Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. – Thomas Jefferson
Digital Media Mash Up: November, Week 2
In this Issue
- Global Censorship Update
- Digital Media News Affecting Journalists and Activists
- Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets
- Digital Media in the Middle East
- Digital Africa
- Conference and Event Roundup
- The Future of News
- Around the Blogosphere
Independent Media in East Africa: Democratic Pillar in Peril?
Tuesday, November 15, 10am
About: New challenges to independent media are emerging in East Africa. Recently passed anti-terrorism and information laws allow governments to harass and imprison journalists with impunity. Under these new laws, six journalists have been arrested in Ethiopia since June 2011, and Somali journalists are facing tremendous threats covering conflict and famine in their country. How do local media react when their fellow journalists come under attack? How can an independent press play its crucial role as a pillar of democracy and overcome challenges in places such as Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya? The discussion will also examine the development of unions and media associations as well as the international donor community's role in supporting independent media in East Africa.
Featuring: Tamerat Feyisa, Addisnegeronline.com; John A. "Al" Hosinski, Solidarity Center; Joan Mower, Voice of America; Omar Faruk Osman, Federation of African Journalists
Location: Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC.
Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media
Thursday, November 17, 2011, 12pm
About: Join us to learn how the lack of management skills and inexperience in developing effective business models pose a significant risk to the sustainability of independent news media. Panelists will examine these challenges and discuss two new reports: Financially Viable Media in Emerging and Developing Markets, published by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media, by the Center for International Media Assistance.
Featuring: Michelle J. Foster, author, Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media; Caroline H. Little, president/CEO of the Newspaper Association of America; Harlan Mandel, chief executive officer for the Media Development Loan Fund; Anne Nelson, adjunct associate professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and Principal Researcher, Financially Viable Media in Emerging and Developing Markets; Jean Rogers, deputy director of the Center for International Private Enterprise.
Location: Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC.
Internet Freedoms and Their Consequences - An Evening Debate with Andrew McLaughlin & Evgeny Morozov
November 16, 6pm
About: Evgeny Morozov and Andrew McLaughlin will debate the sincerity, utility and repercussions of America's commitment to a free Internet. They will discuss the desirability of network neutrality and network regulation in the context of US foreign policy, the ways to balance user privacy with the growing needs of law enforcement agencies; and the emerging threats to freedom of expression that are inherent in the technical design as well as the business imperatives of today's Web.
Featuring: Evgeny Morozov and Andrew McLaughlin
Location: Stanford Law School, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA
The Spanish Revolution & the Internet: From Free Culture to Meta-Politics
November 22, 12:30pm
About: In the context of multiple crises - ecological, political, financial and geopolitical restructuring - large mobilizations are taking place in several countries. In the Spanish case, we have seen some of the largest demonstrations since the country transitioned to democracy in the 70th with massive occupations of public squares, attempts to prevent parliaments functioning and citizen assemblies of thousands of people taking place in spring and autumn 2011. Furthermore, the free culture movement (FCM) played an important role in the rising and shaping of the mobilization. The campaign agents "Sinde Law" (on Internet regulation) in December 2010 and its afterworld meta-political derivation into "Don't vote them" campaign (referring to do not vote the parties which approved the law) are considered a starting point of the mobilization cycle. Additionally, FCM has influenced the agenda and organizational logic of the protest for a "True Democracy Now" (particularly in terms of the use of the new technologies); even if the mobilization has also caused an split between two sectors of the FCM itself. The presentation will be based on a qualitative research analysis and aims to open up a debate on the similarities and contrast between the Spanish case and the mobilization that emerged in other places (such as Arab Countries, Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Chile or New York City).
Featuring: Mayo Fuster Morell has developed research in the field of the Internet and politics; social movements (Global Justice Movement, Free Culture Movement and recent mobilization wave of "indignated" in Spain); online communities; common-base peer production; and public policies. She specializes in online methods and action-participation research.
Location: Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Harvard Law School, Boston, MA
From Public Squares to Platforms: Free Speech in the Networked World
Wednesday, November 30, 6pm
About: The panel will bring together a range of speakers from academia, public interest, and private practice, to discuss issues of free speech as it increasingly moves from the town square to the online world.
Featuring: Andrew McLaughlin, Non-Residential Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society and the Executive Director of Civic Commons; Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California; Laurence Pulgram, Partner and Chair of Commercial and Copyright Litigation Group, Fenwick and West LLP; Nicole Ozer, Co-Chair- California State Bar Cyberspace Committee, Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California
Location: Stanford Law School, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA, 94305
FAILfaire NYC 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 201, 7pm
About: Tech projects for social change succeed sometimes, but more often than not, they fail. The successes are reported on, and the failures are quietly pushed under the proverbial rug. Well, it's time to bring out the failures, with a sense of humor, and with an honest look at ourselves at FAILfaire NYC 2011. FAILfaire features case studies of projects using tech in social change that have, to put it simply, been a #FAIL. Busted, kaputt. Tongue firmly in cheek, we take a close look at what didn't work and why the projects failed amidst the hype of tech changing the work - hype that we all are subjected to (and are sometimes contributors to).
