The BBC held a debate today at Zara Expo on whether the Internet was changing our world. “Our”, being the Middle East. The panel included Rania Kurdi who needs no introduction, Dana Suyagh who’s head of news at the yet to be launched ATV, Doud Kuttab who needs no introduction, the one and only Roba Assi and myself. The audience was made up mostly, if not entirely of young Jordanians, who I have to say were very engaged and enthusiastic about the subject. In fact I think the audience got the chance to speak more than the panelists.
While a great deal of discussion was generated by the audience, it’s a topic I’d like to discuss in a separate post, perhaps in a long boring essay. But for now I’d like to (quickly) say that I thought it was very interesting that the BBC got bloggers to be involved in the debate. For what is the Internet and indeed new media, without bloggers? And that’s not a rhetorical question. I think both Roba and I were pleased to have the opportunity to participate in such a debate and inject some youthful on-the-street perspective in an industry dominated by much bigger players. I’m not so sure bloggers would have been invited had the debate been hosted by the more regional media which seems to be oblivious to blogging and the awesome power it can wield. But again, that’s something for the long boring essay post.
I also enjoyed meeting all the people that came up to me afterwards. Some were bloggers themselves and some seemed interested in the idea and I hope today’s debate will nudge them in that direction.
And of course the lovely gift bag…it made backstage at the Oscars look like a joke. (just kidding)
While I formulate my incoherent thoughts feel free to read up on what others had to say about the topic in the meantime.
The debate will be broadcast on BBC World Service radio’s Newshour on Saturday 17 March, at 1230GMT