Blogging, once a trendy new phenomenon in the early days of the World Wide Web, is now almost two decades old. But bloggers continue to fill information voids in countries where free speech is constricted or forbidden. Some bloggers play the role of citizen journalist, once scorned by the mainstream media, but now more often welcomed as a source of raw information, photos, videos, and eyewitness accounts from places where news organizations have no reporters or photographers on the scene. Social media fanned the fires of the Arab Spring. Rebels in Libya and Syria with media skills used the Internet and social media to tell what was happening out of the world’s sight.
Profiles in Blogging: How Bloggers Around the World Practice Their Craft looks at blogging through the eyes of successful bloggers in Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Ghana, Yemen, Philippines, China, Nepal, and Cuba. It examines how they came to blog, how they approach the task and what role they see themselves playing in filling information gaps in their countries. It looks at their relations with mainstream media, what motivates them, how they find an audience, how they find the time and means to blog,and how much of what they write is opinion versus what they have seen and reported themselves.