Lacking color in cyberspace

I am asked all the time why there are not more bloggers of color.

There are plenty, but you need to pay more attention. We are not hard to find. From just looking at my blog roll on the right side of this page, I have listed just a few of the greatest and latest bloggers of color.

Up until recently many thought that the cyberspace boom would fill a vacuum which wasn’t being filled in other mediums – racial diversity. Today there are millions of blogs run by folks from all walks of life who were writing about subjects one wouldn’t normally see in the traditional media. The 24-hour cable networks caught on to this, and started inviting many of these bloggers onto their evening shows, most notably Daily Kos and Wonkette. But there were very few, maybe none of them, were people of color.

But then the case of the Jena 6 happened. While black radio played a huge role in mobilizing the 20,000 activists to descend on the small Louisiana town to protest on behalf of the six arrested black high school students, it was the black blogosphere that helped make the event the first such mass movement in the post Civil Rights era. Following this, there was a surge of interest in how bloggers of color are changing the political and social landscape.

But then the interest level for “diverse” bloggers with down again after the dust settled in Jena.

In recent light of Rupert Murdoch taking over the media world, many wonder if the next Jena 6 cyber-movement will be prevented due to media consolidation.

From Save the Internet:

The biggest cable and telephone companies would like to charge money for smooth access to Web sites, speed to run applications, and permission to plug in devices. These network giants believe they should be able to charge Web site operators, application providers, and device manufacturers for the right to use the network. Those who don’t make a deal and pay up will experience discrimination: Their sites won’t load as quickly, their applications and devices won’t work as well. Without legal protection, consumers could find that a network operator has blocked the Web site of a competitor, or slowed it down so much that it’s unusable.

The network owners say they want a “tiered” Internet. If you pay to get in the top tier, your site and your service will run fast. If you don’t, you’ll be in the slow lane.

A new bill, Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 (HR 5353) , was introduced in the US House of Representatives to stop telecommunications companies from controlling the Internet. If this bill pass, it will affect all types of diversity online, including bloggers of color.

Check the video below from Color of Change blogger James Rucker on the issue.

Posted in Americas, Tech Disparities and tagged , .

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