Monday, March 29, 2010

Call for Nominations - Communication and Social Change Award 2010

Nomination for Communication and Social Change Award 2010

The School of Journalism and Communication invites nominations for its
prestigious 2010 Communication and Social Change Award.

This annual Award honours outstanding contributions by individuals and
organisations/institutions to the theory and practice of Communication
for Social Change (CSC.) This is the only Award of its kind, and it is
administered by the Centre for Communication and Social Change, School
of Journalism and Communication.

Previous CSC Award-winners have been: 2009 - Overall winner, New Dawn
Community Radio 95.3 FM, Bougainville, PNG; Meritorious Commendation
Award, Mrs Lakshmi Murthy, Vikalpdesign, India; 2008 - Overall winner,
Mr Chin Saik Yoon, Southbound Press, Penang, Malaysia; Meritorious
Commendation Award, Mr John Dada, Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria; 2007 -
Winner, The Soul City Institute, South Africa; 2006 - Winner, Ms
Supinya Klangnarong, 'Campaign for Popular Media Reform' (CPMR),

We strongly encourage individuals, inter-governmental organisations,
non-governmental organisations, international, regional and national
academic and professional communication associations, international
media networks and communication and social change consortia to submit
nominations for this Award.

CSC Award objectives and selection criteria

The CSC Award:
• Recognises major theoretical innovation and knowledge generation in
the field of communication for social change,
• Acknowledges innovative and practical communication and social
change projects that have contributed to grassroots-level sustainable
development, and
• Appreciates the contributions made by individuals and organisations
whose moral courage and extraordinary commitment to communication for
social change expands the boundary of what is possible in this field.
2009 Award Winner
UQ Vice Chancellor presents Communication and Social Change Awards
2009 Winner of the Communication and Social Change Award

Previous Award Winners
2008 Winner of the Communication and Social Change Award
2007 Winner of the Communication and Social Change Award
2006 Winner of the Communication and Social Change Award


Starting from 2010, the Award will have two categories:
• individual practitioner achievement, and
• organisation/institution achievement.

Each Award comprises a certificate and A$2500. Winners in the two
categories are selected in the last quarter of each year by an
independent jury comprising senior Australian academics, media
representatives and development assistance experts.

In selecting the Award winners, the CSC Jury will consider both
significant contributions to the theory of CSC, and notable
achievements in applied communication practice. The theoretical and
practical work of Award nominees should reflect and/or be directly
relevant to contemporary international work being done at the
'grassroots' in the field of CSC. The CSC Jury will also consider the
pioneering contributions made by theorists and practitioners to CSC.
Nominations that demonstrate an innovative approach and a strong
commitment to long-term sustainable development are also sought.

Announcement and Award ceremony arrangements

The Award will be presented to the winners at an official ceremony to
be hosted by The University of Queensland's School of Journalism and
Communication in Brisbane in late 2010.

The winners of the Award will be announced in the media prior to the
formal Award presentation ceremony, and will be featured on the
School's website.

The Award winners will deliver a keynote address at the award ceremony.

The School of Journalism and Communication will meet the travel and
accommodation expenses of the Award winners to attend the Award
presentation ceremony and deliver guest lectures.

Additional conditions of the CSC Award

Award-winners may also:
• Be asked to present a public lecture (or lectures) at The University
of Queensland,
• Be expected to contribute the award ceremony address they deliver
for publication, and
• Be prepared to be interviewed by the media.
How to submit a nomination

The School of Journalism and Communication invites you to submit a
nomination to Associate Professor Pradip Thomas by mail, fax or email.

Your nomination must include the following support documents:

• A completed and signed nomination form
Please download the pdf version for the nominations form
• A letter describing the nominee's contribution to the field of CSC
• A curriculum vitae or organisational profile
• Media articles, profiles and supporting documents, either written by
or about the nominee
• Two written references (with full addresses and contact details).
The Award Jury may later contact those persons to provide more
detailed information on the nominee.
All nominations must be received by no later than 30 June 2010.
Associate Professor Thomas's contact details are:

A/Prof. Pradip Thomas
School of Journalism and Communication
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
Tel: +61 7 3346 8243
Fax: +61 7 3346 8299

For further information on the CSC Award, also contact:

Ms Marsali Mackinnon, Project Support Officer
Centre for Communication and Social Change
School of Journalism and Communication
University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072 Australia
Tel: +61 7 3346 3092
Fax +61 7 3346 8299

International Institute for ICT Journalism

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Times website to charge from June

The Times and Sunday Times newspapers will start charging to access their websites in June, owner News International (NI) has announced.

