The Zapatistas and the Internet: no end of journalism in sight

Roy Krøvel (Oslo University College, Norway)

The Zapatista uprising began in January 1994, just as use of the Internet started to spread in Mexico, at time when Mexico still was ruled by an often-authoritarian government. A number of studies have concluded that the Zapatistas’ clever use of the Internet broke the government’s grip on the media. The Zapatistas were called the world’s first postmodern guerrillas, and seen as heralding a new society. Activists used mailing lists with some success in the initial stages of the conflict. However the constantly rising number of unverified rumours was a problem: activists therefore came to rely more and more on journalists to verify and distribute information. Much of the news circulated on the activists’ own mailing lists was in fact produced by journalists, underlining the importance of the reliability or verifiability of information in relation to the Internet and the future of journalism.

Timing - Friday - Panel Session B1
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