CHINA: In China’s traditional world of media, free speech is tightly controlled and journalists are beholden to an authoritarian regime watching their every word. But China’s 564 million Internet users no longer have to live in information isolation.

ETHIOPIA: Although there are bloggers writing within Ethiopia, it’s the diaspora voices that are often the most outspoken when writing about the country they call home.

MEXICO: Since December 2006, Mexico’s drug wars have claimed more than 70,000 lives. Another victim has been Mexico’s free press. In the absence of traditional reporting, Mexico’s citizenry has, to varying degrees, sought to fill in the gaps.

SYRIA: The Syrian regime has blocked nearly all foreign correspondents from legally entering the country to cover its two-year-old civil war. Day in and day out, the main source of video from the war is Syrian citizens.