Rebecca MacKinnon – USA

Linked with The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.

Rebecca MacKinnon (born 1969) is a former CNN journalist who headed the CNN bureaus in Beijing and later in Tokyo, before leaving television to become a blogger and co-founder of Global Voices Online. She is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Center and lives in Hong Kong. From 2004-06 she was a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (full text).

Watch her video: Video: Rebecca MacKinnon on Online Journalism, Oct. 16, 2007.

Read: Thomas Friedman gets the middle finger in the Middle Kingdom, Sept. 9, 2007.

Find Rebecca MacKinnon’s Google video-search.

Listen to her audio on CDN.

Rebecca MacKinnon - USA 90p.jpg.

Rebecca MacKinnon – USA

Look at her personal blog.

Read: Chinese Cell Phone Breaches North Korean Hermit Kingdom, February 3rd, 2005.

DIGITAL AGE – Are Bloggers as Trustworthy as Mainstream Media? by R. MacKinno, 28.54 min., 26.03.2006.

She says (about China and the internet): There’s a real contradiction that’s difficult to explain to the West and the outside world about China and about the Internet. On the one hand, you have a lot of efforts – and fairly successful efforts – to control content on the Internet and control what people can access, yet on the other hand, you have this contradiction that at the same time the space for conversation thanks to the Internet has grown tremendously in China”, MacKinnon told the Foreign Correspondents Club. (full text, Sep 27, 2007).

Read: Hong Kong, GV Editor Oiwan Lam faces court battle over Flickr photo, by Rebecca MacKinnon, July 16th, 2007.

She writes: ‘On Feb. 16, Hu Jia, a Chinese AIDS activist, was asked to get in a car with men he didn’t recognize. They put a black hood over his head and pushed him down so he couldn’t see where he was being taken. Then they locked him in the inner room of a hotel suite and interrogated him for 41 days. He was given no access to a lawyer, and his family was given no information about his whereabouts. Then, on day 41, his captors once more put a black hood on him, drove him to a shopping center and dropped him off roughly an hour’s walk from his home … (full text, April 20, 2006).

Read: Global Voices: International Bloggers Start Connecting the Dots, Dec. 15, 2004.

She writes also: ‘In November 2003, I had the rare opportunity to interview Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for CNN … This exclusive interview was broadcast repeatedly over a 24-hour period on CNN International, which is seen by viewers around the world but not in the United States. CNN USA, the version of CNN seen by Americans inside the U.S., did not broadcast a single “soundbite” of Koizumi’s interview. If one believes that the role of the American media should be to inform the citizens of a democracy about the realities of major foreign policy problems so that those citizens can make informed judgments about their government’s ability to conduct international relations, then one is likely to conclude that we failed to do our job. But why did we fail? Was it part of some pro-Bush Administration conspiracy by CNN producers and news executives? No. Were producers of CNN USA news shows making some calculation about U.S. “national interest?” As a CNN insider I saw no evidence of any such calculation … (full text, Nov.-Dec. 2004).

Read her on Global Voices in half chinese, half english text: Screenshots of Censorship, June 16, 2005.

And she writes (excerpts): ‘The Iraq war was the first war to be blogged. Salam Pax was the war’s most celebrated blogger. Blogging pseudonymously during the last days of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the young Iraqi architect sent his readers’ hearts into their throats as he described the dread of a city’s citizens waiting to be bombed … The Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan (a.k.a. Hoder) wonders whether that war could have been avoided if there had been a lot more Salam Pax-es, circumventing their own government-controlled media as well as the Western media, talking directly with the outside world … In order to make this possible, Spirit of America, an organization founded to support U.S. troops and their humanitarian projects in Iraq and Afghanistan, has sponsored the development of an Arabic language blogging tool … The Global Voices movement hopes to support the growth of such communities everywhere, and to help them cross geographical and linguistic divides to build bridges of conversation between each other. As Malaysia’s Jeff Ooi puts it: “we are looking to connect all the dots around the world.” Exactly what will come of this in a geo-political sense is not clear, but it can’t be bad – and it might be powerful. (full text, Dec. 15, 2004).

Read: America’s Online Censors, February 2004.

Read: … The Paradigm Shift: The weblog is at the forefront of a media paradigm-shift toward a new interactive, participatory model. Thus this paper focuses primarily on the weblog form, although it is not the only form of participatory media currently in existence, and many new forms –yet to be named – are likely to be created in the future. There are many definitions of the
weblog but the best I have found so far is from Wikipedia, the online, user-written and user-supported global encyclopedia … page 7/61. (full text, 2004).

Her bio: on her blog, on JMSC, on LinkedIn.

Read: January 12, 2007: Asia leads the world in blog readership.

Edelman the P.R. company has come out with a fascinating study of global blog readership titled A Corporate Guide to the Global Blogosphere (published in that annoying new NXT format, unfortunately.) While the report’s primary audience is meant to be companies, there is plenty for non-corporate people who study the blogosphere to chew on. Their key finding is not surprising: blogs are much more influential in Japan, South Korea, and China than they are in the West. Here’s the chart (click to enlarge): (full text on RConversation).

Her audio: East meets West, 38.07 min, Oct. 21, 2005.
Links to her publications on her blog.

Her Interview Audio: Rebecca MacKinnon, Former CNN Reporter & Global Voices Online, February 8, 2006, 18.40 min.
(Google has agreed to censor its search engine in China. In return for blocking politically sensitive terms, Google gains access to the world’s No. 2 Internet market) – She says: ” … Well, Internet use is growing very fast. It’s only 8 percent of the Chinese population but that’s already the world’s second largest user base. In the cities amongst the educated urban elite increasingly the Internet is how people do get their information. And so if you have a information environment where people don’t even know what they’re missing because they don’t know what’s been censored because, number one, it’s censored and number two, nobody is being honest with them about the fact that they’re censoring, this really skews people’s outlook on the world and about their country’s relationship with the rest of the world and about what their own government may or may not be doing, and what – just what’s going on in their own surroundings. And so, increasingly as people do become dependent on the Internet for information, we do need to be concerned about who is controlling what information gets through to whom, and the extent to which those controls enable power holders to stay in power and not to be challenged in ways that perhaps in the pre-Internet age might have been more possible. (full interview text, January 25, 2006).

Her Video: Poynter Online – E-Media Tidbits, 19 min.


See this blog: Ethan Zuckerman’s musings on Africa, international development and hacking the media;

classwide cropped resized;

WAMU 88.5FM, the American University radio;

Why China shut down 18,401 websites, Oct. 23, 2007;

about China’s Censorship 2.0, on China Digital Times;

Blogs evade news ban in Myanmar, Sept. 26, 2007;

Bloggercon III;

Audio: Microsoft Bows to Chinese Blog Censorship, Jan 12, 2006;

Jamaica Express;

H20, it’s about Remix Culture;

The North Korea zone;

How Chinese net repression really works, by Bobbie Johnson, Sep.27, 2007;


Les Blogs 2.0;

Berkman on wikipedia.

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