Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Your chance at a full scholarship - International Media Studies

The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum is awarding full-scholarships for Deutsche Welle Master's Program "International Media Studies" to ten applicants from Africa, Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe (750.00 euros per month, plus tuition fees and travelling costs). Deadline for applications is April 30, 2010.

The four-semester, full-time program offers a unique course program that combines the acquisition and development of practical skills in journalism with theoretical grounding. The program ends with a master's thesis and colloquium. Successful graduates receive a Master of Arts (M.A.).

For further information about the Master's Program please visit website

To contact the Master's Programm please mail to

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

BBC launches online training portal

The BBC has announced a number of key partnership agreements to share specialist training and resources with other broadcasters, industry organisations and the public across the UK.The partnerships are unveiled today at the official launch of the BBC Academy, the BBC's dedicated centre of excellence for training in journalism, production, leadership and technology.The new initiatives are part of an unprecedented strategy to develop partnerships and give wider access to the BBC's training resources and skills to support the wider UK media industry.

The new plans include:

Making the BBC College of Journalism's website freely available in the UK. The site – which has been running for three years inside the BBC – contains masterclasses from leading BBC journalists like Evan Davis, John Humphrys, Robert Peston, Jenni Murray and Jeremy Vine. It covers craft skills and ethics and values and there are hundreds of video and audio examples alongside interactive modules where you can test yourself. The site will be available by subscription outside the UK.

Joining forces with Channel 4 to create the Diversity 2010 programme, which aims to increase understanding of diversity in the workplace and embed it in our future leadership. Through a series of workshops and events across one year, up to 10 participants from each organisation will gain a deeper understanding of modern thinking about diversity, through exposure to best practice in areas including politics, the commercial sector and local communities as well as the media industry.

A collaboration with ITV to improve employability in the media industry for people with disabilities. By sharing best practice and enabling two-way placements, ITV will further develop its Enabling Talent disability programme and the BBC its award-winning Extend Scheme.

Sharing the BBC's Multiplatform Foundation training model with other broadcasters and organisations including PACT, BECTU and the Indie Training Fund. The Academy will provide a template for industry professionals to tailor and deliver a range of production and development exercises, workshops and mentoring to improve multiplatform understanding and capability in their organisations.

Delivering ideas development and pitching workshops for independent and in-house producers outside London to share and nurture best practice and help to increase the number of commissions from the nations as part of the BBC's Out Of London production strategy. The workshop has piloted in Belfast and will be held in Cardiff and Glasgow in the New Year.

The Academy launch will be attended by BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, Deputy Director-General Mark Byford, Chair of the Academy Board, and key figures from the broadcasting industry.

Speaking at the launch, BBC Academy Director, Anne Morrison says: "The quality of the BBC's training across journalism, production, technical and leadership skills is rightly renowned across the world. These partnerships will open up our training resources to the industry in new ways as never before. We'll look for further opportunities to do this wherever we can.

"Our aim is to create a world-class organisation that benefits all BBC staff and, through partnerships, helps support the wider industry. These major new agreements mark a major step towards our long-term ambitions."

Mark Byford adds: "The BBC is determined to support the wider UK media industry through difficult times and, by sharing valuable training resources like the College of Journalism, we can help to secure the best standards and learning in the world."

These new measures build upon our video news syndication, Radio Live Player and other partnerships to support the media industry which is why we are extending our partnership commitments in training to work with other organisations in a challenging media landscape."

These additional initiatives build upon existing BBC schemes to train freelance talent for the benefit of the industry, including the Series Producers Programme, Writers Academy and writersroom, College of Comedy and the Design Trainee Scheme.

Established in April 2009, the BBC Academy brings together all the BBC's training and development across four areas – Journalism, Production, Leadership and Technology. The Academy focuses on providing high-quality training to all BBC staff and building external relationships to extend the BBC's training resources to the wider industry

The BBC's Charter Agreement includes a responsibility to train the broadcasting industry.

Ghanaian journalists asked to use the Internet for research to write informed reports

There is so much information available to journalists that it is criminal when they neglect internet research and turn out unprofessional and uninformed reports, Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, Chairperson of Editors Forum, said on Tuesday in Accra.

What is worse is what can be regarded as another form of cyber crime; people shamelessly steal the work of others just because the material is available on line, she said.

Ms Yeboah-Afari said this at the launch of in Accra.

She said generators of original materials deserved respect, support and appreciation and urged people to credit sources, which they found good enough to use in their stories or put in their radio programmes.

Mr. Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, Managing Online Editor of the, said though the site had been in operation for only a year, it had made such remarkable impact that its visitor profile had kept growing every day.

He said for one to be successful in business one must be prepared to take a firm posture and be prepared to fight on at any cost, adding the media business terrain was not for the faint-hearted.

Mr. Dogbevi said journalism had long been held as the Fourth Estate of the Realm because of its prestigious position and importance to the good of the wider society but activities of some had pushed the dignified institution into disrepute and scorn.

He said a study recently published by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition showed that important news and information received very little coverage and where they were covered they were buried in the inside pages.

Stories that made headlines were given poor treatment with many of the stories being one sided.

Mr Dogbevi said there was also the blatant abuse of the copyright laws and intellectual property rights of others even by leading media organizations.

