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Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Communication Technologies: Five Myths and Five Lessons from History

“Mobile phones in the developing world have myriad uses: banking services, reminders for medicine regimens, e-governance, and more. This is a far cry from a generation ago when 99 percent of the people in low-income countries lacked POTS, or “plain old telephone service.”

Information and communications technologies are now indispensible for development, prioritized through varying levels of market-driven measures and participatory politics.  From international organizations to local administrations, the importance given to these technologies for development today is a counterpoint to the immediate post-colonial era when telephones were considered a luxury and nationalized radio broadcasting was used for bringing “modern” ideas to populations. Along with policy changes, the move toward market forms works to ensure that people have phones and access to communication infrastructures, in turn providing incentives for entrepreneurs and political brokers to develop applications for delivery of social services and provide alternatives to users who in an earlier era lacked even basic access to these technologies.”  READ MORE

The Guardian
Why creating openness is a challenge for all governments

“One of the most moving moments at last week's Open Government Partnership conference, where the representatives of over 50 countries gathered to pledge their commitment to open and transparent government, was when Yemeni editor and anti-censorship activist Walid al-Saqaf, said he wanted his 11-year-old daughter to be a journalist – and to be safe.

This was no mere form of words for Saqaf, whose father was killed in a traffic accident that his family was unable to investigate, and whose attempts to highlight the workings of the previous Yemeni government led to censorship of his news website.”  READ MORE

How Social Media Inspires Global Development

“Local stories told through social media help drive global discussions on issues like sustainable development and climate change.

This was the main message from a recent panel titled “Local Climate, Global Change” held during the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington.

Panelists exchanged insights on communications and development journalism around Connect4Climate, a global campaign on climate change that runs a video contest for African youth.”  READ MORE

Global Voices Advocacy
Netizen Report: Firewall Edition

“On April 12, 2012, the Chinese Internet was cut off from the global Internet for about two hours, for reasons that remain unknown. One rumor is that it was related to an earthquake that happened days before, but a more persuasive argument was that it resulted from human error.

The China Realtime Report, a Wall Street Journal blog, quoted findings of the Internet company CloudFare that the outage may have been due to some kind of settings error in the nationwide Internet filtering system. Global Voices’ Oiwan Lam reported that the failure was a test of a national “kill switch,” to ensure that censors can cut China off from the rest of the Internet quickly in the event of a national emergency.”  READ MORE

Mobile Media Toolkit
Hosh Media: Making News in Pakistan More Relevant For Youth

“Hosh Media launched in May 2011 with the dual intention to make news more relevant for Pakistanis and to mentor citizen reporters. While print and broadcast media proliferate in Pakistan, news lacks relevance for many. With two-thirds of the population under the age of 30, Pakistan is an overwhelmingly young nation but the news does not reflect the nature of the population.

Tending toward national-level news, news outlets in Pakistan generally toe the state line and rarely focus on local content. Hosh Media aims to change the culture of news in Pakistan by culling eyewitness citizen reports of local events, mentoring citizen reporters, and producing and publishing news stories by Hosh contributors.”  READ MORE


Photo Credit: Flickr user fdecomite

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