Users will pay £1 for a day's access and £2 for a week's subscription.

The move opens a new front in the battle for readership and will be watched closely by the industry.

NI chief executive Rebekah Brooks said it was "a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition".

Both titles will launch new websites in early May, separating their digital presence for the first time and replacing the existing, combined site, Times Online.

By Torin Douglas, BBC media correspondent

News International says its new pricing policy is simple and affordable. That will be for readers to judge. Many of its rivals still believe charging for content will only work for specialist publications, such as the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal.

Privately, executives admit the two papers are likely to lose thousands of regular online readers - and millions of more casual ones - because there'll still be plenty of news and comment on other websites, free of charge. But they hope £2 a week is a small enough sum to entice many readers over the paywall.

There's likely to be a huge marketing campaign to change people's habits and perceptions. We can expect comparisons with the price of a cup of coffee (by which standard, newspapers remain astonishingly good value). Subscribers to the print versions of the newspapers will get online access thrown in. There'll also be new apps, adapting the content for phones, tablets and other devices. As Rebekah Brooks of News International says, "This is just the start". The whole industry will be watching intently.

The two new sites will be available for a free trial period to registered customers. And payment will give customers access to both sites.

With newspaper sales in decline, companies have been searching for a business model that will make money from their websites.


But with so much news content available for free on the internet, NI's decision to charge is seen by many people as a high risk strategy.

Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp owns NI, has led a fierce campaign against internet sites which distribute news content from his companies. He has criticised Google in particular.

James Harding, editor of The Times, agreed that NI's paywall strategy was a risk. "But it's less of a risk than just throwing away our journalism and giving it away from free," he told the BBC.

He likened the news industry to the music industry of four years ago. "People said the game is up for the music industry because everyone is downloading for free. But now people are buying from download sites."

Mrs Brooks said the decision to charge came "at a defining moment for journalism... We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value".

Just the start

And she hinted that two other News International publications, The Sun and the News of the World, would also go behind a paywall.

"This is just the start. The Times and The Sunday Times are the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach. We will continue to develop our digital products and to invest and innovate for our customers."

Privately, executives admit the two papers are likely to lose thousands of regular online readers - and millions of more casual ones - says BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas. But they hope £2 a week is a small enough sum to entice many readers over the paywall.

We can expect marketing campaigns to make comparisons with the price of a cup of coffee, "by which standard, newspapers remain astonishingly good value," our correspondent says.

  • In December, Johnston Press began a paywall trial for six local weekly papers, charging users £5 for three months. Johnston has yet to report on the trial's success
  • In the US, the large daily Newsday charged $5 a week for access to its website. By mid-January, three months after charging began, just 35 subscribers had signed up
  • The Financial Times charges readers on a "metered" model, under which readers get access to some articles for free, but must pay for more. The system is generally regarded as a success
  • 'Dreamland'

    The media industry uses a general yardstick that about 5% of visitors to news websites are likely to pay for content. Latest figures show that The Times and Sunday Times had 1.22m daily users.

    However, Claire Enders, of media research company Enders Analysis, says that anyone who believes the Times papers will get a 5% conversion is in "dreamland".

    "This is not just about adding subscribers, but also strengthening the relationship with loyal readers of the website and papers. If you are going to try this [charging] then the model they have chosen is the best way," she said.

    News Corp owns the Wall Street Journal, which has one of the most successful paid-for sites with about 407,000 electronic subscribers.

    But some analysts point out that the WSJ offers specialist content, and that charging for general news is a different business model.

    The editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, is a leading sceptic of paywalls and has vowed to keep most of the content of his newspaper free online. In January he described the move towards paywall business models as a "hunch".

    Unlike some commentators, Ms Enders does not expect any of the major UK newspaper groups to follow suit quickly.

    Nor does she believe that Mr Murdoch's strategy represents the last throw of the dice for some of his loss-making papers. "If it fails, Murdoch will think of something else. He has been supporting his loss-makers for years."