Organized by: MobileActive.org - a global network of people using mobile technology for social impact. Hosted by: The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, with participation from UNICEF's Innovation Unit
Location: U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038-4999
BAHRAIN: Arrest of Poet, Blogger and Media Professional Jaafar Al-Alawy in Bahrain, Capital of Arab Culture 2012
Bahrain Center for Human Rights express its deep concern for the arrest and detention of the poet, media professional and blogger Jaafar AlAlawy (27 years old) this morning in a move that reflects the continuation of the Bahraini authorities in its campaign targeting the media professionals and its non-compliance with international treaties which it signed to respect freedoms, especially freedom of expression. BCHR is even more concerned for the safety of AlAlawy as a result of information received previously of many cases of torture and ill-treatment of journalists in Bahraini prisons. (Bahrain Center for Human Rights, 11/8))
BRAZIL: Cybercrime Law Could Restrict Fundamental Rights, Internet Openness
Pending in Brazil's House of Representatives is a proposed cybercrime law [pt] that could criminalize many ordinary online activities and that would mark an abrupt shift in Brazil's progressive digital policy environment. The Committee on Science and Technology will vote on the bill on November 9, 2011. (Global Voices Advocacy, 11/8)
CHINA: Chinese Firms to Increase Censorship of Online Content
Chinese firms have agreed to increase their censorship of internet content as authorities seeks greater control over the medium. (BBC News, 11/7)
EGYPT: Egyptian Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah Blogs from Detention
A translation of Alaa's blog post from jail by Sultan Al-Qassemi. (Felix Arabia, 11/4)
EGYPT: Detained Activist's Mother Starts Hunger Strike
Laila Soueif, university professor and mother of activist Alaa Abd El Fattah, decided to go on a hunger strike starting Sunday to protest her son's detention. (Al Masry Al Youm, 11/7)
EGYPT: Alaa Abd El Fattah's Final Interview before Being Detained
VIDEO: This is Alaa Abd El Fattah's final interview before being imprisoned by the Egyptian military, conducted while he was attending the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference. (Digital Rights Watch, 11/9)
KUWAIT: More Twitter Users Arrested
2011 has been the year of defeat for online free speech in Kuwait as netizens have never been harassed as often as they have been in the past few months. Since last April, three netizens were arrested and sentenced to jail for expressing their opinions online and the arrests' wave has not stopped as two more twitter users got arrested recently and released within 24 hours after the raged reactions that these arrests created among citizens and parliament members. Hamad AlOlayan and Tariq Al-Mutairi are two netizens who have been actively tweeting in criticism of the Prime Minister and some of their recent tweets were seen as a violation of the constitutional 54th article that forbids making any remarks against the Amir as he is "the head of the state and is immune." (Global Voices Advocacy, 11/4)
LEBANON: The Paradoxes of Free Speech in Lebanon
Lebanon's media council now requires all news websites and blogs to register, amid speculation that authorities are preparing to censor the web in the wake of Syria's uprising. Karlo Sharro explores what the move means for free speech in Lebanon. (Index on Censorship, 11/10)
MEXICO: Mexican Man Apparently Killed for Web Comments
The decapitated body of a man was left Wednesday at the same monument in the border city of Nuevo Laredo where the corpse of a woman purportedly killed in retaliation for her postings on an anti-crime website had been left previously, authorities said. (AP, 11/10)
MEXICO: Gang Sends Message with Blogger Beheading
Gangsters killed and beheaded an Internet blogger Wednesday in Nuevo Laredo, the fourth slaying in the city involving people associated with social media sites since early September. (Houston Chronicle, 11/9)
MYANMAR: Researchers Spot Broader Use of U.S.Technology for Censorship
After revelations that it supplied Syria with Internet spy tools, a U.S. company faces similar allegations about Myanmar. (Technology Review, 11/9)
RUSSIA: Russian Internet Content Monitoring System To Go Live In December
Roskomnadzor, Russian telecommunications control body, will launch content monitoring system in December 2011, Kommersant.ru reports [ru]. The system ordered in March, 2011 (see GV analysis here) is now in pre-release condition. Its documented abilities allow the monitoring of up to 5 mln keywords published at the websites registered as online mass media outlets. It will also monitor user comments. The experts fear that the scale of monitoring will extend to non-registered blogs and sites. (Tech Dirt, 11/9)
SRI LANKA: Media Censorship: Sri Lankan Government Criticized for Targeting Several News Websites
Sri Lankan authorities are facing strong criticism for restricting media freedom after blocking several websites and requiring all news websites to register with the government. The government is defending its actions, saying it is not targeting freedom of expression.