Mr Affail Monney, Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association, urged all media houses to prioritize and intensify efforts to catch up with the global communication revolution.

Source: GNA

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Successful Women in Online Journalism Interview Series

Successful Women in Online Journalism Interview Series

university of iowa students
Seated (Row 1): Alexandria Havlick, Margaret Peters, Nawaar Farooq, Nicole Lumbreras, Genevieve Krier, and Kara Barten. Middle Row (Row 2): Alissa Wanless, Catherine Dix, Ashley Keifer, Ashton Shurson, Melissa Darden, Brigette Fanning, Tara Dunlay, Kristin Lutz, and Nicole Petrancosta. Standing (Row 3): Alexandra Schroeder, Brianna Runyan, Lauren McGrath, Dalicia Xayasouk, Alicia Sieverding, Kelly Murphy, Joelle Coons, and Kaylena Jensen. Students missing in pic: Kendra Cook, Dana Davidsen, Devin Grask, and Katelynn Henderson. (Picture by Richard Johns, adjunct faculty member.)


In Fall 2009, students from the University of Iowa's Gender and Mass Media class interviewed successful women in online journalism. The interviews are listed below as well as featured in an OurBlook online book, which includes an introduction by class professor and former director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Pamela Creedon, and Virginia Commonwealth University professor and former reporter, June Nicholson. The goal of the interview series is to familiarize the students with the challenges women in online communications face, as well as what made them successful.


Title Filter 
# Article Title
1 Amira Al Hussaini, Managing Editor of Bahrain Telegraph
2 Antonia Fernanda Lima Onofre, Journalist at Various Outlets in Angola
3 Denise Polverine, Editor-in-Chief,
4 Dorothy Ray, Creator and Host of The Dottie Ray Show
5 Holly Edgell, Executive Producer at KOMU 8 and
6 Jacky Myint, Interactive Designer for MediaStorm
7 Jen Lee Reeves, Professor and Techie Nerd
8 Jennifer Sizemore, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of and Executive Producer of NBC News
9 Jennifer Sturm, Online Content Producer, Savannah Morning News
10 Jody Brannon, Writer, National Director of Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative, Arizona State University
11 Julia Wasson, Publisher of
12 Juliana Rincon, Blogger
13 Karthika Muthukumaraswamy, Freelance Journalist
14 Kayla Craig, Staff Writer at Meredith Corporation
15 Kim Bolan, Award-Winning Investigative Reporter, Vancouver Sun
16 Kirsten Miller, Senior Web Producer and Interactive Manager for Fox Chicago News
17 Lisa Weaver, Journalism Professor and Former CNN Correspondent
18 Luan Peszek, Publications Director at USA Gymnastics
19 Mary Schmitt Boyer, Award-Winning Sportswriter
20 Melanie Sommer, Online News Editor for Minnesota Public Radio
21 Melissa Sweet, Freelance Journalist
22 Morra Aarons-Mele, Founder, Women and Work
23 Pam Johnson, Director of the School of Journalism and Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University
24 Rachel Dissell, Journalist at The Plain Dealer
25 Sana Saleem, Journalist and Blogger
26 Sandra Ordonez, Interactive Communications and Collaboration Consultant
27 Sarah Seltzer, Freelance Journalist and Book Critic
28 Shayla Thiel-Stern, Professor, Author, and Journalist
29 Veronica Khokhlova, Freelance writer
30 Wanda Lloyd, Executive Editor of the Montgomery Advertiser and

source  :

Online Journalism: Putting Ghana on the global platform


The was began on December 6, 2008 by Emmanuel K. Dogbevi one of Ghana's  leading journalists.

With support from the World Bank, Ghana Country Office, will be officially launched.Other supporters of the event are; Accra Brewery Limited and Voltic Ghana Limited.

Date: Tuesday December 15, 2009.

Time: 10:00am

Venue: International Press Centre, Accra.

Theme: Online Journalism: Putting Ghana on the global platform

The first online business, financial and economic news source on Ghana, the website has won global recognition and acceptance with a growing readership.The website also covers general news, investment, ICT, tourism, insurance, politics, sports and entertainment. It also has pages for editorials/opinion, feature articles and news from Africa and other parts of the world.Apart from generating content, the website is also an aggregator of news and information from other sources.

UNESCO announces a new website for African journalism educators

UNESCO has identified and catalogued up-to-date information on journalism teaching institutions across the African continent, and set up crucial criteria and indicators for defining potential institutional excellence.
This groundbreaking resource will incite a range of networking and other benefits that will strengthen the role of the Centres of Excellence as hubs that create links with the Centres of Reference, to provide a positive impact on the sector as a whole.

go to for more information

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Number Of Jailed Freelance Journalists Soars, CPJ Finds

The number of freelance journalists jailed around the world has almost doubled in the past three years and reflects a changing global news business, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

A report by the New York-based press freedom group found that as of December 1 there were 136 reporters, editors, and photojournalists behind bars, an increase of 11 from 2008. Almost half of those jailed are freelance media members.

It said the number of freelance media jailed had grown as the Internet allowed more journalists to work independently and some news organizations started relying on freelancers rather than staff for international coverage to cut costs.

"The days when journalists went off on dangerous assignments knowing they had the full institutional weight of their media organizations behind them are receding into history," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.