    Source: ABC. Express Newspapers' websites and the FT website are not audited by ABC. Separate figures for the Daily Mirror online are not available, only aggregate figures for Mirror Group Digital.

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    International Institute for ICT Journalism

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Ghana Oil and Gas Online Forum

    Are you a journalist or a stakeholder working in the Ghana Oil and Gas sector, then we invite you to join

    Ghana Oil and Gas Online Forum 

    To join send a mail to

    You can also follow up on twitter at

    Contact :

    Tel : +23321-922620 or 922621

    Mobile : +233241995737

    Reporting Oil and Gas project ) is a project of 

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Google to train Ugandan journalists, similar workshops planned for Ghana and Kenya

    Google, through its Ugandan subsidiary, will next week train local business and information technology journalists to sharpen their reporting skills by utilising its products and services.
    Divon Lan, Google Africa's product manager will lead the training which is expected to draw up to 10 journalists from different media houses including Monitor Publications and New Vision Printing and Publication among others. The inaugural training will be conducted on 22 March 2010 in Kampala.

    Participant selection after Google survey

    Rachel Payne, the Google Uganda country manager said in interview that the participants were selected after responding to a Google survey about which of the company's products and services they wished to learn, to improve their journalism.

    "It's the first time this workshop has been offered in Africa, and we'll be holding similar workshops in Kenya and Ghana during the same week," Payne said on Wednesday, 17 March, in an interview.

    Payne added that Google will decide whether to offer the workshop again, on an annual basis, after hearing feedback from the first participants and if they think it will be valuable.

    The company's media initiative comes exactly a year after the informediary company set up shop in Kampala.

    Source :

    International Institute for ICT Journalism

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Project on Africa media coverage launched

    An ambitious initiative that seeks to transform how African Journalists cover development issues has been launched in the country.

    The project, dubbed Reporting Development Network Africa (RDNA), was unveiled on Wednesday night at a ceremony in Nairobi on the eve of the Pan African Media Conference.

    The conference, whose major theme is 'Reflections on the past, present and prospects for the future' is being held as part of celebrations to mark Nation Media Group's golden jubilee.

    RDNA is an initiative of Highway Africa, a partnership involving Rhodes University's School of Journalism and Media Studies, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the South African Department of Communications.

    While unveiling the initiative, Prof Fackson Banda -the chair of the RDNA advisory board, said the programme will seek to increase in-depth and analytical coverage of African development issues.

    Such issues include Agriculture, Trade, Tourism amongst others in order to foster public debate and inform related policy decisions.

    And he challenged journalists and other media practitioners in the country to re-focus their energies more on highlighting such issues as this will be key in enhancing development in their respective countries.

    "Journalists around the continent have a very big role of enhancing development within their regions. This initiative will therefore assist them in making making this a reality," said Mr Banda.

    His sentiments were echoed by Mr Chris Kibwato, Highway Africa's Director who challenged the continent's leadership to create an enabling environment which will enable development activities to thrive.

    Mr Kibwato said the initiative, which recently received a US $750,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, will provide opportunities for journalists, editors and media industry leaders, to explore innovative news platforms and build related technology skills.

    International Institute for ICT Journalism

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Open Internet Reporting Fellowships

    Sponsored by the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism in partnership with New America Media

    Applications Due: April 2, 2010, 5 PM PDT

    The G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism and New America Media are calling for journalists working in ethnic and community media to apply for the Open Internet Reporting Fellowship. The fellows will produce a story, or a series of stories, documenting and explaining the threats to an open Internet and the impact on the communities served by fellows¹ respective outlets.
    Each fellow will submit a proposal outlining an in-depth or investigative story or series of stories she or he intends to pursue, as well as a signed agreement by his or her publisher/producer to run the story or stories in their ethnic/community media outlet.

    Fellows will receive assistance as needed with research, reporting and producing their stories.

    NAM will disseminate stories produced by the fellows to ethnic and mainstream media partners and nonprofit collaborators through NAM¹s news wire. The G.W. Williams Center will also distribute the stories through independent media as well as its nonprofit partners.

    All stories must be edited and approved by project editors before publication/broadcast and must be completed by June 30, 2010.

    Fellows will receive a $500 stipend once the story or series has been published or aired.

