Cubana blogger Yoani Sánchez was awarded the oldest prize in journalism, the Maria Moors Cabot Prize. Problem is, she wasn’t allowed the leave Cuba to accept the award. The awards were announced in the middle of the summer but according to her, she somehow held out a tiny bit of hope that she would be allowed to leave. She posted a video of her visit to the Cuban immigration office where she was told she couldn’t leave the country but not why. Could it be because she has been an unapologetic critic of the Cuban government whose voice, via the internet, has global reach?
Living & Luchando la Vida Latin@
The Socialist Worker has a really interesting historical post up about Willard Motley, who folks in Chicago will know as the first Bud Billiken.
Willard Motley was a writer, activist and supporter of a black man who killed a white landlord after the landlord burned down the apartment complex the black man lived in (killing four of his children) so that the landlord could rebuild smaller apartments, get more tenants and get more money:
The defense committee had Motley’s appeal circulated to many of the largest Black newspapers in the country, including the Chicago Daily Defender. Motley didn’t hold back his feelings about the case when he wrote of visiting Hickman:
You have seen many pictures of men who have killed. You have seen the photographs of the returned soldier. Perhaps next door lives a boy who killed some other boy during the war. In the war, millions of men killed other millions of men because they believed they were a threat to their homes, their wives, their children. This threat was thousands of miles from home. These were strangers killed, with whom there had been no personal contact.
James Hickman killed the man who had threatened his wife and children with a death more horrible than the Nazi gas chambers. And carried it out. This is what I was thinking of as I sat talking to Hickman today. Hickman needs help. There are three children left who need him. A wife who needs him. Will you help us help him?
It’s a really powerful post, one that reminds of historical truths people would rather have forgotten: there are black socialists/communists, most of our ‘parades’ and ‘fun holidays’ in the U.S. have a hugely radical past, that the work and radical activities of people of color are almost always ignored until they are forgotten…
It’s also interesting to me to notice how even in those days, there was tension between the “liberal” economically upward bound media makers and the grassroots members of the community. You see the same tension now–just look at how bloggers are treated by “real” media makers like BET. Look at how bloggers are treated by “liberal” economically upward bound organizations like La Raza. How many grassroots stories do bloggers blog about relentlessly until there is huge amounts of grassroot support such that “liberal” groups can no longer ignore the story? And then those “liberal” groups basically steal the story and act like *they* are the ones that did all the work investigating the story?
The more things change, the more the say the same–so goes the over used trite phrase.
What exactly is the price we bloggers pay to work in our robes? Death!!!
They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece–not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.
A growing workforce of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.
Of course, the bloggers can work elsewhere, and they profess a love of the nonstop action and perhaps the chance to create a global media outlet without a major up-front investment. At the same time, some are starting to wonder if something has gone very wrong. In the last few months, two among their ranks have died suddenly.
Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.
Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion, and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.
Bloggers like to blog. We like to blog about meetings with important government people about issues our readers care about (or not). So can someone tell me who the hell were the bloggers at the a roundtable discussion that Sec. Chertoff had where he discussed why his department “cannot afford to get enmeshed in the kinds of litigation that have traditionally caused projects [in this case the border fence] to take decades to complete…” you know because of troublesome environmental laws?
Marisa at Latina Lista points out some wavig red flags:
Reading the transcript, which was released as a press release, and is only a partial transcript at that, not one blogger is identified.
The strangeness of this situation immediately waves red flags.
Before the government releases a bogus statement about protecting privacy, there exists something in the blogosphere that is an universal truth — no blogger wants to be anonymous, especially if they were lucky enough to score an interview with a high-profile individual like Chertoff.
Real bloggers would make that a headline post and it would have surely been “talked” about in the blogosphere. Strange that I ran across the item by accident doing a news seach on Chertoff.
Given the track record of this administration that sees nothing wrong in staging press conferences, I tend to believe that this may also have been the case – though I don’t have any proof but a lot of circumstantial evidence.
Ay the government wouldn’t lie like that and stage an event right?
Via / Latina Lista
While Latino gossip blogger extraordinaire, Perez Hilton, might have had some trouble lately, it looks like his chisme empire might be expanding beyond the Internet and into television. The Hollywood Reporter says:
It looks like VH1 is getting into business with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
The network, whose programming tends to center on pop culture and music, is believed to be ordering six hourlong episodes of a series tentatively titled “What Perez Says,” but it’s understood that the show’s details are still being worked out.
Hilton (aka Mario Lavandeira) let the news slip Friday morning during an appearance on ABC’s “The View”.
“Perez was on The View? When will Mala and I receive such illustrious invitations?
This wouldn’t be Perez’s first time on VH1; some of you might have seen him on the network’s weekly show “Best Week Ever”.
Via / Yahoo! Entertainment
Perez Hilton, the blogosphere’s most popular celebrity blogger is in hot water again over copyright infringement. According to Variety.com, the site went off line when its hosting company pulled the plug:
After numerous warnings against Hilton’s (aka Mario Lavandeira) use of copyrighted celebrity images, the Oz-based Crucial Paradigm took the site off line; it was dark for a number of hours before it returned to the Internet with a different host.
Hilton is currently named in four lawsuits involving eight photo agencies for his alleged theft of photographs that appear on his site, one that’s been a popular gossip destination for some 2½ years. Hilton frequently adds his own captions to the shots.
Last week we told you about a controversial ad for Spain’s Iberia airlines which had a Spanish consumer group up in arms over its depiction of Cuba. The ad was pulled due to pressure by the group, and has been covered by quite a few bloggers. On a related note, a group of conservative Cuban bloggers have announced their condemnation of the Spanish government for its relationship with Cuba. Calling themselves the “Bloggers United for Cuban Liberty” (BUCL), they’ve launched a multimedia campaign against Spain:
“This effort marks the first of several coordinated activities aimed at exposing those countries, companies and institutions that aid and abet the Castro regime in oppressing the Cuban people,” said Henry Gomez, the spokesman for Bloggers United for Cuban Freedom. Gomez continues: