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Apr 02, 2009

A group of 50 bloggers from across the world get together to report on the G20 from the action site. Will this influence citizen journalism in coming times? OneWorld South Asia reports from the bloggers' tent.

London: After facing the bitter cold of a London morning, and being shuttled from one point to another, we are finally in the wide warm confines of the Excel Centre – the hotspot of global action that will unfold as the day passes.


As part of a group of 50 international bloggers, brought together by GCAP and Oxfam, we are here to represent the other civil society voice. This is the first time that bloggers have been given access to a global meeting as equals to the traditional media.

Karina Brisby of Oxfam is the brains behind this initiative. Excited, happy, and a little bit tired by mid-day, she hopes the project will change the way citizen journalism is perceived in the future at important summits. "The passion and content of the bloggers is inspiring. The reaction of people watching the blog and live stream makes it all worthwhile."  

Helena Suarez of GCAP adds, "This was a great way to get campaigners into the action and sneak in the civil society voice from the South as well."

Ahmed Al-Omran who covers political and social issues on his blog Saudi Jeans, one of the most popular in the Middle East, thinks this is a fascinating project. "This is a chance to listen to world leaders firsthand. Usually one gets such information from the media. As bloggers we want to give our readers a different perspective on what’s happening."   

For young Mexican blogger Jessica Uribe, this is an exciting experience that will shape her writings on the future of her country.

Daudi Were, a prominent Kenyan citizen journalist, blogs on citizen issues and political leadership in his native country on "G20 Voice is a vital project," he says. "We are the bridge between those 20 guys in that room and the world."

He does think the African representation at the Summit is 'scandalous' as the decisions that would be taken today will have an effect on Africa. "The tax policies, aid policies and the environment policies are all interlinked and will affect our country."     

As the day moves on, the bloggers catch the attention of Ed Miliband, UK Climate Secretary, who stops to interact and respond to questions. It’s a sure sign that such civil society efforts can no longer be ignored by political leaders.   

Helena is however cautious of the matrix trap. "There is a danger of activism in the North being seduced by the internet. The challenge is to get the online action out to the streets, the real world." Final words indeed.

Catch the G20 Voice blog posts at

Catch the author's blog at

The photograph was originally posted on

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