The government says it blocked the websites because some of the reports they carried had damaged the character of the president, ministers and other senior officials. (Censorship in America, 11/8)
SYRIA: Syrian Filmmaker Missing, Lawyer Held, Activists Say
Film director Nidal Hassan went missing on Thursday, with his associates believing he has been "abducted by the security services due to his support" of anti-government protests, the Syrian League for the Defence of Human Rights said in a statement. (Now Lebanon, 11/5)
TUNISIA: Army Critic Sentenced to Two Months in Prison
On November 9, Nabil Hajlaoui, an agronomist from Sidi Bouzid, was sentenced to two months in prison following his criticism of the Tunisian military institution. According to Houssem Hajlaoui, an author for the collective blog Nawaat, Nabil Hajlaoui was arrested after writing an article, in which he blamed the army for the recent riots and acts of vandalism which took place in Sidi Bouzid following the elections. (Global Voices Online, 11/10)
UNITED KINGDOM: Brits Back Twitter, Facebook Shutdown During Civil Unrest
A new survey from security firm Unisys shows that 48% of British respondents "completely agree" that during outbreaks of unrest, "providers should temporarily shut down social networks to prevent coordinated criminal activity." In fact, the number goes higher - to 70% of all respondents - if you include the people who "agree somewhat" with the above statement. (Forbes, 11/8)
FACEBOOK: Rights Group Slams Facebook for Censorship of French Weekly
Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders slammed Facebook on Friday for threatening to terminate the account of a French weekly whose offices were firebombed after publishing images of the Prophet Mohammed. (Dawn.com, 11/5)
The Data Journalism Handbook
BAMBUSER: How to Use Bambuser to Live-Stream your News Content
WECT reporter and anchor Michelle Li explains how her newsroom uses Bambuser to live-stream footage and engage with viewers. (Mobile Media Toolkit, 10/18)
Media, Youth Activism & Participatory Politics: Case Studies in a Digital Age
The growing use of digital media for social change is nourishing a dialogue about its impact on young people's involvement in civic and political affairs. The Media Activism Participatory Politics (MAPP) project, an undertaking of the MacArthur Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP), was created to further that conversation by examining youth-led organizations that encourage productive forms of participation in the public sphere. The undocumented youth movement serves as a key example of how young people are appropriating the affordances of digital media to empower themselves and their community. (DML Central, 11/4)
PROJECT BYZANTIUM: Tools Spotlight: Project Byzantium
The goal of Project Byzantium is to develop a communication system by which users can connect to each other and share information in the absence of convenient access to the Internet. (Digital Rights Watch, 11/7)
TABLEAU PUBLIC: Spotlight on: Tableau Public
VIDEO: Tableau Public is a data visualisation tool that enables users to condense complex datasets into simple and easy to read graphs, which allow for better understanding of the datasets.
Tableau is a helpful resource that can be used by journalists, bloggers, advocates, researchers, professors and students alike to look at a story from another perspective and give it a fresh new angle. (European Journalism Center, 11/7)
Advice for Colleagues on the Digital Front Lines
If you're running a website that's come under attack, or is likely to, here is some advice on how to protect yourself. (Committee to Protect Journalists, 11/9)
Eight Tips for Multimedia Journalists
Good multimedia journalism requires multi-tasking journalists who are observant and flexible.
IJNet asked experienced multi-platform reporter Karla Leal about what makes a good multimedia journalist. (ijnet, 11/10)
How Citizen Journalism Is Reshaping Media and Democracy
The global media market is dominated by roughly nine or ten transnational corporations: General Electric, AT&T/Liberty Media, Disney, Time Warner, Sony, News Corporation, Viacom, Seagram and Bertelsmann. However, with the advent of social media and blogging, the role of the citizen journalist is becoming more valuable than ever. He has the opportunity to present a unique perspective - to breathe fresh air into a society herded by mainstream media. (Mashable, 11/10)
Twitter vs. the KGB
Can social media save a journalist in trouble in a place like Kyrgyzstan? (Foreign Policy, 11/11)
Does Twitter Have More Influence than Facebook?
Mark Zuckerberg's social network is still growing, but tweets have the edge in promoting news content -especially on mobile. (The Guardian, 11/7)
Twitter Ordered to Yield Data in WikiLeaks Case
A federal judge on Thursday ruled that Twitter, the popular microblogging platform, must reveal information about three of its account holders who are under investigation for their possible links to the WikiLeaks whistle-blower site. (New York Times, 11/11)
ADOBE: Why Flash Didn't Work Out on Mobile Devices
The debate over whether supporting the Adobe Flash plug-in on mobile devices is a feature or not is over. Last night ZDNet got hold of an announcement Adobe early: that it is abandoning its work on Flash for mobile. It's not a huge surprise that it came to this, since Adobe had been struggling to optimize the performance and the tide has been turning toward HTML5. (GigaOM, 11/9)
ADOBE: Gone in a Flash: How Adobe's Abandonment of Flash for Mobile Impacts News Orgs
With mobile a growing part of news organizations' traffic, it's time to commit to HTML5 for video - and hope its animation tools get better fast. (Nieman Journalism Lab, 11/9)
FACEBOOK: Facebook: The 'Socialbot' Network?
A study by researchers at the University of B.C. found that Facebook's security system failed to stop a large-scale infiltration in which computer-generated fake Facebook profiles collected personal information about thousands of Facebook users. (Vancouver Sun, 11/7)
FACEBOOK: Facebook Could Face Increased Legal Pressure in Germany, Experts Say
Using Facebook is risky, the German Constitutional Court has warned. Saving user data is likely to eventually come before the courts, although German and European law limits prosecution of private companies. (Deutsche Welle, 11/7)
FACEBOOK: Hamburg Sues Facebook over Facial Recognition Feature
State data protection authority says 'further negotiations are pointless.' Meanwhile, German and European officials have raised the possibility of updating new pan-EU legislation on data protection. (Deutsche Welle, 11/10)
GOOGLE: Google+ Is Dead
The search behemoth might not realize it yet, but its chance to compete with Facebook has come and gone. (Slate, 11/8)
GOOGLE: Why We Shouldn't Be So Quick to Write Google+ Off
Although Google+ is still only a few months old, there seem to be plenty of people willing to write it off as doomed, or close to it. Steve Rubel of Edelman says that he has given up on it, Robert Scoble says that its brand pages are a mess, and Farhad Manjoo at Slate argues that it is all but dead - killed by its failure to offer enough right out of the gate. While it would be tempting to agree that Google has flubbed yet another attempt at social networking, since its track record in that area is so famously underwhelming, there are good reasons to believe that Google+ will be around for awhile. If anything, it is only beginning to show its real power. (GigaOM, 11/9)
