WeMedia the conference

I spent some of the morning watching the WeMedia on video stream and via the online chat and IRC, then got to see a couple of sessions at the conference. There is a lot of blogging coverage about the event, some from participants, others from the virtual attendees.

The blurb says “The We Media Global Forum brings together the trailblazers of the connected society – the thinkers, innovators, investors, executives and activists seeking to tap the potential of digital networks connecting people everywhere”. From the bits I saw and the people I talked to, not too sure that really happened. Digital networks change things, move and share power, giving the potential to take control out of the hands of the few and spread it around. This can happen with or without the current set of gatekeepers. I would have thought the conference was about providing a chance for the traditional media centres to take stock and assess how they are going to support the devleoping communities across the world.

Instead I got the impression that what was being said on stage only supported the existing worldviews. There was little challenge, the same old questions were being asked and little movement made. Rebecca McKinnon puts it well: “The question we really ought to be focusing on is: how can citizens and professional journalists work together to create a better and more well-informed public discourse?”. Instead, it was the same debates about them and us, bloggers are scary and don’t we (media) know best?

I’m not sure if today’s was any different – I was travelling all day so missed it.

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