Thursday, June 21, 2012

Workshop for journalists and civil society actors on Ghana Election 2012

Accra, June 21, GNA-The International Institute for ICT Journalism
(Penplusbytes) would on Thursday June 21, hold a workshop on
"Connecting civil society and media for credible 2012 Ghana
Elections." in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The workshop forms part of African Elections Project (AEP), "Enabling
Peaceful Transparent and Credible Elections in Ghana Using New Media
Project" with funding from STAR-Ghana, a release issued and copied to
the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday by Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, Team
Leader, Penplusbytes said in Accra.

It would bring together journalists and civil society actors around
the upcoming elections from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper
East and Upper West Regions.

The next workshop is expected to be held in the southern sector of Ghana.

The Connecting Media And Civil Society for Credible 2012 Ghana
Elections workshop aims at facilitating an effective and efficient
civil society interaction with the ultimate objective of serving
citizens better by providing them with an elections information
resource that would enable them make informed choices and sensitise
the electorate against electoral violence.

"Based on African Elections Project experience in covering the Ghana
2008 elections, it was noticed that majority of civil society and
media interaction was through traditional media press releases, press
conferences, Radio, TV and Print interviews.

This workshop is intended to bring the media, civil society
organisations and citizens together to deliberate on better ways of
exchanging information and knowledge, using integrated ICT platforms
to ensure Ghana goes through peaceful, transparent and credible
elections in December 2012" Mr Ahiabenu indicated.

Key presentation would be made by the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of
Electoral Commission, Mr Samuel Boadu whilst Professor Peter Amponsah,
Head of Communications of the Department of the Catholic University
would moderate a focus group discussion on "How to effectively
facilitate better working relations between the media and Civil
society through networking".

AEP established in 2008 is coordinated by Penplusbytes and covers
elections using Information and Communication Technologies across the

It has successfully covered elections in Botswana, Namibia, Ghana
(2008), Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Mozambique, Malawi, Togo,
Niger and Liberia.

STAR-Ghana is a multi-donor pooled funding mechanism supported by
DFID, DANIDA, USAID and the EU to increase the influence of civil
society and parliament in the governance of public goods and service
delivery with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and
responsiveness of government, traditional authorities and the private


International Institute for ICT Journalism

Monday, June 18, 2012

Knight Foundation awards $1.37 million to six media innovators

Six innovative media ventures, including a web service to coordinate disaster relief efforts that was founded by two sisters whose Massachusetts home was destroyed by a tornado, will share $1.37 million in prize money from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The winners of the Knight News Challenge: Networks were revealed Monday at the MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The challenge is one of three being held by the foundation this year, each designed to promote innovations in the dissemination of news and information., the disaster relief coordination website, was founded by Caitria O'Neill, a 2011 graduate of Harvard University; her sister Morgan O'Neill, who is studying hurricane dynamics at MIT; and engineer Alvin Liang, according to a release from the Knight Foundation, which awarded the team $340,000.

Among the other winners:

Behavio, a platform for smartphones running on Google Inc.'s Android operating system that is designed to make better use of the sensors built into cell phones and other devices. Co-founded by Nadav Aharony, a product manager at Android who recently completed his dissertation at the MIT Media Lab, Behavio is meant to provide app developers and journalists better tools for understanding trends and behaviors in individuals and communities, based on the data collected by smartphones. The foundation awarded $355,000 to Behavio., winner of a $360,000 prize, is a streamlined platform for collecting and viewing live streaming breaking news from around the world. was co-founded by Felipe Heusser, a Berkman Fellow at Harvard University.

The foundation also awarded prizes to, a tool to allow journalists to track social network reaction to news stories; The Tor Project, a nonprofit that provides software and research to help protect online privacy; and Watchup, an application for Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computer that aggregates news videos into a single interface.

In the six years that it has run the News Challenge, the Knight Foundation has reviewed more than 13,000 applications and provided $27 million to 80 projects, according to the release.

International Institute for ICT Journalism