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Transformation From A Corporate Employee To A Citizen Journalist

Categories: 10th Anniversary, First Post, bangladesh blog activism

gvfaces [1]

My foray into the world of blogs and social media was kind of accidental. In 2003 I was working for a multinational company in Dhaka, Bangladesh and was in charge of international reporting. Matching time with the regional and global headquarters of the organization I used to work late and also during holidays to meet deadline. And I was pretty frustrated working late in the office, often by myself when everybody had gone home. But we had a fast internet at office, a luxury during that time in our country. So my breath of fresh air was browsing internet during breaks and read a lot of news articles.Then I read a story in a local newspaper about the famous Iraqi blogger Salam Pax [2], who was writing a blog about the Iraq war and the effect it was having on his everyday life. I started reading his blog and also came across some other interesting blogs.

This inspired me to start my own blog [3] in April 2003. At first I could not figure what to write. But I soon found out from the other blogs that there are huge misconceptions about Bangladesh, mainly due to the absence of Bangladeshi voices on the Internet. And I found my focus: topics on Bangladesh and following the Bangladeshi blogosphere.

I probably first came across Global Voices because my blog was being linked by Global Voices. I was already doing small roundups about South Asia in my blog and guest-blogging in a couple of regional ones.

Then in July 2005 I received a mail from Global Voices co-founder Rebecca MacKinnon : “We find that we've been linking to you quite frequently over at Global Voices and would love to know a little more about you…” She requested me to post on Global Voices.

I was thrilled to write for Global Voices, and the rest is history.

My first post was on arranged marriage and the role of South Asian parents [4] as I quoted for the blog of a Bangladeshi Canadian blogger which was published on 23rd July, 2005 .

I have been a volunteer author, volunteer translator, editor and also contributed to Rising Voices and Global Voices Advocacy. In all these rolls what I enjoyed most is the activism. I appreciate how the new authors/translators approach to Global Voices as a platform to highlight issues less represented in their local media or misrepresented in the international media. I am thrilled by the passion of the fellow Gvers when I work with them or read their posts.

Over the years I have come across many members of the Global Voices who have inspired me to look at the life differently. I have seen many changes in the platform, we have undergone many transition periods. I feel that the real strength of GV is the wonderful and talented contributors and activists from across the world, whom we could not gather if it was a paid platform and driven by other causes. Because you can not possibly pay an activist to write other than what he or she believes in.

I hope that GV will remain a platform for citizen journalists and activists and it will not become an institution which mimics corporate or for -profit culture and targets. Because I still want to breath fresh air when I am with a GVer or reading a GV post.

Happy 10th anniversary, Global Voices!

Image – Thumbnails from my Flickr Album [1] Global Voices Summit 2012