How to Launch a Human Rights Blog

A blog can be an effective way to expose human rights abuses. For more information, go to "www.movements.org":http://www.movements.org

Instructions

  • : Publicly exposing human-rights abuses may put you at risk in certain countries. Take steps to ensure anonymity and proceed with caution.
  • Step 1: Set it up Set up the blog. Check out the web sites of journalist-rights groups for information on programs to use, techniques to avoid censors, and security measures to take.
  • TIP: Use anonymizing software to help hide your IP address.
  • Step 2: Pick the issues Decide which specific issues and events you want to highlight. Practice drafting entries before you go live.
  • Step 3: Make it current A successful blog is not a history lesson; your writing should reference current events. And stick to the facts--human-rights abuses don’t need embellishment.
  • TIP: While staying current, always explain background and context. Assume your readers know nothing about the situations you’re describing.
  • Step 4: Find your voice Develop a distinct voice. Whether you’re scholarly, sarcastic, or bombastic, be consistent, and be original.
  • Step 5: Remain anonymous Increase your chances of remaining anonymous--and escaping detection by authorities--by not revealing personal information on the blog.
  • TIP: Entries about your own experiences, or those of friends and family, may attract more readers. Just be sure to change names and identifying details.
  • Step 6: Seek help Identify regional specialists at human-rights organizations and nonprofit groups that support press freedom. They can offer guidance and may even be able to provide funding and legal advice.
  • Step 7: Optimize Optimize your results in search engines by using keywords--terms and phrases related to your topic that people tend to search for--in the titles and top paragraphs of your posts.
  • Step 8: Link to external sites Link to other relevant blogs, dissident and human-rights groups, and news organizations. Get as many of them as possible to reciprocate.
  • Step 9: Make it interactive Encourage reader comments and suggestions. Lively debate can increase traffic.
  • Step 10: Use photos and video If possible, incorporate photographs and video. A picture tells a thousand words, and video is harder for censors to catch than text.
  • FACT: The United Nations adopted the historic "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" in 1948. It's since been translated into more than 300 languages.

You Will Need

  • A computer with internet access
  • A blogging program
  • Writing skill
  • Anonymizing software
  • Photographs and video footage

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