Digital Media Europe holds DME14 in London

Digital Media Europe (DME), the top digital news media event  for publishers, is set to hold its 2014 DME programme in London from April 7 to 9, 2014. It is tagged ‘DME14′. According to DME “The major goal of Digital Media Europe is to help individuals and organizations alike push towards 50% of revenue from digital.”

DME14_940x615DME14 will include new interactive breakout sessions and off-site visits. The main moderator for DME14, Diego Carvajal is one of the great discoveries from Digital Media Latina 2013. Mr. Carvajal is the Content Manager at ICCK and responsible for the digital enhancement of the content that comes from the different media outlets owned by GSD group. “My role can be summarized as the generation of relevant multi platform and multi device experiences for our audiences” says Mr. Carvajal.

DME14 noted that the most significant challenges publishers face are: Be on top of video, real-time bidding, mobile and native advertising to grow digital advertising in 2014; Learn and move on from the early one-track implementations of digital paid content; Leverage their editorial strengths and e-commerce competences to market a wide range of smart and innovative content offers; Learn from pure players and start ups with unusual new revenue models. The DME14 team has scoured the world for the most relevant speakers in all these topics to address these identified challenges.

PIN holds Cybercrime Panel at AITEC Africa Conference

Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) will convene a panel discussion on Cybercrime at the AITEC Africa Conference in March 2014.

According to PIN, “the panel aims to discuss the Cybercrime Bill 2013, if the bill is a little too late, the controversies surrounding the bill, and what Nigeria should really do about cybercrime without hurting Internet Freedom.”Paradigm-Initiative-Nigeria

Mr. Gbenga Sesan, PIN Executive Director said: “Rapid technological developments have provided vast areas of new opportunity and potential sources of efficiency for organizations of all sizes. These new technologies which we all rely upon have, however, also brought with them unprecedented threats. Examples of these threats are hacking, data tampering, online fraud, cyber- bullying and many more. These threats are surprisingly cheap to execute (especially depending on the type of threats and its effect) and can be very devastating to both personal lives and organizations, especially with online frauds which have been termed 419 scams by the Nigerian public and has given us an infamous reputation. These have also led to the Nigerian government finally taking up the issue and creating a cybercrime bill in Nigeria which is currently on the floor of the National Assembly.”

PIN will be hosting the Nigeria Panel discussion during AITEC’s Africa March Banking & Mobile Money West Africa Event, which would take place in Lagos from March 13, 2014.

Now entering its seventh year as the region’s leading banking forum, AITEC Banking & Mobile Banking West Africa 2014 will address the key issues faced by the region’s increasingly dynamic financial services sector.

University of Gothenburg Calls for Applications for its Ph.D. Programme in Political Science

The University of Gothenburg’s, Department of Political Science is calling for applications to its PhD programme in Political Science in 2014.  This programme offers full scholarship for its four doctoral studentship (PhD) positions and successful applicants would begin on September 1, 2014.

The scholarship covers all four years for the programme though the PhD positions will have different specializations.

Professor Bo Rothstein, QoG institute
Professor Bo Rothstein, QoG Institute

One of the areas of specialization is Political Science in general. The two other areas are part of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute ( www.qog.pol.gu.se). Under the Institute, the two PhD projects will be carried out within a new research project entitled ‘The Performance of Democracies (PERDEM)’. The project is financed by an Advanced Research Grant from the European Research Council to Professor Bo Rothstein and is hosted by the QoG Institute. The project’s objectives is to analyze the relation between how democracies are organized and how they perform in generating human well-being, curb corruption and handling the public finances.

The fourth position is part of Society, Opinions and Mass media (SOM) Institute (www.som.gu.se) and targeted towards research into public opinion and survey methodology. The SOM institute is an independent survey research facility at the University of Gothenburg, directed by Professor Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson and jointly sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication. The Institute has collaborated with researchers from a range of disciplines since 1986, aiming to explore Swedes’ attitudes in a range of areas and to understand the evolution of the Swedish society. The institute is engaged in research and development to meet the many contemporary challenges to survey methodology. The doctoral studentship is part of a strategy to secure data of high quality in the empirical social sciences.

Interested candidates should apply online before March 3, 2014. Click here to apply.

IWMF Seeks Nominations to its Courage in Journalism and Lifetime Achievement Awards

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is hosting its 2014 edition of the Courage in Journalism and the Lifetime Achievement Awards and is seeking nominations for this prestigious event. The 29th edition will honour awardees at a ceremony in New York on October 22 and Los Angeles on October 29, 2014.

Ms Elisa Lees Munoz, Executive Director IWMF
Ms Elisa Lees Munoz, Executive Director IWMF

The Courage in Journalism Awards honours women journalists who set themselves apart by their extraordinary bravery. Facing and surviving danger to uncover the truth, they raise the bar for reporting under duress.

IWMF celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to speak out on global issues. The IWMF’s programs empower women journalists with the training, support and network to become leaders in the news industry.

According to the Award organizer, “we also recognize the pioneers who kicked down barriers to make it possible for women all over the world to find their voices and make them heard. Lifetime Achievement Award winners persevered, opening doors for future generations to make a difference.”