"Today, journalists on the front lines are increasingly working independently. The rise of online journalism has opened the door to a new generation of reporters, but it also means they are vulnerable," he said in a statement.

China was found to have jailed the most journalists for the 11th year in a row, holding 24 members of the media, followed by Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma, the report found.

Most of the 23 journalists jailed in Iran were detained during a crackdown on protesters and media after the June reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, CJP said.

Cuba is holding 22 journalists, 20 of whom were jailed when former leader Fidel Castro targeted independent press in 2003. Eritrea has imprisoned 19 journalists and Burma is holding nine.

Another 21 countries have jailed journalists, the report found, including the United States, which has detained for more than a year a freelance Iraqi journalist who worked for Reuters.

The number of online journalists in jail continued to rise to 68 this year. Print reporters, editors, and photographers account for 51 and television, radio, and documentary filmmakers make up the rest.

The full report can be seen here.

Southern African Bursary 2010 - Application Details - SADC Countries plus Kenya

IJP INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS' PROGRAMMES -Southern African Bursary 2010 - Application Details

Programme Description
Every year the International Journalists' Programmes (IJP) offer a bursary to up to six young Southern African (SADC-Member States: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe + Kenya) and up to five young German journalists. For two months (june/july 2010) the Southern African delegates will have the chance to work in
Germany. They will be integrated into the day-to-day journalism of their host newsroom while also researching stories for their home media. It is assumed that all candidates have a strong command of the English language. German language abilities are an advantage but are not mandatory. The Southern African Bursary is a multiyear effort to shape an integrated understanding of the other country and region and to foster relations between Africa and Germany. The bursary is intended to enable young journalists to gain valuable insights into the political, economical, cultural as well as the social fabric of the host country.
The Southern African-German Journalists' Programme starts with an Introductory Conference for all delegates in Bonn. This will allow the participants from Southern Africa to familiarize themselves with the host country.

Mode of payment
The Southern African delegates receive a fixed payment of 3.000 Euro. This is expected to cover most of their travel, accommodation and living expenses. No further payments will be made: delegates are expected to use their own funds for
any further costs. Payment for their work with the host media is not envisaged.

All journalists from Southern Africa (SADC Member States + Kenya) between the age of 25 and 35 who regularly work for a media organisation can apply.
1. Enclose a CV with a passport photograph.
2. Write a 800 word essay addressing the following topics:
- Why you would like to work in Germany?
- What you expect from the IJP and what you think you can contribute to it?
- What are the 3 research topics you want to pursue during the fellowship?
- What role you expect to play at your home media in the future?
- How you will spend the bursary?
3. Include a one-page resume detailing your education and work experience,
your standard of German and English (copies of certificates/ e.g. Goethe Institut/Toefel), plus 2 copies of articles written by you (TV and radio journalists must type up their reports since no audio or video tapes can be considered)
4. A journalistic reference from your editor or head of department is required (freelancers should submit a reference from a senior journalist). It should also guarantee your leave of absence for the duration of the program.
Applicants are asked to send the application documents (E-Mail) not before December 1st, 2009 and until January 31st, 2010 to the following address:

for more information go to

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Readers can alert Telegraph to breaking stories with new version of iPhone app

he Telegraph has launched a new version of its iPhone app, with new sharing features, an offline facility, and a function to alert the Telegraph to a breaking news story.

"By clicking on the 'Report' button, users can upload a photo and give a brief eyewitness account of breaking news," the Telegraph reported yesterday.

"This new, improved app provides a really rich, multimedia news experience," said Maani Safa, head of mobile at Telegraph Media Group. "We've made the software as easy to use as possible, and there are lots of features that readers will love."

Its first iPhone app was launched earlier this year and it has also developed a variety of apps for BlackBerry and Google Android.

The Telegraph has also launched a citizen journalism competition to coincide with the new launch: readers are encouraged to send in 'newsworthy' words or images for a chance to see their item published on and win iTunes vouchers.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Google to limit free news access

newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google, the company has announced.

The concession follows claims from some media companies that the search engine is profiting from online news pages.

Under the First Click Free programme, publishers can now prevent unrestricted access to subscription websites.

Users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages.

"Previously, each click from a user would be treated as free," Google senior business product manager Josh Cohen said in a blog post.

"Now, we've updated the programme so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing."

Google users may start seeing registration pages appear when they click for a sixth time on any given day at websites of publishers using the programme, according to Mr Cohen.

This will only affect websites that currently charge for content.

'Significant move'

The announcement is seen as a reaction to concerns in the newspaper industry that Google is using newspaper content unfairly.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of Newscorp, has accused firms such as Google of profiting from journalism by generating advertising revenue by linking readers to newspaper articles.

Some readers have discovered they can avoid paying subscription fees to newspaper websites by calling up their pages via Google.

This is because Google searches frequently link directly to newspaper articles, bypassing some sites' subscription systems.

Broadcasting and media consultant Steve Hewlett said that Google's response was "a pretty significant move".

"Rupert Murdoch is trying to build a consensus that paying for content online is right and that aggregators like Google that use newspaper content but don't pay for it are doing something wrong," he said.

Search for revenue

Newspapers are increasingly looking for new ways to make money from their online content amid a continuing decline in circulation figures and advertising revenues.

