The Blogger’s Handbook

Here in Canada we are lucky enough to enjoy the freedom to express ourselves. I can write just about anything I want on my blog without fear of persecution or prosecution (yes, there are exceptions but we still rank in the top 10 most free countries in the world).

People in other countries are often not so fortunate. Reporters Without Borders have released the Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents, mainly aimed at those people living under repressive regimes, but it also looks useful for other bloggers. From their introduction:

Blogs get people excited. Or else they disturb and worry them. Some people distrust them. Others see them as the vanguard of a new information revolution. Because they allow and encourage ordinary people to speak up, they’re tremendous tools of freedom of expression.

Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.

Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.

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