GOOGLE: Google+ Pages: What News Organizations and Journalists Should Know, So Far
Talk about stealing a page from Facebook: on Monday Google announced that businesses and brands can now set up their own pages on the Google+ social network. This move has significant implications not only for engaging your community and building your brand, but also for how people find and share news-or news professionals. (Knight Digital Media Center, 11/9)
ICANN: Why the Registrar Accreditation Agreement Matters
Domain names - like globalvoicesonline.org - are often tools of individual and group expression; not so much through expressive content of the strings themselves, but through the speech hosted at a domain, the conversations carried on through URLs and hyperlinks, and the use of domains to route email and other messaging. Domain names provide stable location pointers for individuals' and groups' online speech; as such, they also present possible chokepoints for censorship and suppression of speech. That is why the decisions made by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) matter for people around the world who use the Internet to speak out against repression. (Global Voices Advocacy, 11/5)
LINKEDIN: A King of Connections Is Tech's Go-To Guy
They come for his money. They come for his advice. They come - duh - for his connections. But mostly they come, with all the élan of Dorothy on her way to Oz, for a chance at some face time with Reid G.Hoffman, the start-up whisperer of Silicon Valley. (New York Times, 11/5)
TUMBLR: Reuters' "Undisputed King of Tumblr"
When it comes to news and social media, Reuters' social media editor is the king of the hill. His Tumblr blog is in the top 25 of some 2.3 million tumblogs in the world. He's also rated as one of the top media tweeters to follow. If you don't know who he is yet, perhaps you should. (Daily Maverick, 11/9)
BAHRAIN: New Bahrain Channel to Beam into Europe Says Shaikh Fawaz
Bahrain's new international channel -- the Bahrain International Channel -- will first beam into Western Europe when it starts telecasting in the next few weeks, said the President of the Information Affairs Authority (IAA), addressing a gathering of the International Advertising Association, Bahrain Chapter. (Bahrain News Agency, 11/1)
BAHRAIN: Remembering Ali Abdulemam
To know the Arab blogosphere, you need to know Ali Abdulemam, the Bahraini blogger who spent more time in jail than in blogging in the past year. He is one of the fathers of Arab blogging and solely called the godfather of blogging in Bahrain as he was the founder of Bahrain Online, a forum that the regime blocked in 2002. His cell, where he was kept since September 2010 until February 2011, symbolized the oppression that a new generation is facing in Bahrain. (Global Voices Advocacy, 11/7)
IRAN: Iranian Police Seizing Dissidents Get Aid Of Western Companies
The Iranian officers who knocked out Saeid Pourheydar's four front teeth also enlightened the opposition journalist. Held in Evin Prison for weeks following his arrest early last year for protesting, he says, he learned that he was not only fighting the regime, but also companies that armed Tehran with technology to monitor dissidents like him. (Bloomberg, 10/31)
IRAN: Iran's Basij Launches Website To Cover Occupy Wall Street Movement
The Occupy Wall Street Movement has found an unlikely fan: Iran's government Basij force, whose thuggish members are thought to have been heavily involved in the crackdown that followed the disputed reelection of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in 2008. In their latest move in support of the movement, a number of young Basij members have launched a website that purports to cover news and developments about the movement in order to "fill in the gap by Western media." (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 10/31)
IRAN: Privacy International Accuses British Government of Giving UK Companies Carte Blache to Sell Dangerous Surveillance Tech to Iran
Privacy International's Director-General Simon Davies has written a letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron following revelations that Kingston-based Creativity sold a location tracking system to Iran. (Privacy International, 11/10)
IRAN: Stoning YouTube, Facebook, And Google In Iran
The "stoning of the devil" is one of the rituals performed at the hajj during which pilgrims throw pebbles at three pillars that represent the devil. At a recent exhibition of digital media in Iran, a similar ritual was reportedly staged against YouTube, Facebook, and Google -- apparently because the Iranian authorities consider them to be evil. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 11/7)
ISRAEL: Israel Denies Hackers Knocked Government Sites Offline
Several Israeli government websites, including those of the country's military and security services, crashed on Sunday, just hours after a statement issued in the name of the hackers who call themselves Anonymous had threatened to target the country in retaliation for its blockade of Gaza. (New York Times, 11/7)
ISRAEL: Bloggers Sound Off on Netanyahu 'Hot Mic'
In the wake of reports about a hot mic that recorded a candid conversation between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the liberal blogosphere defended Obama, while conservatives condemned what they characterized as disparagement of a close ally. (Politico, 11/9)
LEBANON: The Big Fat Guide To Lebanese Twitter Users
With Prime Ministers Najib Mikati and Saad Hariri starting to use Twitter in public, many Lebanese have decided to join the service. As someone who has been using twitter for a while, I decided I could help with publishing a guide of some of the most interesting Lebanese users of Twitter. (Beirut Spring, 11/10)
LEBANON: Politicians Tweet into Microblogging Arena
As Lebanon's Internet slowly speeds up, its politicians have been taking to a fast growing online space, Twitter, to communicate with their followers - in both the political and Twitter sense. (Daily Star, 11/10)
LEBANON: Lebanon's Hariri Takes His Political Fight to Twitter
Young revolutionaries are no longer the only ones in the Arab world waging politics on Twitter: even senior Lebanese political leaders have begun delving into the social-media fray, sparking news, debate and more than a few smirks. (TIME, 11/10)
LIBYA: Foreign Hackers and Surveillance
Since the fall of Tripoli, reporters, researchers, and former employees of the Libyan Telecom and Technology company have been uncovering and sharing details about how the Libyan government surveilled and monitored internet and phone networks. (Global Voices Advocacy, 10/26)
LIBYA: NATO Operations in Libya: Data Journalism Breaks Down Which Country Does What
How many Nato attacks took place over Libya - and what did they hit? Here's the most comprehensive analysis yet of who did what. (The Guardian, 10/31)
OMAN: Experts Advocate 'Virtual Organisations' in Oman
Virtual organisations (VOs) have a future in Oman but work best with licensed companies on the ground, explained experts at the Digital Nation Summit held in Muscat, on Monday. (Times of Oman, 10/4)
OMAN: Oman, Kind of Not Quiet?