Earlier this week Johnston Press, the UK's largest regional newspaper publisher, announced plans to to begin charging for access to six of its titles online.

The move follows a 42% slump in advertising revenues at the group over the last two years.

Earlier this year, the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) cut 1,000 jobs at its regional arm Northcliffe Media, which publishes more than 100 newspapers in England and Wales.

Newscorp, which owns the Times and the Sun newspapers in the UK, has also been affected by the downturn.

In June, it announced losses of $3.4bn (£2bn) for the previous 12 months, describing the year as "the most difficult in recent history".

It has also revealed plans to begin charging for access to all its online content. The corporation currently charges for access to its US title the Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Scholarship for Broadcast and Internet Journalists : Creative ways of informing people Netherlands

.Applicants from eligible countries (see below) can apply for a fellowship, whereby travel, accommodation and the course fee are paid for by the Dutch government.

Course Aims:
To strengthen the capacity of broadcast journalists/programme-makers from developing and newly-emerging countries and of the organisations they work for to compile and produce factual programming designed to inform audiences in an effective and attractive way about development-related issues and events of importance to their everyday lives.

Course Rationale:               
Broadcasting organisations working through radio, television and increasingly new media are an important source of information to people around the world;  a source of information that can help people to make informed decisions about their lives, improve their quality of life and contribute to the social and economic progress of the societies they are a part of. Broadcasting organisations with a serious mission to inform have to do more in their factual programming than keep their audiences up to date with the news of the day; they have to place it in a context, examine and encourage debate about its (potential) impact on their listeners and viewers and where necessary provide a follow-up. And beyond current affairs there is a whole range of  development-related factual programming which provides audiences with valuable information in areas that
are linked to the interests and aspirations they have in their private and in their working lives, to their rights and duties as individuals and to their place and role in society as a whole. Much factual programming  suffers from unimaginative treatment and an approach to the conveying of information that is routine and  shows scant regard for the information needs of the audience.  In an era of increased competition for audiences and of a proliferation of sources of information, the challenge facing journalists and programme- makers working in factual programming, is to make their programmes more effective and attractive. Part of  that challenge – most evident in the application of Internet as a source of information – is about encouraging and developing ways for audiences to interact with their sources of information.


Course Content:                 
Participants will explore a variety of formats used in contemporary factual programming and analyse their strengths and weaknesses and their suitability for different target audiences. Special attention will be given to the skills required to develop and present creative programme ideas, to carry out programme research and to produce  effective and attractive factual programming making appropriate  use of different formats. As well as carrying out a number of radio or television course assignments focusing on development-related issues of concern to their audiences at home participants from both media will also develop ideas and factual content for the internet ; in doing so they will learn to combine text, photo's, audio and video to best effect and to make use of the possibilities offered by the medium to interact with the target audiences as a means to gain feedback, give additional information, encourage discussion and debate,  and develop closer ties between the broadcasting organisation and its audience.

Considerable emphasis will be placed on teamwork and where appropriate on combined sessions involving group work and interaction between radio and television participants. Course assignments will be carried out using analogue and digital recording and editing equipment. After leaving the Netherlands at the end of the course participants will become part of a network of journalists and other experts through RNTC's website, intended to foster co-operation and the further exchange of ideas and experience in the field of factual programming.

Key Dates :
RNTC application deadline: 15th January 2010
Embassy NFP application deadline: 1st March 2010
NFP application deadline:  1st April 2010
The deadline for non-fellowship applicants is April 15th, 2009

eligible countries

Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Autonomous Palestinian Territories,
Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Brazil, Burundi, Burkina Faso,
Cambodia, Cape Verde, China (not Hong Kong and Macao), Colombia, DR Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba,
Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau,
India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast,
Kenya, Kosovo
Macedonia, Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria,Pakistan, Peru, Philippines,
Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam,
Tanzania, Thailand,




Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One year of

On December 6, 2008 a Ghanaian journalist, Emmanuel K. Dogbevi started the first online business news source on Ghana, And come December 2009, the site will be one year old.

Mr. Dogbevi, an award winning journalist who also writes business plans found the need for a business news website following disappointing experiences in finding valuable and relevant information on businesses in Ghana. This disappointment led to the development of the website to meet the growing need for high quality business news and information on Ghana.

An experienced journalist himself with a background in web development and online journalism he took off hoping to grow the site into a viable business within two years. But within its first year since going online, has become the business news source of choice on Ghana all over the world.

The website covers general news, investment, ICT news, tourism, insurance, politics, sports and entertainment. It also has pages for editorials/opinion, feature articles and news from Africa and other parts of the world.

Apart from generating content, the website is also an aggregator of news and information from other sources.

"The entrance of into the online media scene in Ghana has certainly raised the stakes higher, because the news and information that we put up meet the highest standards in journalism anywhere," Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, who is also the Managing Online Editor of the site said.

"The website is barely one year old and yet we have received overwhelming feedback from all over the world. We have once received a phone call from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an enquiry from a unit of the United Nations and commendation letters from some individuals we do not even know both in Ghana and abroad. And for us, these are indicators that we are meeting the needs of the global online news market," he said.

