“For seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, Time’s Person of the Year for 2006 is you,” Time’s Lev Grossman wrote in the December 25, 2006 issue.
A recent Pew Research survey found that while only 8 percent, or 12 million Americans, of the Internet population currently has a blog, an amazingly high 39 percent of them, or 57 million Americans, state they read blogs regularly. Time knows those numbers will undoubtedly continue to go up in 2007 and beyond.
That is part of the reason why, within hours of Israel’s massive assault on Lebanon, we launched a dedicated site providing eyewitness accounts, carefully researched and informed analysis, and multimedia coverage. Our team, working 24 hours a day, on four continents, uploaded more than 20 articles a day during the crisis period, quickly making Electronic Lebanon an indispensable resource. Significantly, the project presented new voices which international media quickly incorporated into their coverage.
This is why you see traditional media outlets such as newspapers, television and radio stations creating message boards and blogs featuring their personalities to try to get their foot in the door on this new medium for reporting and providing commentary. But now the public has a choice about where to get their information rather than simply relying on the old school sources of information.
What an honor to be a part of this group of people who are trying to make a difference using blogs to provide high-quality news, information and commentary to help educate and encourage others about Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine.
“This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person,” wrote Grossman. He admitted 2006 was a transitionary year for blogs and they now stand ready to make even further strides into the mainstream in the next few years.
Time magazine realizes sites like The Electronic Intifada, Electronic Iraq and Electronic Lebanon are among a new generation of people changing the landscape of journalism and the open debate of ideas.
“It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes,” Grossman remarked.
He added that the Internet has made the world a much smaller place than it has ever been before and bloggers are simply using this technology to provide the general public a new set of voices on a variety of subjects.
“It’s a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter,” Grossman concluded.
Our award-winning websites, The Electronic Intifada, Electronic Iraq, and Electronic Lebanon bring the voices of those living through the most frightening and brutal events to a worldwide audience.
The need to provide information and analysis of developments by trusted alternative media sources is greater than ever. The Electronic Intifada has amply demonstrated that it can meet this important challenge with professionalism, very high quality resources, and a timeliness important in the media environment. With your help, we will continue to enhance and expand our important work.