These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Global Voices Advocacy
Nepal: Facebooking Revolt and Censorship
"Arab spring has brought winds of change into Nepal. On Saturday, May 7, group of young people gathered near Maitighar area of capital Kathmandu demanding speedy resolution to the current deadlocke caused by delay in formulating new constitution. Inspired by a Facebook page Show up, Stand up, Speak up, they conducted peaceful protest and caused quite a stir among local media and politicians not used to citizen media inspired direct activism.
As this bold step by the youth gathered attention, some are criticizing it as a cosmetic move and elite activism which has failed to connect with the mass. “Facebook revolution” is also being called an elaborate hoax." READ MORE
Media Cloud, relaunched
"Today, the Berkman Center is relaunching Media Cloud, a platform designed to let scholars, journalists and anyone interested in the world of media ask and answer quantitative questions about media attention. For more than a year, we’ve been collecting roughly 50,000 English-language stories a day from 17,000 media sources, including major mainstream media outlets, left and right-leaning American political blogs, as well as from 1000 popular general interest blogs. (For much more about what Media Cloud does and how it does it, please see this post on the system from our lead architect, Hal Roberts.)
We’ve used what we’ve discovered from this data to analyze the differences in coverage of international crises in professional and citizen media and to study the rapid shifts in media attention that have accompanied the flood of breaking news that’s characterized early 2011. In the next weeks, we’ll be publishing some new research that uses Media Cloud to help us understand the structure of professional and citizen media in Russia and in Egypt." READ MORE
Why We Killed the Global Integrity Index
"Astute followers of Global Integrity and our annual Global Integrity Report will notice something different in this year's Report: there's no Global Integrity Index ranking countries by their overall scores. It took two years of internal discussion, including at the board level, to decide to kill the Index. Here's the reason for the change.
First, as we have reduced our scope of national coverage in the past two cycles of data gathering to focus an increasing amount of effort and resources on our Local Integrity Initiative projects, Indaba, and Foglamp, the utility and attractiveness of a country ranking has waned given our limited coverage of roughly 35 countries each year in the Report. Rankings are only "fun" when you get above 50 countries or so, in our experience." READ MORE
"Yesterday Roslyn wrote about climate change and natural disasters. This is particularly relevant in Kenya, where Transparency International Kenya and World Vision International hosted the regional launch of the TI Pocket Guide of Good Practices for Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations on April 14, 2011 in Nairobi.
Climate is changing in Kenya and neighbouring countries in the Horn of Africa. Once upon a time, farmers knew from their fathers and elders in the village when to plant, when to harvest, as the rains were more or less predictable. In the last years, Kenya has experienced annual droughts. As the droughts worsen, pressure on grazing pastures and water sources is increasing, fuelling tensions between communities and forcing displacement of population." READ MORE
"Many resource-rich countries are notorious for secrecy, corruption and mismanagement of billions in revenues from oil, gas and mining operations. Ghana has long been a gold producer – and a donor darling for its recent track record of good governance – and in December became Africa’s newest oil producer. There are some encouraging signs that Ghana is building in transparency and accountability measures into the legal framework for managing its oil boom – and some more work to be done.
Last week, President Mills of Ghana signed the recently passed Petroleum Revenue Management Bill into law. The law requires the government to publish information on receipts from petroleum companies – online and in national newspapers – on quarterly basis. The Minister of Finance will be required to reconcile receipts and expenditures and submit reports to parliament and to the public every quarter. In addition, audited statements of Ghana’s oil accounts will be made public this year." READ MORE
"Google Inc. is helping to expand Internet access in Africa, the world’s poorest continent, laying the groundwork for revenue growth, said Joe Mucheru, the company’s head for sub-Saharan Africa.
The owner of the world’s most popular search engine is investing in infrastructure, creating search pages in local languages and helping universities adapt their curriculum to changing technology across Africa, Mucheru said in a phone interview on May 2 from Nairobi.
“It’s more about getting more people on the Internet,” he said. 'At the moment revenue is not our focus. In the next few years, we could be looking at revenue.'" READ MORE
Research to Action
"Good quality research can easily get overlooked by policymakers, even after receiving widespread acclaim. The path to influencing policy is often shrouded in mystery and confusion. Describing policy-making as a process does not capture the complex reality of getting research into use. If you are serious about your research having an impact on policy, you need to start with a plan!" READ MORE
"The Wall Street Journal is training its print reporters to use the iPhone 4 for video news gathering and live streaming via Skype Video, says Kevin Delaney, Managing Editor of the WSJ.com
After deploying Sony camcorders and Kodak pocket cameras, the Journal has settled on the iPhone 4 as the device of choice for field reporting, he says in this interview with Beet.TV. Some reporters are using an external mics, he told me." READ MORE