www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-syria-letter-20120305,0,508256.story

baltimoresun.com

Syria and the cell phone

9:45 AM EST, March 5, 2012

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I read with interest Glenn McNatt's editorial about the use of cell-phone video to document historic events in Syria ("The YouTube war," Feb. 25). His editorial was a significant one and deserves to be expanded into a series exploring the uses of new media in global conflict. Mr. NcNatt's piece hearkens back to the best kind of writing that is the heritage of your newspaper.

The revolutions occurring in the Arab world are profound. I believe that the use of non-professional video by those who are intimately involved in these struggles will be counted as one of the most important uses of new media. Whereas in earlier conflicts, both the photographer and journalist served as the eye and voice of such events, the citizen with his or her cell camera has emerged as the new witness to revolution and change.

Syria has done everything possible to limit the access of journalists and photographers from abroad. Thus, it is left to individuals, ordinary Syrians with cell phones, to document the story of what is happening in their country and in so doing risk their lives daily to alert the larger world to their plight. Truly, they constitute the voice of the people. They are staking their very existence on getting out the news of the killings and bombings by the military. Perhaps, the United Nations will be moved finally to act against Syria! Who knew that a cell phone would play such a pivotal role in the dissemination of these events?

Please accept my gratitude for Mr. McNatt's astute and timely editorial which serves to remind The Sun's readers how technology has altered the landscape of the history of the contemporary world.

Michela Caudill