GFMD Promotes Free, Independent and Pluralistic Media

Global Forum For Media Development

 Dear GFMD Members,

Around the world, digital media technologies are having a profound impact on the production and dissemination of news. These tools allow journalists to reach broader audiences and let citizens play a greater role in the news process. New technologies are expanding the information space and allowing new players to enter the field. This issue of the GFMD Insider looks at how media development practitioners are using information and communication technologies (ICT) to develop new project ideas and to increase the reach of their programs. This edition is slightly longer than usual, and it is packed with ideas, comments and advice that we hope you will find useful.
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 A Funder's Perspective : A Talk With USAID's Troy Etulain

By Joyce Barnathan, GFMD Chair  -- Troy Etulain, Senior Advisor for Media Development at USAID, is eager to take advantage of new technology in designing ground-breaking media projects. In an interview with GFMD's Chair Joyce Barnathan, he details his cutting-edge projects.

Barnathan: USAID is the single largest national donor to media development. How large a financial commitment is it?
Etulain: We use a rough figure of between US$65 million and US$80 million annually. Currently we have media development

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Cameras Everywhere : Video Human Rights And Media

By Sameer Padania -- When I spoke on behalf of the human rights organization WITNESS at the 2008 Global Forum for Media Development conference in Athens -- about what the emerging ecosystem of citizen video meant for media development, journalism and human rights -- the Greek capital was itself in the throes of major protests and civil unrest. Like many other attendees, I went to Syntagma Square to take a look for myself. As I walked the protest route, I tweeted about the march, the clashes with police, and the aftermath -- and I uploaded a few eyewitness

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India's Tribal Citizens Use Cell Phones To Produce Local News

  Scores of citizen journalists in India's chronically neglected tribal communities are producing and sharing audio news reports for the first time through an innovative cell phone system launched by a Knight International Journalism Fellow. Members of India's 80-million-strong Adivasi tribal community, in a remote region of central India, now have easy access through their mobile phones to reports on important local issues such as housing evictions, police abuse and rural education. Knight International Journalism

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Eye On Results : Susan Philiber On Assessing Cell Phone Networks

Societies are always interested in news. Well before the digital age, our ancestors used drums to communicate current events and spread information. Indeed, each new generation seems to quickly put to use any tools at their disposal for the distribution of news.We should not be surprised then to find that the ubiquitous

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Here To Stay : The Cost Of Institution Building 

The Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication in Norway invested the equivalent of US$ 15 million in Norwegian government aid over eight years to establish master's degree programs in journalism in Ethiopia and Kosovo. In response to critics -- who challenged the value of a commitment on this scale there -- the school conducted its own assessment. And we liked what we saw. 


The Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication (GSJC) in Kristiansand, Norway, cooperated with the University of Addis Ababa

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   Tech Corner : Amy Webb On "The Group"  

During the riots across London last month, mobile technology was widely blamed for inciting violence and helping spread chaos across many neighborhoods. Mobile social media, and in particular BlackBerry Messenger, were being used extensively by protesters to plot attacks in advance of police presence.

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Forward Thinker : James Deane On Reaching Doors

Most gatherings of international media development organizations focus heavily on how to get funding. There is talk of technology change, political revolutions and the role of media in them, good and bad practice in media support, and all the things that most of us are really interested in. Fundamentally, talk most often ends up gravitating toward securing the resources to do what we want to do. In particular, the question is asked: Why do more donors not support media assistance?

This question is especially asked about those donors that support democracy or democratic governance, but do not support media much as part of their strategies. Most of these tend to be the bilateral government donors, especially those outside of a tiny handful of donors -- such as USAID and the Swedish International

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Tomorrow's Journalism : Aidan white On Good News Finally

Technology experts predicted that 2011 was going to be the year of the mobile phone and that promise has already been delivered. Smart phones now outsell personal computers, and by 2015 most people will use their mobile to access the Web. For journalists

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