Tecnopolis and co-chair of the W2i (Wireless Internet Institute) Digital Cities Convention in Europe, held at the beginning of November 2005 in Bilbao, and Vagner Diniz, President of Instituto Conip and active proponent of mobile government (m-gov) in Brazil.

Special thanks to my partner on this project, Philippe Luce, Founder of Agora-Consultants. Thanks also to Yann Mauchamp, France Country Manager, OpenBC, who first saw the Les Echos article. Update: Thanks also to Jussara Nunes, Brazilian blogger in France, who lent us an important hand. We were glad to have you with us!

For more on the significance of the participatory, read-write web (Web 2.0), see Al Gore's speech at the We Media Conference a couple of days ago in New York.

"We must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Worldwide Web."

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October 9, 2005 in Current Affairs, Miscellaneous Stuff, Weblogs | Permalink


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Alex de Carvalho, who organized the Brazilian delegation to the 6th annual World Forum on e-Democracy held near Paris summarizes how weblogs have influenced Brazilian politics. ... [Read More]

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Alex de Carvalho是第六屆世界網路民主論壇巴西代表團的召集人,今年的論壇在巴黎近郊舉辦,他概述了部落格如何影響了巴西的政治現況。 原文鍊結 ----------------------------------------------------- 非常讓人羨慕!...... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 11, 2005 12:49:43 AM


Congrats Alex on your communication skills you share with André !

Posted by: Thibaud | Oct 10, 2005 6:15:35 AM

thibaud, you cheeky so and so! ;) it was nice to see you yesterday and let's continue our talk soon.

Posted by: alex | Oct 10, 2005 6:39:14 AM

Hello! I am conducting a research on the Brazilian blogging phenomenon and its impact on democracy (University of Ottawa, Communications department). If anyone can direct me toward more information on the topic, that would be great!
Thank you. Katia De Cristofaro ( kdecr079@uottawa.ca)

Posted by: Katia | Oct 20, 2005 12:43:50 PM

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