    For more information contact Linda Jue, director and executive editor, G.W.
    Williams Center for Independent Journalism: 415/321-1733 or<>

    >> Fellowship Applicant:_____________________________________________
    >> Address: ______________________________________________________
    >> Phone: __________________ Mobile Phone: _______________________
    >> Email:____________________________________________________
    >> Preferred Method of Contact _____________________________________
    >> Ethnic Media Outlet of Employment:
    >> ____________________________________________________
    >> (If you are a freelancer, please specify the length of time you have worked
    >> for the ethnic media outlet that will publish or
    >> broadcast your work.)
    >> Employer Address: ____________________________________________
    >> Employer Phone: ________________________
    >> You must provide the signature of your publisher or producer agreeing to
    >> publish your story or stories to be considered for the Fellowship.
    >> I, ___________________________, Publisher/Producer of
    >> _______________________ media outlet agree to publish or air the story or
    >> series produced by ________________ for the Open Internet Reporting
    >> Fellowship.
    >> Publisher/Producer signature __________________________
    >> Date _____________________________
    >> Please attach the following supporting materials to this form:
    >> 1) A resume.
    >> 2) A two-page proposal, describing the story topic, how you will research and
    >> cover the subject, including the number of articles/broadcast segments and
    >> approximate length, relevance to your audience, and tentative publication/air
    >> date.
    >> 3) Three samples of published or broadcasted journalistic work, preferably related to politics and policy. You can email links to stories.
    The form can be scanned (with the publisher/editor¹s signature) and emailed in. Alternatively the editor/publisher can email agreement to publish the story directly to<>,
    Attn: Open Internet Reporting Fellowship Please send completed applications to:

    International Institute for ICT Journalism

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    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Ghana’s Competitive Mobile Market Spurs Multiple Apps

    By Jeremiah Sam & Kwami Ahiabenu,II of, Ghana

    Accra, Ghana)--Ataa Neequaye, a boat owner in the port area of Jamestown, said fishermen often used to throw some types of catch back into the sea rather than bring them to shore when local prices didn't make it worthwhile to haul them in. But now, equipped with mobile phones, fishermen can call ahead to contacts in various fish markets for price updates and sail to the most profitable destination, reducing waste and increasing incomes. Neequaye added that the phones, some of which can find signals as much as 15 to 20 nautical miles offshore from terrestrial cell towers, also allow the fishermen to call for supplies to be delivered to them or to report emergencies.

    Onshore, traders in Ghana's largest market, Makola Market, are also benefiting from the mobile revolution. Maame Ama Donkor, a tomato "market queen" said phones help her significantly reduce the cost of business communications and slashes her traveling costs.

    These are but two examples of the many ways in which Ghanaian individuals and businesses are using mobile phone applications to simplify their lives and boost their productivity. A vibrant and competitive mobile market, featuring five operators and a sixth (GLO) on its way in 2010, has created a market-driven enabling environment for useful applications in a variety of sectors-agriculture, commerce, health, education and more. What's more, mobile phone tools are likely to multiply as more users are able to access the internet from their handsets, either going online directly or by using their phones as a modem connected to a computer. (Click here to view the Ghana Communication Profile)

    Transparent Markets

    As in the fishing community, Ghanaian farmers are tapping mobile phones for up-to-date market information. For example, Esoko Ghana has developed a commodity index to track the prices of selected agricultural products across the country. Mark Davies, chief executive officer of Esoko Ghana, said the price information is sent to farmers across the country by SMS text messaging, thus giving the farmers enhanced market knowledge, more negotiating power and increased revenue potential. Esoko also provides weather updates, education on better farming practices and prices for farming inputs.

    Mobile Money

    A number of financial institutions are offering mobile financial services, which are expected to attract a huge amount of liquidity held by Ghanaians currently operating outside the banking system-the so-called 'unbanked'. MTN Ghana pioneered mobile money transfer in 2009, and other players are getting into the act. For example, Afric Xpress has introduced txtnpay, a system for sending money, paying bills, buying mobile prepaid airtime, checking bank balances and paying electronically for goods and services. Rhukaya Adams, a sales agent at txtnpay, says that a lot of people use this system to pay their cable television bills; Adams said people will soon be able to pay their utility bills with this system. Another payment services is offered by eTranzact, while most banks are now enabling client access to their bank accounts through mobile phones.

