These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Harnessing technology for social good
"Last month the Ford Foundation hosted the Wired for Change conference ("Inspiring Technology for Social Good"), and a pack of Berkman Center folks, friends, and family were in New York for the event. Ford has posted full videos of all of the sessions, and more, on the Ford Foundation website and Vimeo and YouTube channels."
Regime Change is Not an Anti-Corruption Panacea
"With all of the craziness coming out of Egypt and Tunisia in the past few weeks, a recurring theme in much of the media coverage (at least in the West) has been that “the people” are fed up with corruption, and that frustration is fueling much of the outrage behind the protests. Ben Ali’s exile and Mubarak’s resignation, goes the narrative, signal a chance for clean government to finally take hold."
"This paper defines indicators of media development in line with the priority areas of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC): promotion of freedom of expression and media pluralism; development of community media; and human resource development (capacity building of media professionals and institutional capacity building)."
"A comprehensive new study, commissioned by UNICEF, sheds light on trends and challenges in global mobile telephony. The report, Mobiles for Development, focuses on mobile tech as an area of significant future opportunity for advancing social development around the word. The report finds that there is an increasing number of mobile-based projects, with the most common sectors being health, socio-economic development and agriculture. Findings also show that 'mobile tools can identify the most deprived...communities, provide cost effective interventions, overcome bottlenecks to services, and enable communities to maximise the impact of available resources.'"
"The reports and pictures of the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week reminded me of reporting on the earthquake that leveled Japan's port city of Kobe in 1995.
On a personal level, I am praying for the people in a country I have come to see as a second home.
As a media observer, what struck me this time was how rich and multifaceted the information flow was. In 1995, I worked in the AP bureau in Tokyo, trying to understand what I could from Japanese broadcast news reports. We were sometimes able to reach someone, official or not, in the Kobe region via phone for a quick interview as the death toll rose, eventually reaching more than 6,400."
"To overcome the difficulties of communication in Central African Republic (CAR) caused by power outages, lack of internet access, bad roads, and rebel occupation in several areas, Internews has created a unique network connecting all 15 community radio stations in CAR.
The network connects the stations with each other, and enables humanitarian agencies to quickly exchange information with communities throughout the country."
"The African Mobile market can grow to rival the Western European one, with figures showing that Africa is now serving more mobile ad impressions than Western Europe. This was announced at the inaugural Mobile Marketing Summit Kenya held at the Norfolk yesterday. The summit was organized by the recently formed Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) of East Africa which is an off shoot of the South African chapter. The summit’s mission was to bring together those interested in the mobile sector."
"Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the world’s leading watchdog of press freedom, does an excellent job monitoring real-time media censorship. Since 2005 the organization has issued an annual report highlighting nations that egregiously censor the Internet and punish cyber-activists. The so-called “Enemies of the Internet” report has always included African nations – until this year. Following North African regime changes in 2011, RSF has moved perennial Internet censors Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya to the lesser “under surveillance” category. These North African nations are now in a league with Eritrea (and perhaps Zimbabwe) who, in turn, have been on-and-off RSF’s surveillance watch list."
"This report uses AudienceScapes data from a nationally representative survey of Tanzania to describe how people of different social groups gather, share and access information through mass media – radio, television and newspapers. We also focus on whether the presence of mobile phones can further augment information dissemination using SMS and mobile radio. Media access and use trends are broken down by region and we profile both national and regional media outlets."
Oil-Resource Curse or Blessing?
"The Promoting Revenue Transparency: 2011 Report on Oil and Gas Companies looks at how transparent and accountable oil and gas companies are when reporting on their operations, anti-corruption programmes and revenues."