The roots of the Omani protests extend deeper than a simple imitation of the prevailing Arab mood. Throughout the past decade, new and unregulated channels for disseminating information and expressing opinion proliferated. Internet forums dynamically altered the hitherto rigid political mood. With over 100,000 members and 200,000 daily visitors, thorny samizdat Al-Sablah endured episodes of closure and litigation until Oman's own "Spring" forced a major concession -- the royal court now operates an official account. (Foreign Policy, 11/7)
SYRIA: Syrian Monitoring Project May End as Italy Firm Weighs Options
Area SpA, the Italian company building a Syrian surveillance system, is weighing options that may include exiting the deal, according to Chief Executive Officer Andrea Formenti. (Bloomberg, 11/9)
SYRIA: U.S. Calls for NetApp Probe on Syria Spy Tech
U.S. lawmakers are calling for an investigation into NetApp Inc. (NTAP)'s role in an Internet- surveillance system that has been under construction in Syria throughout this year's political crackdown. (Bloomberg, 11/10)
ITU: Kenya and Rwanda Have the Most Expensive Internet Services in East Africa
ITU has listed Kenya internet services as the most expensive in the region in its annual study titled "Measuring the Information Society". Each year ITU list the ICT Development Index (IDI) and ICT Price basket (IPB) in the study. According to ITU, "IDI captures progress made in regard to ICT infrastructure, use and skills while IPB monitors the affordability of ICT services and in explaining why some countries have moved faster than others in their ICT development". (TechMtaa, 11/4)
Awaaz.De ("Give your voice") is a software platform enabling organizations to engage with poor, remote, and marginal communities by providing on-demand, many-to-many information access through mobile phones. People access Awaaz.De applications by dialing regular phone numbers. (MobileActive, 11/4) http://www.mobileactive.org/mobile-tools/awaazde
Fibre-Optic Hopes for East Africa
The fibre-optic broadband finally linking East Africa in 2009 was a massive multi-million-pound investment, but the expectations are just as substantial. Three submarine fibre-optic cables form the backbone of the high-speed network, which is hoped to spark the region's economy. (Economic and Social Research Council, 10/31)
Forecasting Africa's Mobile Future
Co-founder of Ushahidi, Erik Hersman, gave an interesting talk at the recently held AITEC Africa conference in Nairobi, Kenya in which he made some observations, predictions and opportunities regarding the current state and future of mobile in Africa especially looking at where the opportunities are for innovators and entrepreneurs. (Afrinnovator, 11/9)
GHANA: Journalists Must Embrace Social Media -GJA Prez
In recent times, the use of social media as a tool to communicate has become very common among the populace the world over. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Badoo, Blogs, among many others, have played an important role in disseminating information to the masses. (All Africa, 11/10)
LONDON CONFERENCE: London Conference on Cyberspace Presentation
SLIDESHOW (Zero Geography, 11/1)
LONDON CONFERENCE: UK and US Say Internet Censorship Won't Work; China Begs to Differ
Last week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague stated at the opening of the London Conference on Cyberspace that while the Internet "... can drive equitable and sustainable growth ... gives access to knowledge and the exchange of ideas... nurtures innovation and investment... [and] nurtures opportunities for participation in social and economic activities for those on the margins," it also creates "...significant challenges which could undermine these benefits and pose a serious threat to reaping the full potential of cyberspace." (IEEE Spectrum, 11/9)
ICANN: SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Dakar
VIDEOS: CircleID in collaboration with the team from Dyn Inc. and ICANN Wiki bring you video blogs and updates from the 42nd ICANN meetings in Dakar (23-28 October 2011). (CircleID, 10/31)
MASHABLE MEDIA SUMMIT: 8 Digital Trends Shaping the Future of Media
VIDEO: At the Mashable Media Summit last Friday, Pete Cashmore provided a broad overview of media's trajectory. He covered the rapidly advancing mobile industry, the relationship between tablet technology and the current media climate, and social interaction around TV and music. (Mashable, 11/9)
MOZILLA FESTIVAL: Mozilla Festival on Media, Freedom, and the Web
Journalism at the Mozilla Festival: Saturday Hello from London, and the Mozilla Festival on Media, Freedom, and the Web! After yesterday's kickoff, and the announcement of the 2011/12 Knight-Mozilla Fellows, we're settling in for the first full day of the Mozilla Festival. It's a packed schedule, and so I thought I'd take a moment and highlight some of the journalism-related design challenges, learning labs, and fireside chats happening today. (Daniel Sinker, 11/5) http://sinker.tumblr.com/post/12362832820/journalism-at-the-mozilla-fest...
MOZILLA FESTIVAL: Civic Media Goes to London
Greetings from London! Matt, Dan, and I from the Center for Civic Media are in the UK this week for the Mozilla Festival on Media, Freedom, and the Web. Matt and I arrived in London on Wednesday to meet up with interesting people in the UK before the conference.
