The internet has certainly changed the process of how information and news is filtered and by whom. A process that was carried out by traditional media for decades is today largely managed by a few internet companies through algorithms. In this new role, they are not only filtering information but also helping us navigate a widely scattered information landscape through their products and services. In a new report by the Center of International Media Assistance, Bill Ristow discusses the role of these new information gatekeepers and the implications they face in protecting policies and practices across borders, such as openness of information and freedom of expression. Setting universally accepted norms on what is good behavior on the internet and what is not, is a major challenge. The question is who should be making these kinds of decisions? How are the new information gatekeepers held accountable?
Last week, the international literacy day was celebrated around the world. The theme this year, Literacy and Peace, was based on the premise that “literacy contributes to peace as it brings people closer to attaining individual freedoms and better understanding the world, as well as preventing or resolving conflict.” Today, basic reading and writing skills are not sufficient to effectively succeed in a knowledge-based society. The fast speed and wide spread of information have generated an array of new literacies. The following literacies are referred to as crucial to surviving in the 21st century: basic literacy skills, computer literacy, media literacy, distance education and e-learning, cultural literacy, and information literacy.
This month, thousands of events are taking place around the world to celebrate women and their economic, political and social accomplishments. Also, this year is extra special since it marks the 100th anniversary of the International Women’s Day. In 1911, more than a million people took to the streets in several countries to campaign for women’s rights, including the right to vote. Today, the International Women’s Day, March 8, is an official holiday in many countries, and the celebration extends throughout the month in many places. Just a few years ago, for example, the U.S. declared the month of March Women’s History month.