I was privileged to attend quite a remarkable gathering of journalists and bloggers from all around Asia this past week. The Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference was a three day affair with eye-opening presentations on the state of many of the represented Asian countries; as well as a distinctly, and deeply, technological flavor from North American resource speakers. Above link goes to the conference website, whose live, contemporaneous production and multimedia content records for posterity both the substance of the prepared presentations and the subsequent interaction with the audience via question and answer. The conference weblogged itself. Kudos to Alecks Pabicko and the the technical staff of Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for that work, which saves all of us for the further task of pondering upon the larger, grander meaning of the information we have just shared about current events, both political and technological, and what the implications are for what ought to be done now.
I come away from the conference with a vivid impression that some kind of important moment has just occurred in Asian journalism involving many of its most interesting elements. In each of the persons that I met I was struck by the gravitas of their situations and thus the high value of their information as journalists and human beings. Here were virtually every country in Asia, represented by its leading-edge journalists, living truly dangerous and risky lives, telling each other and the rest of the world, the basic truth about their little or big corner of it. The immediately preceeding post on Nepal, perhaps demonstrates the live momentous nature of events of which many of the conferees are a part.
Here too were important bearers of another kind of information -- cyberspace technology, the inner wiring of the World Wide Web of browsers and proxies and nodes and links and software arcana, strategy and tactics for dealing with the lethal cat-and-mouse games of Internet filtering, censorship and outright repression in countries all over the region. This was thus a conference in which one could literally witness the process of technology transfer.
If you're already feeling envious for not having attended this Conference, be consoled! They did such a great job on the conference website above, you can still virtually attend it.
Please check back here all day long, for more Philippine Commentary on specific conference topics...