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May 26, 2010 (02:05 PM EDT) Brings Together Thought Leaders And Journalism Students To Discuss The Rise of Hyper-Local Reporting in Emerging and Developing Countries

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26 /PRNewswire/ --, the first open media site where anyone can report from anywhere, will host a first of its kind online symposium to discuss the rise of hyper-local reporting in emerging and developing countries. The symposium brings together experts from the worlds of technology and journalism and students from top tier journalism schools to discuss the way citizen reports are directing the issues and events covered by mainstream Western media.


The online symposium will take place on Thursday, May 27, 2010 and will feature:

Clay Shirky, Internet thinker/NYU professor and author of "Here Comes Everybody,"

Amra Tareen, founder and CEO of, which operates 30 global news desks around the world and has nearly 350,000 professional and citizen journalists, and Scott Stearns, Voice of America Correspondent for Western and Central Africa. is hosting the event and has invited all 4.5 million of its readers and students from journalism schools spread from Berkeley to London to Abu Dhabi to learn more about the future of global news reporting. The public is invited to join the discussion and can register here.

"Citizen reports in countries like Iran, Pakistan and Haiti have begun to play a major role directing Western media coverage," said Amra Tareen, founder and CEO of "The 2009 Iranian protests and the international reaction to 'Draw Muhammad Day' are prime examples of this. The symposium will address the issues surrounding this movement and the ways it shapes public perception of the developing and emerging worlds."

The symposium is especially focused on the ways reports from social media platforms have begun to direct what major media covers and thus how the public perceives socio-political issues in emerging and developing countries. More and more, issues that would never reach an American audience are entering the greater global conversation with great force. As hyper-local reporting is still in its infancy, the symposium aims to discuss the ways it will develop and influence the politics on both national and international levels. Shirky, Tareen and Stearns will cover issues in social media, ethical concerns and the role new journalists—both citizen and professional—will play in it.

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