Here's a quick run-down on our trip thus far. (MIT Center for Civic Media, 11/4) http://civic.mit.edu/blog/natematias/civic-media-goes-to-london-part-one
MOZILLA FESTIVAL: Open-Sourcing the News: Knight-Mozilla Embeds Tech Gurus in News Agencies
On the opening day of the Mozilla Festival in London on Friday, the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership announced five technology fellows who will spend the next year embedded in leading news agencies, studying the needs of the modern newsroom. The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Al Jazeera English, Zeit Online, and the BBC have opened their newsrooms so these innovators can find new ways that open source Web technology can advance the values of journalism. (Beta News, 11/4) http://betanews.com/2011/11/04/open-sourcing-the-news-knight-mozilla-emb...
MOZILLA FESTIVAL: Highlights from Last Week's Mozilla Festival
VIDEO: Knight VP for Journalism and Media Innovation Michael Maness on the future of the News Challenge. (Knight Foundation, 11/7)
MOZILLA FESTIVAL: Mozilla Festival Salutes More Popcorn and Less Developer-Ghetto
The 600 participants at last weekend's Mozilla Festival in London were a crowd of filmmakers, educators, coders, tech-savvy media professionals, media-sceptical hackers, hacking-ignorant journalists, gamers, government advisors - I could go on, but I think you get the idea. It was diverse. All of them however were thinkers and makers ready to explore the frontiers of the open web. (Tech Crunch, 11/7)
RIGHTSCON: Alaa Abd El Fattah RightsCon Keynote Address
VIDEO: Alaa Abd El Fattah's address at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference a few days before he was detained by Egyptian authorities.
SMS TO MAP: The Importance of Collaboration in Open Source Communities
On the evening of Monday 7th November, FrontlineSMS co-hosted an event with Ushahidi called 'SMS to Map - Using FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi to tell your story.' (FrontlineSMS, 11/9)
APC in Qatar for an Interfaith Dialogue on Social Networking
Can Christians, Muslims and Jews talk on current topics of their own religions using blogs, Facebook or Twitter? How can they avoid aggressive messages in forums or the unwanted uploading of images in their Facebook spaces that disrespect their beliefs? What about fundamentalist groups that exist in each of these religions? These and many other topics were addressed by the 245 participants of the 9th Conference on Interreligious Dialogue which took place in Doha, Qatar, from October 24 to 26 2011. (Association for Progressive Communications, 11/2)
The limited vision of the news gurus: the future of news versus traditional journalism. By Dean Starkman.(Columbia Journalism Review, November/December 2011)
Why investigative journalism is not the end-all, be-all, and why Dean Starkman's critique of the future-of-journalism crowd ultimately falls short. (stdoubt, 11/9)
Future of News: Digital, Investigative or Both?
"Remember when a single investigative reporter with the temerity to demand a decent living... could pull the curtain back on one of the most powerful and secretive organizations on the face of the earth?" These days are not over, argued Dean Starkman, Editor of the Colombia Journalism Review's business section this week (he cites The Guardian's Nick Davies and his work on breaking the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World as a contemporary example) but they are in danger. (Editors Weblog, 11/10)
It's About the Stories
I thank Emily for her critique of "Confidence Game."Alysia Santo is pulling together other responses, and I'll get to those later. Emily and I agree on a lot, so I'll get straight to the main point of disagreement. (Columbia Journalism Review, 11/10)
The Jekyll and Hyde Problem: What Are Journalists, and Their Institutions, for?
Behind Dean Starkman's "future of news" consensus lurk unanswered questions. (Nieman Journalism Lab, 11/11)
Occupy Wall Street : What It Tells Us about the Future of News
Occupy Wall Street is the perfect framework for understanding what is happening to news dissemination in an internet age. If there is a journalist or journalism student left in New York who has not yet been down to Zuccotti Park, they should feel uncomfortably ashamed. The park itself has become a striking metaphor for the internet; it is a space which is privately controlled but to which the public have access, giving the impression of freedom of association without the assurance of continuity. (Emily Bell, 11/4)
Complicating Twitter and Journalism
The Associated Press's decision to ban its writers from expressing opinions on Twitter asks for trouble-just when traditional media should be adapting to social media. (Businessweek, 11/8)
Does 'Neutral Retweet' Address Issue of Journalists' Bias or Solve the Wrong Problem?
