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The Blog Bus: Palestine's Travelling Media Conference

“Any event which is not documented or blogged about, is forgotten” - Saed Karzoun, Palestinian journalist, blogger, musician, and the founder of the Blog Bus.

The famous bus which takes bloggers, activists and journalists to explore and report on the various issues in Palestine

The Blog Bus  takes bloggers, activists and journalists to report on various issues in Palestine

The bus gathers bloggers, activists, citizen journalists together, sometimes bringing together authors who already know each other online, but who are meeting for the first time in real life.

One "Blog Bus" participant talks with a group of children in Jordan Valley. She hears about their daily life, problems, and dreams.

One “Blog Bus” participant talks with a group of children in Jordan Valley. She hears about their daily life, problems, and dreams.

The bus travels between regions to report on local problems: youth concerns, women's issues, unemployment, difficulties arising from the Israeli occupation, and so on.

Each author on the bus uses his or her favorite digital tool to report on the problem. In brief, we might call it a “bloggers mobile conference.”

According to Karzoun's blog, the initiative aims [ar] to unify the efforts of a dispersed group of bloggers who tend to focus on only one region – but with the blog bus can examine larger problems, together.

"Electricity doesn't reach Jordan Valley in the 21st century. #Blogbus" reads the slogan carried by this participant in the first trip of the "Bloggers Mobile Conference"

“Electricity doesn't reach Jordan Valley in the 21st century. #Blogbus” reads the slogan carried by this participant in the first trip of the “Bloggers Mobile Conference”

Through their reporting on the regions and its problems, the bloggers hope to draw attention of both the mainstream media as well as decision makers who have the abilities to improve local conditions.

Not only limited to blogging, the bus participants use photography, podcasts, Youtube videos, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, live streamed programs, and smart phone apps. 

The bus launched on January 27, 2014 with a trip to Jordan Valley, at the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

The invitation for the first tour of "Blog Bus"

The invitation for the first tour of the Blog Bus.

Supported by various international and local organizations, Blog Bus has received great media attentionpraising their work, and highlighting its role in shedding light on the harsh reality of life in Palestine [ar].

The Blog Bus in action:

Next Steps …

The next step for the organizers of Blog Bus is to develop an app for the project, which will allow bloggers to connect directly with their blogs and publish to the Blog Bus platform. This will include photos, videos, maps, audio, and public commentary and questions, said Saed in an email interview with Rising Voices. He also adds that decision makers and influential public figures will be invited to take part in those bus tours to answer questions from bloggers in public meetings about the campaign. 

The Blog Bus is one element of a larger project, YouKnow, working on access to information in Palestine, and was nominated for the prestigious Hult Prize this year.

The bloggers

The bloggers participating in the first Blog Bus tour.

All photos have been used with permission from the Blog Bus.

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