Control the news. Control the information

Freedom of speech and press go hand in hand with freedom to access information. In the democracies the battle has always been to pry loose information from governments by the free press.

In a society with a free press, people depend on an independent media to tell them what is going on. And by and large there is a trust that what is reported is not vetted by some lackey for a political or economic reason.much less on rumors.

In other countries where the media are controlled by the government, rumors take the place of the media for getting information. (I still recall when the Chinese government was banning all discussion of SARS how rumors in southern China ran rampant. One particular rumor was that this strange new disease was the result of the accidental release of an experimental virus being developed by the Chinese and US intelligence services. Yep. Some folks actually believed that.)

Even in the dictatorships, however, people are finding ways to use the Internet to find information that might be contrary to official government dictates.

So what does any self-respecting dictator do? He sets up a “reference” site so people can see online “facts” that back up the government line.

The latest effort comes from Cuba.

Cuba launches online encyclopaedia similar to Wikipedia

Ecured was developed, says the Cuban government “to create and disseminate the knowledge of all and for all, from Cuba and with the world.”

It wants people to know things from an organization that is democratic, non-profit and opposed to colonization. (Amazing how dictators twist words. Like, I always figured if a country had to call itself a “people’s republic,” it was neither.)

The new service launched today (Dec. 14).

Some news organizations report that the entry on the USA is that the country has historically taken “by force territory and natural resources from other nations, to put at the service of its businesses and monopolies.”

And current Cuban leader Raul Castor is a visionary and charismatic political and revolutionary leader. EcuRed adds that Raul plays and important role in the sovereignty and independence of Cuba.

Nothing like a little fair and balanced information.

p.s. Damnedest thing is that I can get to the main page but any searches come up with an error message. Guess the server in Cuba is being overloaded with people looking for a non-colonial view of the world.

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2 Comments

Filed under Censorship, Cuba, Freedom of Information, Press Freedom

2 responses to “Control the news. Control the information

  1. Pingback: Interesting take on WikiLeaks from Cuban blogger | Journalism, Journalists and the World

  2. Pingback: Journalism and the World » Blog Archive » Cuban blogger looks at WikiLeaks issue

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