Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Blog Gets Action, Justice

Jordanian expat blogger Husain (Who’s-sane) posted up the appalling story of his father’s disappearance in Jordan on September 2nd. His ageing father had gone missing and the frantic family spent a week looking for him, finally tracking him down to a hospital which they had been calling constantly to see if he, or anyone like him, had been admitted. Husein reports that by the time they found him, his father was critically ill because of the abusive treatment he had received at the hands of the wilfully negligent staff of the hospital

The full story is here. It’s been viewed over 3,700 times and drawn over 200 comments, the vast majority from truly horrified people who undoubtedly sparked major and widespread word of mouth awareness of this appalling situation. The story was also picked up by ‘conventional’ media and ran widely. The combination of word of mouth, blog and media resulted in Jordan’s Minister of Health, Dr. Salah Al Mawajdeh, getting involved and, yesterday, visiting the hospital on behalf of King Abdullah, promising action against the staff and the best possible treatment for Husain’s father. That post is here.

As pal and passionate social media advocate Gianni will tell you, over 40% of journalists surveyed in the UK said that social media affected their work. Over 60% cite blogs in their articles (and over 70% read blogs). In short, this shows how blogs - even in the under-Internetted Middle East - are capable of breaking major stories into national media as well as driving significant word of mouth.

Husain’s blog helped to get action and will, hopefully, also get justice for his father and the family. Which I, for one, find really quite cool.

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