I sparked a lot of discussion in comments, tweets and other blogs Tuesday with a post about the trouble journalists get into by retweeting. In particular, my idea of a new style of "neutral retweet" - the "NT" - inspired both open-minded support and outright dismissal. (Poynter, 11/9)
Twitter and Journalism: It Shouldn't Be That Complicated
The Associated Press caused a minor furor recently when the news-wire service updated its social-media policy and forbade its writers from expressing any opinions on Twitter, including implied opinions caused by retweeting others. In the wake of that controversy, Jeff Sonderman at the Poynter Institute has suggested that journalists could use their own Twitter shorthand to prevent anyone from getting the wrong impression when a reporter retweets something. But as I've argued before, all we really have to do is admit that journalists of all kinds might have opinions, instead of trying to pretend that they don't, or trying to force them not to. (GigaOM, 11/08)
Journalism Is about Trust and Respect
All this talk in the past couple of days about how journalists should retweet got me thinking about my chosen profession. For me, it comes down to trust and respect. (The Loop, 11/9)
Why A "Neutral Retweet" Doesn't Work
This week, journalists on Twitter have been feverishly discussing the new AP guidelines for retweeting. In a nutshell, the AP outlined how journalists should retweet without endorsing the original tweet - but many thought their method was archaic, out of touch or just plain strange. (Media Bistro, 11/10)
Intermediary Liability and the Future of the Internet in India
"Intermediary liability" may sound like something you'd only hear about in a law school torts class, but its meaning is both important and easy for all Internet users to understand. It's the principle that Internet middlemen -- like ISPs, website hosting companies, search engines, email services, social networks, and other neutral hosts of information sent, posted or uploaded by others -- should not be held legally liable for their users' content. Put another way, it's the principle that the person who created the content is the person deemed responsible for it, and that it would be both unjust and impractical to hold companies whose systems happen to automatically transmit or store the content responsible for words they didn't write, pictures they didn't take, or videos they didn't create. (Google Public Policy Blog, 10/14)
I've just returned from a conference about Internet unlike any other I've been to before. The London Conference on Cyberspace, organised by William Hague and the Foreign Office, was a meeting that attracted huge names (David Cameron, Joe Biden, Helen Clark, Carl Bildt, Jimmy Wales and many others). The ambitious goal of the meeting was "to develop a better collective understanding of how to protect and preserve the tremendous opportunities that the development of cyberspace offers us all." The meeting was quite stimulating, and it was interesting to hear people like Cameron and Biden outline their visions for the future of the Internet (even if those visions contradicted some moves by both UK and US governments). But the thing that struck me the most was the constant use of the word 'cyberspace.' People just wouldn't stop saying it. (Zero Geography, 11/3)
Six Data Journalism Blogs to Bookmark
Data journalism has quickly become a popular field yet many reporters are still in the dark about it. How do you go about getting the data? What do you do once you have the data? A perfect resource would be the data journalism handbook, but since it hasn't been written yet, I came up with a list of six blogs that should definitely be added to your bookmarks tab, whether you're looking for inspiration, basic skills, or advanced knowledge. (10,000 Words, 11/7)
Part 1: http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/6-data-journalism-blogs-to-bookmar...
Part 2: http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/6-data-journalism-blogs-to-bookmar...
SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa's Press Freedom Tug-of-War
Threats to media freedom inSouth Africa-which has had one of the most open press environments on the continent since the end of apartheid more than 15 years ago-have increased in recent years, raising fears of backsliding in a country seen as a model in the region. These threats have occurred in the context of multiple challenges to democratic consolidation, including recent encroachments on judicial independence and other institutions that provide checks and balances on executive power. (Freedom House, 11/7)
Why Blogs Can't Be Trusted, or: 'Statements Made Here Are Not Likely Provable Assertions of Fact'
The refrain that bloggers can't be trusted to produce accurate, factual information and reporting is a familiar one. Now, though, courts are beginning to give the cliche some legal bite. While in the short run those cases are wins for the individual bloggers involved, the bigger picture suggests that we shouldn't be too quick to celebrate. (Citizen Media Law Project, 11/7)
Smart Phones Are Taking Over the World
"By the end of this decade virtually every phone sold will be what we now call a smart phone: a mobile communications device that goes beyond voice calls and has the capacity to run computer applications, send and receive e-mail, pinpoint locations via global positioning systems (GPS), and more." (NDI Tech, 11/9)
The Policy Challenges of the Techno-Human Condition
Remember the beginning of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey where, after appropriate exposure to a mysterious monolith, an ape begins to play with some bones? At first, he's simply an ape holding a bone; but then a fundamental change occurs: he begins to realize it's not just a bone, it's a weapon, a source of power that can crush skulls, and other animals. In other words, the ape integrates with the artifact to create a technology, and in doing so, becomes the prototypic cyborg. (OECD Insights, 11/10)
Who Controls the Message? Content in a Digital Age
VIDEO: Open Society Foundations
RUSSIA: In Russia, Lawmaking 2.0 Or Sham 2.0?
In the latest issue of "The Economist," there's a story on crowdsourcing the process of drafting and redrafting laws. One of the initiatives featured in the piece is Wikivote in Russia: "The website displays a draft law and lets users propose rewrites of each paragraph; others can vote on the suggestions. In another section they can debate "thorny questions". A reputation-rating system gives serious users' votes more weight; invited experts get even more. The site's first full-scale test came earlier this year, when protests erupted over a new fisheries bill that proposed charging Russians for their beloved pastime of fishing in public waterways. At the government's behest, Wikivote posted the draft bill; it went through two redrafts with over 1,000 proposed modifications, according to Vasiliy Burov, one of the project's creators. On the site now is a longer and trickier education bill." (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 11/3)
NORTH KOREA: The Number of Overseas-Based Websites Glorifying the North Korean Regime Has Been Increasing Rapidly
A round-up of links by Kim Andrew Elliot. (Kim Andrew Elliot Reporting on International Broadcasting, 11/5)
BELARUS: Eduard Melnikau: Focus on Internet-Tailored Products and Grassroots Journalism
Belarus Digest interviewed Eduard Melnikau, a founder of the first independent Belarusian-language TV channel Belsat. Currently he is a Member of Board of the Belarusian Association of Journalists and one of the Belsat programs producers. His TV-studio VISATA, based in Lithuania, produces TV programs such as "I Have the Right", Talk Show "Forum" (coproduction with Inforum), documentaries "Unknown Belarus" and others. (Belarus Digest, 11/5)
