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e-Democracy update - 26/10/05

26 October, 2005
By Daniel Macpherson

Right-wing blogs Farr funnier

Australian Blogs from Right-wing political commentators are funnier than Left-wing blogs, according to political commentator Malcom Farr.

"The Australian Left, or at least those members who blog, has become a bunch of whining, humourless, self-absorbed bores," Mr Farr said in his 21 October column from The Daily Telegraph.

"Right-wing blogs are more fun to read and thus their messages are more frequently seen by non-combatants."

His comments came after blogger Tim Dunlop criticised an appearance from Farr on Channel Nine’s Nightline last month as "the worst in insider, smug, self-satisfied and lazy political commentary".

Mr Dunlop said in response to Farr’s column: "Ooh, is there anything more sensitive than a journalist scorned?"

"Now Malcolm bites back! Be still my beating heart!"

Voting begins for Best of the Blogs Awards

German radio station Deutsche Welle's has nominated over 100 blogs across thirteen categories and nine different languages for the Best of the Blogs (BOBS) Awards.

A special award sponsored by press freedom organisation Reporters Without Boarders includes eight nominees that have a "particular passion… displayed in their defence of free expression."

View the nominees here.

Vote for the blogs here.

Report claims lack of press freedom in North Korea

A new report shows North Korea, Eritrea, and Turkmenistan are the worst countries for press freedom.

Press freedom organisation Reporters Without Boarders has released their annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index, which places North Korea at the bottom of the list for the fourth consecutive year.

"Journalists there simply relay government propaganda. Anyone out of step is harshly dealt with. A word too many, a commentary that deviates from the official line or a wrongly spelled name and the author may be thrown in prison or draw the wrath of those in power. Harassment, psychological pressure, intimidation and round-the-clock surveillance are routine," the report says.

Western democracies slipped several places on the index. Most notably, the United fell 20 places to 44th over the last year.

The top ten countries are all European: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Presidential Blog Awards in Chile

An internet organisation in Chile will host their "Blog Presidenciales 2005 Awards" as part of the Presidential Blog Forum 2005.

The Digital Nation Foundation will give awards to presidential candidates for blogs in categories such as "best proposals" and "best debate".

Earlier this month, the Digital Nation Foundation launched the Presidential Blog Forum 2005 where candidates for the presidential elections can put forth his or her viewpoints and proposals and interact with registered site users.

Why does a US congressman blog?

A US congressman has praised blogs as a method of taking political messages directly to the public.

US Democrat Congressman John Conyers Jr says the mainstream media rarely report on actions of parties that do not have control of either house of congress.

"Indeed, the same reporters who write that Democrats lack an agenda refuse to write about our legislative proposals no matter the number of press conferences, calls and press releases," he said.

"Blogging lets me bypass that filter and take my message directly to many voters."

Mr Coyners’s blog can be found here.

Broadband penetration slows

People worldwide are slowing their acceptance of broadband, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Latest figures show Broadband growth from December 2004 to June 2005 has fallen from 41 per cent to 15 per cent.

Korea leads worldwide broadband penetration with 25.5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, an increase on December 2004’s figure of 24.9 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

The Netherlands has the second-highest penetration rate with 22.5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

See the latest OECD report on broadband penetration.

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