“Educating Youth for Responsible Global Digital Citizenship” is the theme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Education. Funded by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the US$50,000 prize is divided between two winners. This prize rewards activities that demonstrate best practice as well as creative use of ICTs to enhance learning, teaching, and overall educational performance.
The Rural Visual Journalism Network (RVJN) project in Bangladesh is designed to address both professional and citizen journalist training. It works to prepare those reporting for specific issues faced by the media - such as governance, gender, human rights, and the environment - and to give voice to rural citizens of Bangladesh.
The project is premised on the following: the use of quality visual media in Bangladesh, where literacy rates are low, can be an effective tool as an alternative education. The strategy is to train and build a network of district correspondents to use Apple i-Pod Touch technology to produce multimedia stories from rural Bangladesh. The aim of producing these multimedia stories from the districts is bring to the fore issues on governance, human rights, and other related issues that normally won’t surface in the news and also to provide a sustainable revenue generating system that provides employment for the journalists.
The training course for network members is an intensive multimedia workshop. The course includes: an introduction to the iPod Touch, the main device for producing and editing the multimedia visuals; basic video skills; and basic audio skills, combined with journalism and news reporting techniques. The stories are distributed by Drik News and the Banglarights websites.
The project activities are carried out in 25 districts as of the end of 2012 and the full 64 districts by the end 2013. The programme takes into account factors such as: high illiteracy rates; the fact that rural communities in Bangladesh have less access to information sources; and the rise of penetration of radio, mobile phone usage, and television. The disadvantaged representation of women and children in the media sector and the limited press freedom in the country remain a matter of concern to be addressed through the project and are focus areas in the programme of Press Freedom 2.0.
RVJN won the Manthan Award in the enews and media category earlier this month. The Manthan Award is an initiative in India to recognise the best practices to promote digital content creativity in South Asian and Asia Pacific nation states for development. There were 33 winners in 16 categories, selected from 470 entries submitted by organisations in 36 countries.
Click here for access to a page of videos that include visual stories by journalists trained through the project.
World Press Photo
Emails from Shahidul Alam and Chulie de Silva to The Communication Initiative on December 17, 26, and 29 2012.
"Scientists ignore 'the outside world' at their peril. The general public has the power to deny your funding or restrict your experiments. It's important to reach outside your laboratories, offices and field stations to engage with the wider world, to show people that science is essential and that researchers are working hard to help address important issues..."
SciDev.net, November 13 2012. Image credit: Flickr/IRRI Images
The Investment Visualizer is an interactive, web-based water management investment tool that is designed to allow policymakers to assess the potential impacts of different small-scale irrigation options on the number of people reached, yield improvements, and income earned by smallholder farmers. The potential for different irrigation options is assessed for different scenarios based on the severity of climate change, the price of crops, and the cost of implementing the chosen approach.
Emails from Marcia MacNeil on August 29 2012 and September 10 2012 and from Meredith Giordano on September 10 2012 to The Communication Initiative; and Investment Visualizer website, September 5 2012.
University of Auckland
"This article aims to describe the steps and themes in the mHealth development process, using the examples of a mobile phone video messaging smoking cessation intervention and a mobile phone multimedia messaging depression prevention intervention, to stimulate discussion on these and other potential methods."
Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives Volume 17, Supplement 1, 2012, accessed August 17 2012. Image credit: Ryan Jeffrey Shaw
This article from Safer Mobile, a project of MobileActive.org, was written to help activists, human rights defenders, and journalists use safe email as a more secure and reliable alternative to other forms of mobile communication, such as texting and plain text emails. The following topic areas are discussed in more detail:
Email from MobileActive.org to The Communication Initiative on November 16 2011. Image credit: Bennett Office Technologies website
Growing out of a Kabul, Afghanistan-based master class on peace and citizen journalism, Pul-e-Jawan (Bridges of Youth) is a platform and ongoing exchange of ideas for young people involved in media in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. By facilitating an exchange between citizen journalists of these 3 countries and providing a platform to discuss issues usually ignored in the debate about security, Internews Networks hopes to create a paradigm shift in the discussions about peace and reconciliation in the region.