    The health sector is also benefitting from mobile telephony. For example, Ghana's Ambulances Service Directorate reports that in some parts of rural Ghana, mobile phones have helped to drastically reduce childbirth-related mortality among women by creating a communication channel between patients and health care institutions in other locations.

    Mobile phones are also providing a helping hand in the fight against counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs. A relatively new application called mPedigree, developed in Ghana, allows the purchaser of the drug to check its authenticity by sending a code number on the drug package to the legitimate manufacturer via a short-code (4digit) text message address. The sender receives a quick reply saying whether or not the drug is authentic.

    Government in the Mobile Game

    The government has also entered the mobile arena. The National Lottery Authority (NLA) has developed a new game called "Mobi Game 2 Sure" which makes use of mobile phones to attract customers. George Osei Akoto, account manager at NLA Mobi Game, said the game has been a big revenue generator for the lottery, which is a crucial part of government revenues.

    Mobile phone applications are also now the norm on the political front. During Ghana's 2008 elections, a number of political parties used them in campaign communications and fundraising efforts, while election observers used mobiles for monitoring tasks. For example, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), used the mobile phone to raise funds by text message.

    The Downside of Mobile Use - Crime

    As with all new tools, they can be used for harmful purposes as well as beneficial ones, and mobile phones are no exception. In response, the National Communications Authority has announced plans to register all mobile users in order to combat some of these challenges. Ostensibly, registration would make it possible to track down callers suspected of illegal activities. So far there does not seem to be any public opposition voiced about registration.


    1. Number of mobile users

    2. Etranzact

    3. Txtnpay

    4. Esoko

    source :

    Monday, March 08, 2010

    SuperPower: BBC and Global Voices

    It's a great pleasure for me to announce a joint project between Global Voices and BBC News as part of the BBC's SuperPower season, which launches today.

    This past year has been particularly eye-opening in terms of the increasing interplay between mainstream media and citizen journalism. Events in Mumbai, Moldova, Iran, Haiti, and now Chile are but a few examples in which the world has been eager to make immediate and direct contact with citizens in crisis in local contexts. These citizens may have had blogs, Twitter accounts, and cell phones for years, but only in the last year has the mainstream media adopted the narrative of citizen media as an integrated element in their news reporting.

    When Global Voices was created at Havard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society five years ago, the initiative focused on citizens in developing countries and non-English speaking societies who were beginning to use blogs to build bridges to people from different cultures and countries. What could be learned from reading and translating the words of online dissidents in China? What could be gained by reading the blogs of Arab women? And how could Global Voices encourage mainstream media to recognize the value and benefits of sourcing intelligent and locally admired bloggers in their own reporting?

    Over the years, we at Global Voices have become close partners and friends of organisations such as Reuters, the BBC, CNN, La Stampa in Italy, and many others. At the same time, internet access has increased such that it has reached a threshold of awareness and participation in most countries around the world. In countries where just a few years ago the number of blogs could be counted on one hand, there are now thousands of citizens typing away, telling their own stories and documenting the world around them. Lives and communities have changed as a result. In aggregate, the internet has collapsed many of the working principles of mass media social and political communications, creating multiple, overlapping platforms for people to speak, participate, and organize.

    At Global Voices, we've continually sought new ways to complement the news cycle and develop new platforms to highlight how global citizens are communicating in their own words. We have a virtual, grassroots newsroom made up of more than 200 talented and innovative individuals from countries you rarely get to hear about in the news.

    When I last met with the editor of the BBC News website, Steve Herman, in June 2009, we discussed how we might collaborate on investigating the role and effects of citizen media throughout the world, with a focus on how local perspectives can affect global news.

    Since then, we've seen mainstream media cover major conflicts such as Iran substantially through the eyes of citizen content. The idea that citizen journalism is somehow opposed to or in conflict with traditional journalism is now clearly past; it's evident that both exist in symbiotic relationship to one another, with many opportunities to collaborate on the creation of news, storytelling, and distribution of content.

    For two weeks, we will be exploring opportunities to put those collaborations into practice. Global Voices managing editor Solana Larsen will be visiting the BBC newsroom in London. We'll be adding citizen media links within BBC news stories, while sharing off-the-radar stories from our own newsroom with BBC editors and reporters. From the frontlines of online battles of freedom of expression to everyday stories about language, culture, and daily life in foreign blogs, we look forward to sharing our best with a broader audience.