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May 2008

A Quick Update from the Harvard Kennedy School/CommGAP Workshop

Antonio Lambino's picture

Greetings from Cambridge, Massachusetts!  The first day of the 2 ½ day workshop on the Roles of the News Media in the Governance Reform Agenda is wrapping up.  We are thrilled to report that we’ve had a series of rich and engaging discussions among some of the world’s best scholars and most seasoned practitioners.  So far, we

Robert Varenik's Reflections on the Politics of Reform

Sina Odugbemi's picture

Photo Credit: Gennadiy Ratushenko (WB)I went to New York with a colleague last week to visit the Open Society Institute (OSI). At CommGAP we are always seeking to win friends and influence networks. We met the Open Society Justice Initiative team. It was a useful and productive meeting.

Natural Disasters: What Role for Information and Communication?

Shanthi Kalathil's picture

Photo Credit: Flickr user Sarvodaya.orgIn the wake of the massive and horrific natural disasters in Myanmar and China, it is important to examine how the provision of humanitarian relief relates to issues of voice and accountability. In a general sense, communication should be an absolutely vital element of any relief effort.

Bulldogs with Invisible Handlers

Sina Odugbemi's picture

Photo Credit: Flickruser PrakharThere is a fascinating story in this week's edition of The Economist ('Calling the shots' May 3rd 2008 page 72). It is about the media in India. Apparently, some top Indian newspapers are signing 'private treaties' with businesses. According to the story, the newspapers accept payment for ads in the form of shares in the advertiser's firm. The magazines very legitimate concern is that this increasingly popular practice is exposing Indian newspapers to growing conflict of interest... The magazine also quotes an India media activist , Sevanti Ninan, and he says this practice will "grow and grow in a media which anyway has little notion of conflict of interest." The great danger in a situation like that is that headlines will be bought and paid for without the public knowing who is doing the paying. The integrity of the newspapers in question will be greatly damaged if this is revealed, but the real problem is that the public will not know the truth and public opinion will be manipulated by hidden puppet masters.