"This worldwide recognition also places on us a greater responsibility to do more, and we do hope to live up to expectations as we pursue the highest professional standards possible in meeting the needs of our visitors," he added.
For more information, contact:

Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
Tel: 233-244 699845

Friday, November 27, 2009

African Elections Project to Cover Namibia Elections 2009

African Elections Project to Cover Namibia Elections 2009

                                                     Press Release

For immediate release

WINDHOEK, Namibia 26  November 2009 -

African Elections Project to Cover Namibia Elections 2009.

The African Elections Project (AEP)  will be covering Namibia 's 4th general election, taking place on November 27th and 28th 2009, to elect a president and parliamentary representatives.  AEP in conjunction with its partners, Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA)  held a two-day workshop aimed at equipping journalists with cutting edge Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) skills in elections coverage in Namibia on 28-29 September 2009.

AEP was established in 2008 to empower journalists to cover elections using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) across the continent. After a successful take-off in Ghana, Cote d' Ivoire, Mozambique, Malawi and Guinea.

In Southern Africa, AEP is covering Botswana   elections which took place on 16th October 2009, Mozambique's elections which took place on 28th October 2009 and Namibia's elections  taking place from 27th to 28th November 2009. The Open Society Initiative for Southern is providing funding for these countries coverage.

The role of the media in ensuring free and fair elections is indispensable. All over the world the media is playing this important role of ensuring free and fair elections by working with all stakeholders across board.

The media can strengthen the electoral process by providing independent information through impartial coverage. Three important focal issues come into play: access to information on the political process, ability to undertake investigative journalism and documentation of lessons and experiences from the electioneering process.

The African Elections Project is coordinated by Ghana based  International Institute for ICT Journalism ( working hand in hand with key partners.


Levi Kabwato

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Legal aid scheme for online journalists launched in US

A scheme providing free legal assistance to online journalists was launched in the US last week.

The Online Media Legal Network (OMLN), which has been set up by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society's Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP), will offer pro bono and reduced fee advice on issues faced by online journalists and digital media creators.

OMLN will deal with queries including copyright licensing and fair use, freelancer agreements and pre-publication review of content, it is explained in a press release.

Publications and journalists applying for legal advice from OMLN will have to meet the network's criteria, which includes original reporting and work in the public interest.

The network, which received its initial funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has been trialled on journalism projects that have received grants through the foundation's Knight News Challenge competition.

"Unlike established media organisations that have the resources to pursue important reporting in the face of legal challenges, many online ventures lack the expertise and financial resources to protect themselves and thrive in an uncertain legal environment," said David Ardia, director and co-founder of the CMLP, in the release.

"In order for these new media ventures to survive and flourish, they need a legal safety net, and OMLN aims to provide that safety net with the help of lawyers interested in promoting a vibrant online media environment."

The network has also created an online database to match publishers with legal queries with lawyers and law schools from across the US interested in taking on the work.

How Demand Media's Business Model Can be Applied to Niche Sites

Demand Media has advertising-driven content down to a science. Instead of creating content for the Web and hoping that it generates revenue, the company works backwards by determining how much revenue each piece will generate before anything is produced.

The company uses a series of algorithms to pick through keywords that people are searching for on the Web and aims to create content unique enough to rank highly in those search results. It also determines how much advertisers would pay to be next to that content.

This is much different than simply using analytics to shift stories around on a home page or testing which headline will draw more readers. Demand is all about the dollars.

News organizations looking to create profitable content on the Web can see that Demand Media's model does make money -- although it forgoes editorial judgment and a journalism process. Yet news organizations could apply lessons from Demand's approach to their own companies, not for standard news operations, but for niche sites that are focused on reader demand and generating revenue.

Demand Media is focused on "service journalism," said Adam Weinroth, the company's vice president of strategic marketing. "This is the kind of content that is evergreen, and includes formats like guides, how-to's and tips."

Besides the company's method of choosing stories, the other part of Demand's strategy is in how it gets its content. Rather than try sell ads to support content that costs a particular amount, the company has dropped the cost of production to make sure it can be supported by what advertisers are willing to pay.

For a company that relies on more than 10,000 freelancers that crank out some 4,000 videos and articles a day on the cheap, the formula works. Demand is expected to bring in $200 million in revenue this year, paying out $17 million to its Demand Studios content producers. Of course when content producers are being paid $15 an article and $20 per video and scrambling to create multiple pieces a day, the quality of the content will likely suffer.

Demand's content goes up on one of its brand or partner sites, like or The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's site. It uses sites like YouTube, for which Demand Media is top producer, to share and spread its content, getting 2 million impressions a day with video titles such as "How to change golf spikes" or "How to build a robot our of a box." And its YouTube channels are popular. Expert Village, the most popular, has 448,000 subscribers, with some 14 million channel views.

Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst and author, said Demand's approach is similar to what newspapers and other publishers have done before, creating ad-friendly content such as bridal sections that they know advertisers will pay well to be in. Demand Media has taken that up a few notches. "I give them a lot of credit for developing a very good technology," Doctor said.

News organizations could employ a strategy like Demand's on their subject-oriented niche sites, using the revenue to support other news efforts (just like they do with bridal sections). The niche sites would have to focus on topics such as travel, health and personal finance, which support high-dollar ads, Doctor said.

