In July I had the pleasure of attending my second Global Voices Citizen Media Summit, this time in Nairobi, Kenya. The Summit is “a meeting of bloggers, activists, and technologists for public discussions and workshops about the rise of online citizen media movements worldwide.”

This year was an exhilarating few days with about 300 citizen media folks from over 60 countries. I was honored to represent WITNESS on the kick off panel of the Summit discussing the global rise of citizen media.

The Summit was one of the most documented events I’ve been to recently- blogging, tweeting, live video streaming, and photos galore. I contributed to the documentation by conducting a few video interviews with some of the participants. Today I’m sharing the first of these, an interview with the Pakistani blogger Faisal Kapadia.

Faisal wears many hats. He is a freelance columnist, edits the Urdu language version of Global Voices, edits and contributes to one of Pakistan’s most read blogs, PakTeaHouse, his own blog  and in general has his finger on the pulse of how fellow citizens in his country are harnessing the Internet. Here’s his take on citizen media is utilized in Pakistan:

I followed up with Faisal to ask specifically about how citizen journalists and others are using video. Appropriately, he responded with a video of his own:

In his response above, Faisal mentions that video as harnessed by citizen media can be organized in a variety of ways. One is “behind the scenes leaks” which uncover mainstream media’s biases towards one political party or another. The example he cites is the firing of the journalist Mubashir luqman from the Dunya TV network after the planting of an interview with a politician. Watch the video here (in Urdu).

Another way citizen journalists are using video is to produce news reports from areas where mainstream news services don’t have bureaus or coverage. Like citizen reporters around the world, Pakistani citizens are also harnessing video and social media to tell their own stories about every day life and experiences in their country. They’re also sharing a bevy of ‘how-to’ resources some of which, like the Virtual University of Pakistan provide free coursework in topics ranging from database management to software engineering and beyond.

Faisal also takes advantage of newer tools like Google Hangouts to conduct interviews and then share them via their YouTube channels, websites and bloggers. He and fellow bloggers and activists have even broadcast a video podcast live while on board a C 130 on their way to help deliver relief aid during the devastating floods in Pakistan in 2010.

Thanks to Faisal for his collaboration with me on this post and stay tuned for more in this short series.

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