Europe Arrives? Berlin's Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society Launches
Currently, the leading academic institutions researching "Internet and Society" are Anglo-Saxon affairs, notably at Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Toronto and Oxford. This has prompted the question: Where is mainland Europe's counterweight in this fast-growing and important area of study? (Dliberation, 11/7)
Netizen Report: Transparency Edition
Here at Global Voices Advocacy we believe that transparency by governments and companies about how and when censorship and surveillance takes place is a base-line requirement if the Internet is ever to be governed in a manner that is compatible with free expression, dissent, and citizens' right to organize and assemble. (Global Voices Advocacy, 11/7)
Digital Agenda: EU and Brazil Strengthen Ties with €10 Million Joint ICT Field Research Programme
The European Commission and the Brazilian Government have agreed, at their annual Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) dialogue in Brasilia, to launch a new coordinated call for research and development proposals with €10 million available in funding. This call for proposals will allow researchers and industries in the two regions to extend their work together into areas like cloud computing for science, sustainable technologies for smart cities, smart platforms for a smarter society, and hybrid broadcast-broadband TV applications and services. (IEWY, 10/8)
Increditable! IMF's Lagarde Joins China's Top Microblogging Site
Sign of the drawing power of the Chinese microblogging phenomenon? Or social media ploy to get China to bail out Europe? Chinese Internet users were split Tuesday on how to interpret the sudden appearance of IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on Sina Weibo, the country's dominant Twitter-esque microblogging service. (Wall Street Journal, 11/8)
The Impressive Growth in Global Internet Stats (2011)
The ITU launched its latest statistics report, the World in 2011: ICT Facts and figures, which revealed impressive growth in a number of areas such as global internet use, particularly in developing countries. (CircleID, 11/8)
Cameras Everywhere: The Promise and Peril for Human Rights
When you hear the phrase "cameras everywhere" your first thought may be of ubiquitous surveillance cameras, watching your every move on behalf of the state, private businesses and corporations. On second thought it may conjure up the hundreds of millions of cameras, mobile and Internet connections in the hands of ordinary citizens who are filming, sharing and remixing footage -- cameras that can act as powerful tools to push for positive human rights change. (PBS Mediashift, 11/9)
Geopolitics of Internet Infrastructure
VIDEO: The growth of the global Internet is still determined, in large part, by local factors: geography, politics, and the economics of interconnection and competition. We'll examine the paths along which Internet traffic flows, focusing on the emerging markets of the Middle East and Central Asia. We'll discuss ways in which the evolution of these paths dictates the choices available to information consumers, and the costs they must pay to interconnect with global information markets. A lot is at stake, as the countries that emerge as Middle Eastern regional transit hubs will play a significant role in the evolution of the region's post-oil information economy. (Berkman Center, 11/9)
Global Policy Weekly
Center for Democracy and Technology's Global Policy Weekly highlights the latest Internet policy developments and proposals from around the world, compiled by CDT's Global Internet Freedom Project. (Center for Democracy and Technology, 11/9)
We Are Legion, A Documentary About Anonymous and Hacktivism
VIDEO: We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, directed by Brian Knappenberger, is an upcoming documentary about notorious hacktivist group Anonymous (trailer). The film is scheduled for release in early 2012. (Digital Rights Watch, 11/9)
E.U. to Tighten Web Privacy Law, Risking Trans-Atlantic Dispute
The European Commission is planning a legal change next year that may prompt U.S. Web giants like Google and Facebook to rethink how they store and process consumer data, raising the prospect of a trans-Atlantic dispute over Internet privacy. (New York Times, 11/10)
Media Codes of Ethics: The Difficulty of Defining Standards
Profession-wide codes of ethics for reporters and editors have long been established and are widespread in Western democracies, where they are typically voluntary and are often issued and adopted by leading organizations of journalists. They incorporate best practices that may go beyond the laws of libel, defamation, and privacy. In the not-so-free world, these codes are not always the products of a self-regulating free press. They may represent a cultural and political compromise with a society or government that holds a more restrictive view of what journalists should and should not report. This report examines the different types of media codes of ethics and offers recommendations for making them more robust and useful in efforts to raise standards of journalism. (CIMA, November 2011)
North Korea on the Cusp of Digital Transformation
This is a comprehensive and well-researched history and study of the emerging digital communications business in North Korea. (The Nautilus Institute, October 2011) http://www.nautilus.org/publications/essays/napsnet/reports/DPRK_Digital...
Behind Blue Coat: Investigations of Commercial Filtering in Syria and Burma
Citizen Lab research into the use of commercial filtering products in countries under the rule of authoritarian regimes has uncovered a number of devices manufactured by U.S.-based Blue Coat Systems in Syria and Burma. Although Blue Coat has recently acknowledged the presence of their devices in Syria, this brief contributes to previous findings of devices in the country, documents additional devices in use in Syria, and identifies Blue Coat devices actively in use in Burma. This brief urges Blue Coat to investigate these claims and take action to prevent the further use of its technology in Syria and Burma. (Munk School Citizen Lab, November 2011)
Surging Internet Usage in Southeast Asia Reshaping the Media Landscape
With increased access to broadband networks, a proliferation of WiFi sites and a burgeoning smartphone market, it is little surprise that residents of six countries in Southeast Asia are going online with gusto. But what is really raising eyebrows is the fact that in some of these countries Internet usage is now surpassing traditional media such as TV, radio or print. Nielsen's new Southeast Asia Digital Consumer Report examined the digital media habits and attitudes of consumers in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. (Nielsen, 11/10)
Crowdsourcing Investigative Journalism: A Case Study
As I begin on a new Help Me Investigate project, I thought it was a good time to share some research I conducted into the first year of the site, and the key factors in how that project tried to crowdsource investigative and watchdog journalism.
Part 1: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2011/11/08/crowdsourcing-investigative-j...
Part 2: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2011/11/09/crowdsourcing-investigative-j...
Part 3: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2011/11/10/crowdsourcing-investigative-j...