News organizations already know what content on niche sites such as Gannett's Momslikeme does well, who the audience is, and what ads are sold for those sites. The idea would be to produce more content that advertisers would like.

But, Doctor said, it's a slippery slope because it removes editorial judgment. News publishers should use such formulas as a guideline, a way to understand the marketplace, Doctor said.

"They don't claim to be a journalism company -- they are a content company and that's fine. But it's not journalism," he said. "Journalism creates things that editors believe readers want and need to know about, some of which is commercially viable, some of which is not."

Using analytics or an algorithm as a guideline is something that's been taking shape for years. With the likes of The Huffington Post and the BBC experimenting with alternative headlines for stories and observing real-time traffic stats to determine story placement, content producers and editors are beginning to be more conscious of the demand from their audience. They rely less on instinct and more on hard numbers.

Demand Media realized that human instinct isn't always enough and that an algorithm can produce 4.9 times more revenue for each piece of content. This is why news organizations must use analytics to help shape their content plans, said Mark Briggs, CEO of Serra Media and author of Journalism 2.0.

"The ability to know what your audience is reading is powerful, and a news organization would be foolish to operate in the echo chamber of previous generations when top editors assumed what the audience wanted," Briggs said. That said, he doesn't believe in solely relying on analytics and said editorial judgment must be part of content decisions.

The shift toward demand-driven content illustrates how the Internet has shifted power to users, said Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University. "Demand-driven means not editor-driven, after all," Rosen said.

And though the model doesn't seem applicable for news content yet, Weinroth said he thinks it is possible that shift will happen. News organizations could look at real-time trends on social sites like Twitter to guide their coverage, which can be used to drive traffic and support ads. 

Of course, a news organization that produces content solely based on its profitability breaks a trust with the audience that expects the news organization to provide information they need to know.

Jim Spanfeller, a former CEO of who plans to start a firm to help media with their digital businesses, said people come to a site because they have an established trust with that publisher and have certain expectations of how the editorial process works. Demand Media, on the other hand, shapes its content based on how users will respond.

"It's very different from news organizations that simply cover the news and then try to get their stuff out there more and have it be more visible through SEO," Spanfeller said.

Yet there's a difference, Rosen pointed out, between being guided by analytics and being obedient to analytics. "If people want to be informed by news providers they trust, the Demand Media way cannot be the way," Rosen said. "Neither the gods of click rates nor the priests of news should guide us."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


ACCRA, GHANA – More than 100 practitioners and experts on elections from 25 African countries will convene in Accra Nov. 12-14, to assess recent elections across the continent and develop recommendations for standards that could mitigate conflict and improve election processes. Recommendations from the colloquium will be aimed at enhancing prospects for credible elections in Africa by heightening standards of professionalism among election administration officials, political parties, civic groups, security services and the media.
The Colloquium on African Elections: Best Practices and Cross-Sectoral Collaboration will focus on Ghana's 2008 elections, which were universally viewed as credible despite heated political tensions and a razor-thin margin between the candidates. Participants hope to draw on lessons from the experience in Ghana, where for the second time in less than a decade, political power has
changed hands from the ruling to an opposition party through the ballot box.
Effective collaboration among all sectors of the electoral process helped ease tensions, enhanced transparency and built voter confidence in the election results.
Participants will also explore the differences between the Ghanaian experience and elections in other countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, which experienced gross irregularities, fraud and conflict. They will identify the factors that contributed to different outcomes in each of these cases and discuss how to foster credible elections on the continent based on these case studies.
"This is an opportunity for Africans to reflect on our own experiences and build upon our successes. As a regional initiative, this conference will bolster electoral reformers, and civic and political stakeholders on the continent," said Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, chair of the Electoral Commission in Ghana.
At the conclusion of the colloquium, participants will release a communiqué summarizing their discussions and sharing their recommendations for election standards in Africa.
Co-organizers of the colloquium include the National Democratic Institute, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Open Society Initiative for West Africa and United Nations Development Programme.

Contact: Brittany Danisch,, +223 (0) 54 303 6951

Monday, November 09, 2009



November 11-14, 2009

Accra, Ghana


The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will co-sponsor  a Colloquium on African Elections from 1214 November 2009 in Accra, Ghana. 


The colloquium will review the challenges and best practices in the conduct of elections in Africa, with a particular focus on lessons that could be shared from Ghana's 2008 electoral process.


Approximately 100 participants from 25 African countries will attend the colloquium.  Participants will include elections commissioners, political party leaders, civic advocates, leaders of elections monitoring groups, journalists and high level officials of security services that oversee peace building and law enforcement missions around elections.


The Colloquium on African Elections: Best Practices and Cross-Sectoral Collaboration will seek to address two critical points:


1)    the effective performance of entities involved in the electoral process and

2)    the linkages that should exist among stakeholders, and how to foster cross-sectoral collaboration during elections. 


Examining the strengths and weaknesses of the Ghanaian electoral process and how it compares with other African countries will facilitate sharing knowledge and strengthening linkages among different sectors of the electoral process.  The anticipated outcome of discussions at the colloquium will be to identify guidelines on how to conduct credible elections, ease political tensions, enhance transparency, and facilitate the acceptance of genuine election results by political contestants and their supporters.  Sharing best practices among African practitioners will enhance prospects for democratic elections across the continent and inspire professional conduct among various stakeholders in countries preparing for upcoming elections. The Consortium of organizers are hoping to compile the cases of best practices in elections in Africa and publish on a book form.