In addition to on-the-ground work, campaigns, and meetings, this forum intends to use the power of social media to exchange ideas and reach out to people across national boundaries. It also looks to finding ways of fostering conversations without being limited by the difficulty in attaining visas.
Pul-e-Jawan started off by engaging youth in person-to-person exchange. Fifteen young bloggers, citizen journalists, filmmakers, and technologists were invited to Kabul, September 25-29 2011, to be a part of a regional forum on security. They met policymakers, non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives, academics, journalists, and experts in the field. They also attended a master class in peace and citizen journalism and designed the project's in-country programme. The workshop focused on how to use online and social media tools to address social causes, common challenges, and shared aspirations in the 3 countries.
After the regional meeting, the participants returned to their countries to lead a local group of young citizen journalists in collaborative media production and online discussions. Their contributions are posted on the Pul-e-Jawan website to start debate on peace and stabilisation in the region. Topics include: gender, identity, environment, economy, culture, politics, and society.
In April 2012, two additional in-person forums were held in Pakistan and India to engage a wider audience in the discussion and present the work of Pul-e-Jawan to a local audience. In-person forums were also held in Pakistan and India in April 2012, using Skype to link in participants from the other countries. The event on April 14 in New Delhi reportedly went viral on the internet because of live streaming and live reporting of the event. According to a blogger who was in attendance, speakers "gave the audience a vibrant range of examples and ways in which citizens can become media practitioners and contribute enthusiastically to public dialogue and social change....Dilip Simeon gave a spirited talk, emphasising the importance of speaking out and standing up against injustice and human rights violations. He introduced the audience to the concept of 'collective guilt', whereby the onus of acts committed by individuals is seen as synonymous with what the whole community should take responsibility for."
Pul-e-Jawan has become a social media network. The participants returned to their home countries and recruited other citizen journalists and activists to join. Facebook is the primary platform to discuss topics relevant to their communities, and, as of July 2012, the group had 80 active members from the 3 countries.
Conflict, Youth, Rights.
Pul-e-Jawan was supported by The Ploughshares Fund, and organised by Internews in partnership with Bytes for All and the Digital Empowerment Foundation. Internews' work in Afghanistan is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Afghanistan Media Development and Empowerment Project.
Posting on the Internews website, July 18 2012 - accessed on August 15 2012; "Pul-e-Jawan in India: How Talks Can Bring Peace" by Chintan Modi, April 28 2012, The Express Tribune: Blogs; "Connecting India, Pakistan, Afghanistan through Social Media" by Osama Manzar, May 28 2012, LiveMint, The Wall Street Journal; and Pul-e-Jawan website, August 15 2012.
This report covers the process this transition from traditional to digital media in Turkey. Mapping Digital Media is a project of the Open Society Foundation. The project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition.
Email from the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) to The Communication Initiative on May 2 2012. Image credit: Media Policy website.
National Institutes of Health (Nilsen), University of Memphis (Kumar), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Shar), McKesson Foundation (Varoquiers), National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (Wiley, Riley), National Science Foundation (Pavel), United States Department of Health and Human Services (Atienza),
"Mobile health (mHealth) technologies have the potential to greatly impact health research, health care, and health outcomes, but the exponential growth of the technology has outpaced the science."
This article outlines two initiatives designed to enhance the science of mHealth.
Journal of Health Communication , Volume 17, Supplement 1, May 2012, pages 5 - 10, accessed on August 9 2012. Image credit: Al Shar
George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (Sherry), Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives (Ratzan)
This editorial speaks to need for significantly more evidence of intervention efficacy and how increased mHealth intervention development can serve that need.
Journal of Health Communication, Volume 17, Supplement 1, May 2012, pages 1-3, accessed on August 9 2012.