African Media Leaders Meet in Lagos

African Media Leaders Meet in Lagos

Focus on Harnessing Power of New Technologies for Media Development

LAGOS, Nigeria, November 6, 2009 – Over 185 African media owners' participated in a two-day "African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF)" to discuss practical ways for strengthening Africa's media development and agreed on a charter for the African Media Initiative (AMI), a parent body that is working to improve the media sector across Africa.

 "Media have a central role to play in nurturing democracy on the African continent," said Nduka Obaigbena, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of THISDAY, one of Africa's leading newspapers.  "The African Media Leaders Forum is committed to improving the business environment for media and to strengthening skills of African journalists. The Lagos meeting will serve as a launch pad for concerted, collective actions to promote African media development for the benefit of all."  Mr. Nduka is the founding chairman of the AMLF which held its first meeting in Dakar, Senegal, one year ago.

The AMLF is the single-largest annual gathering of media owners coming together to discuss development in Africa and the range of cutting-edge issues affecting Africa's media industries, just as the African continent is being buffeted by the global financial crisis, deepening recessionary trends, and the advent of new, social media technologies that are fundamentally altering existing media business models all across the globe.
"The African Media Leaders Forum is a nascent body with an ambitious agenda," said Amadou Mahtar Ba, Acting Executive Director of the African Media Initiative (AMI).  "By convening the Forum in Nigeria, Africa's most populous democracy, we are sending a message that the strengthening of mass media systems is an urgent imperative for societal advancement, and needs the support of governments, business leaders, and civil society."

Headlined speakers at the Lagos meeting represented a Who's Who of top print, broadcast, and online journalists, including Sam Amuka (Vanguard, Nigeria), Oh Yeon Ho (Ohmynews, South Korea), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Charlayne Hunter-Gault (US National Public Radio), Ted Koppel (former anchor, ABC's Nightline news), Tumi Magkabo (of Tumi & Co, formerly with CNN), Trevor Ncube (South Africa's Mail & Guardian), Dele Olojede (Pulitzer Prize winner), and others.

"We have urgent business, and that business is development," said Trevor Ncube, Deputy Executive Chairman, Mail & Guardian, addressing his peers.  "Our role is to ensure that we participate in creating a marketplace of ideas and that media is perceived as an integral partner of the development process."


The Lagos meeting focused on six critical areas with a view to developing shared literacy of the issues, and spurring collective action:

  • Impact of new media technologies on the practice of journalism across Africa drawing on lessons of experience from other parts of the world;
  • Need for new business models that are necessary to grow and sustain Africa's media industries;
  • Finance for African media development including access to venture capital, mitigating political risk through innovative guarantee mechanisms, and creating capacity so that media industries have broader access to various sources of capital;
  • Lining mass media to the overall governance agenda in Africa and exploring ways in which the functioning of the fourth estate can be improved;
  • Monetizing  media content for the development agenda, and exploring the challenges and opportunities for creating a value-added, sustainable source of revenue, and
  • Positioning the African Media Initiative (parent body of the AMLF) as a broad-based partnership for improving the African media sector and landscape.  

An overarching objective of the Lagos meeting was to explore ways in which the voices of the vast majority of Africans can be better mobilized to create a new narrative that is centered on wealth creation, away from the stereotypical view that emphasizes problems and deficiencies at the expense of opportunity.  The AMLF participants, representing the continent's influential thinkers and doers, have a key role to play in transforming the one-dimensional image that shortchanges Africa into the more complex image that the continent deserves.

"New media are opening up new opportunities to expand the dialogue on the role of media in sustainable development across Africa," said Eric Chinje, Manager, Africa Region External Affairs, The World Bank.  "Now, more than ever before, is the time to create a new wealth narrative that can help improve the everyday lives of millions of Africans who yearn for economic opportunity, knowledge, and cultural expression."

In keeping with the times, the proceedings and discussions of the AMLF meeting in Lagos were tweeted, twittered, and broadcast live on social media websites including

The full proceedings, including the charter of the African Media Initiative, is available on

Media contact: Tendai Mhizha, AMLF Forum Director, +234 70 693 81691, +27 82 9001 204,

Additional Press Links:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Africa Media Leaders Forum(AMLF) Lagos, Nigeria 4-6 November 2009


2009 AMLF Agenda

Africa Media Leaders Forum(AMLF) Lagos, Nigeria 4-6 November 2009,



Introduction and Objectives

Welcome to the second African Media leaders Forum. This second Forum builds on the outcomes of the first Forum including the Dakar Declaration that, among other things, called for the development and adoption of a charter to structure and guide the work of the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF). This particular Forum reflects an ongoing commitment by media owners to critically reflect and seek common ground on the problems and prospects that the media industry in Africa is facing.
As a platform aimed at critical reflection and common problem-solving, along with concerted high-profile advocacy for an enabling macro-economic and socio-political environment in which media institutions can thrive, this particular Forum has set itself six specific tasks, all of which are intertwined. Therefore, this Forum aims to: 
  • Analyse and articulate the possible futures of the practice of journalism in Africa in an age of radical new-media and technological change, drawing on examples from other parts of the world;
  • Based upon the analysis above, envision and pinpoint new media business models;
  • Consider the evolving media development sector and the possibilities for financing the media ventures that it engenders;
  • Critically relate media to the overall governance agenda in Africa, including debating the merits and demerits of media as a 'fourth estate';
  • Analyse the implications of monetizing content for the development agenda; and
  • Explore the African Media Initiative (AMI) as a strategy for an improved media landscape. 
A related objective as signalled above, is the presentation of the draft AMLF charter, with a view to endorsing it for immediate implementation.

Wednesday, November  4th


12h00 - 19h00


Welcome Reception - Hosted by the Lagos State Government
Nduka Obaigbena - Founding Chairman: AMLF and CEO THISDAY
Eric Chinje - Co-President AMLF, Manager External Relations, World Bank, African Region
Amadou Mahtar Ba – Co-President AMLF, AMI Acting Executive, Director and President AllAfrica Global Media
His Excellency Babatunde Fashola - Executive Governor of Lagos State

Thursday, November 5th





08h30 - 09h45

Opening Ceremony


His Excellency, Jonathan Goodluck - Vice President: Federal Republic of Nigeria


Nduka Obaigbena - Founding Chairman: AMLF and CEO THISDAY


Amadou Mahtar Ba – Co-President AMLF, AMI Acting Executive Director and President AllAfrica Global Media


Eric Chinje - Co-President AMLF, Manager External Relations, World Bank Africa Region


Chief Ajibola Ogunshola – President: Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria


Alhaji Abubakar Jijiwa – Chairman: Broadcasting Association of Nigeria


His Excellency, Jonathan Goodluck - Vice President: Federal Republic of Nigeria


09h45 - 10-00

Coffee Break


10h00 - 10h10

Forum overview: Prof Fackson Banda – Forum General Co-ordinator

10h10 - 12h00


Keynote Speech

Ted Koppel - Journalist,Former ABC`s Nightline Anchor, Former Managing Editor at Discovery Channel and currently NPR and BBC Senior news analyst


Oh Yeon Ho - Founder and CEO: Ohmynews Co, South Korea


Dr Tamela Hultman - Co-founder and Chief Content Officer: AllAfrica Global Media ( and Founding Director Centre for Africa and the Media at Duke University


Dele Olojede – Journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner


Prof. John Lavine – Dean: Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University


Nduka Obaigbena – CEO: THISDAY and Founding Chairman AMLF


12h00 - 14h00

Networking Lunch


14h00 - 16h00


Keynote Speech

Arianna Huffington – Journalist and co-founder: The Huffington Post, USA

Panel Pius Njawe - CEO and Founder: Le Messager, Cameroon
  Omar Ben Yedder - Associate Group Publisher , IC Publications
  Robert Kabushenga – CEO: New Vision, Uganda
  Trevor Ncube - CEO: Mail & Guardian, South Africa
Prof Kwame Karakari - Executive Director: Media Foundation of West Africa,
Moderator Charlayne Hunter Gault - Co-Chair: Board of Trustees, AMI
16h00 - 16h15 Coffee Break
Panel Tayo Aderinokun - Group Managing Director: Guarantee Trust Bank, Nigeria
Trevor Ncube – CEO: Mail & Guardian, South Africa
George Twumasi – CEO: African Broadcasting Network, UK
  Kate Senye – CEO: Southern Africa Media Development Fund, Namibia
Moderator Marie Roger Biloa – CEO: Africa International, France
19h30 Gala Dinner

Friday, November 6th

08h30 - 10h30


Keynote Speech Prof. John Lavine – Dean: Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
Panel Charlie BeckettDirector: POLIS, London School of Economics, UK
  Cristiana Falcone - World Economic Forum, Director Media, Entertainment  and Information Industries

Reed Kramer – Co-Founder and CEO: AllAfrica Global Media (

  Chris Kabwato - Director: Highway Africa, South Africa
Linus Gitahi – CEO: Nation Media Group, Kenya
10h30 - 10h45 Coffee Break
Introductory remarks Dr Akinwumi Adesina - VP Alliance: A Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Panel John Lavine – Dean: Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
Ramanou Kouferidji – CEO: Imanle Radio and TV, Benin
  Alhadji Abubakar Jijiwa – Chairman: Broadcasting Association of Nigeria
  Andrew Mwenda - CEO, The Independent Magazine, Uganda
Moderator Collin Mukete – CEO: Spectrum Media Group, Cameroon
  Amadou Mahtar Ba - Acting Executive Director: AMI
Eric Chinje – Trustee: AMI
Chair Charlayne Hunter Gault - Co-Chair: Board of Trustees, AMI
  Trevor Ncube - Co-Chair: Board of Trustees, AMI
13h30 - 14h30 Lunch
14h30 - 15h30


Presenter: Prof Fackson Banda - SAB LTD-UNESCO Chair of Media & Democracy, School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University
Chair Boureima Jeremie Sigue - Directeur General: des Edition "Le Pays"
15h30 - 15h45 Coffee Break
15h45 - 16h30


Chair Sam Amuka – Publisher: Vanguard Newspaper, Nigeria
Nduka Obaigbena – CEO: THISDAY, AMLF Founding Chairman