The IWMF has established an emergency fund for women journalists to support the urgent needs of their awardees and others with everything from medical assistance to emergency relocation for journalists or her loved ones. They have organized pro-bono legal assistance for asylum requests as well as temporary housing and financial aid.

IWMF was founded in 1990 and is a Washington-based organization that is dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide. The IWMF believes the news media worldwide are not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women.

Nominations for the 2014 Awards must be submitted by February 14, 2014. For more information, click here.

UNESCO Launches ‘Climate Change In Africa: A Guidebook For Journalists’

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has published a climate change guidebook for African journalists to help them in their reporting on climatic issues in Africa. The guidebook entitled ‘Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalists’ was launched at a workshop held at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Kenya from October 22 to 23 2013. The workshop participants were drawn from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Ms Emily Brown, Namibian Journalism Educator
Ms Emily Brown, Namibian Journalism Educator

According to UNESCO programme specialist responsible for the project and editor of the publication, Mr. Fackson Banda, “This guidebook is part of UNESCO’s overall effort to raise awareness of the interdisciplinary core of climate change, and how journalists can reflect it in their practices.”

He went further to say: “At the heart of this publication is a push for the type of climate expertise needed to resonate with African journalists and journalism educators – two important constituents for our work on capacity-building for specialized journalistic literacies.”

The guidebook is written by four media experts who linked climate change and journalistic practice within the context of African realities. They are Mr. Mike Shanahan and Ms Teresa Corcoran of the International Institute for Environment and Development, and Mr. Willie Shubert and Mr. Cameron Scherer of Internews/Earth Journalism Network.

The lead author of the guidebook, Mr. Shanahan said: “climate change is not the story – it is the context in which so many other stories will unfold….We will affect every beat of journalism, from politics and business reporting to consumer and health stories. African journalists and their editors should not see climate change as ‘just an environment’ issue but as a new reality that will create growing demand from audiences for comprehensive, clear and locally-relevant coverage.”

Mr. James Fahn, Executive Director of Internews, while speaking about the involvement  of Internews in the project said: “The great challenge for journalists is to learn how to turn this global issue into a local story their audiences can relate to … or rather, how to turn it into many stories. The all-encompassing nature of climate change lends itself to reporting from a multitude of angles, reflecting its impact on so many facets of society, the economy and life in general.”

Leading up to the publication was a workshop held in Kenya at which 23 African experts, including academics and journalists, took time to review the initial draft of the guidebook. Namibian journalism educator, Ms Emily Brown, highlighted how the media in her country tended to bury climate change and environmental stories in the back pages, and urged journalists to take part in re-setting the agenda.

Mr. Bonny Alams, a Nigerian journalist said while contributing to the discussion that “For us to achieve [such] reportage, we must work to change people’s perception of the daily consumption of what Nigerians refer to us ‘juicy’ stories that revolve under political, economic and social life”.

Professor Workineh Kelbessa of Addis Ababa University stressed issues of ethics and environmental justice as part of the interdisciplinary core of climate change journalism. He emphasized the need to correlate the environment and humanity, and said that the manuscript needed to reflect the link between indigenous knowledge and science.

The finalised guidebook is an information resource to be used in both the newsroom and classroom, and will be distributed in a strategic partnership involving UNESCO, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Internews.

A series of Google Hangouts will be spread out across the whole of February to raise interest amongst African journalists and others interested in a deeper understanding of reporting climate change prevention and mitigation.

Within UNESCO, the guidebook scores a first: it is one of the first two publications to be published under the Organization’s new Open Access policy. This means that users of this publication have terms for use and re-use of the publication, as spelled out in the UNESCO Open Access Repository.

Edetaen Ojo Now Chairman of MFWA

Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda, has been appointed chairman of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) by the Board of Directors at the Board’s meeting held in Accra, Ghana on January 8 and 9, 2014.

Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director MRA
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director MRA

Mr. Ojo is a board member of a number of local, regional and international human rights and media development organisations including the Uganda-based African Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) and the International Media Support (IMS) based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Until June 2013, he was the Convenor (Chair) of the governing council of the Canada-based organisation, IFEX, the world’s biggest network of free expression advocacy organisation.

He replaces Soyata Maiga from Mali, whose tenure as board chair just ended.

Mr. Sulemana Braimah was appointed as the new Executive Director of the organisation at the management level. He replaced Prof. Kwame Karikari who had been the Executive Director of the organisation for the past 16years.

The board praised Prof. Kwame Karikari for his commendable leadership of the MFWA for the past 16years and commended the organisation for its work on promoting the safety of journalists and media development in Mali and Cote d’Ivoire during the political crisis and in the ongoing democratic recovery processes in those countries.

The board issued a resolution at the end of its meeting in which it expressed concern about the falling standards of professionalism in media practice in the West Africa region. The Board also expressed deep concern about the serious challenges posed by extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking to media freedom and practice in West Africa and called on national governments, regional bodies and civil society groups in West Africa to work collaboratively to address the problem,” the resolution stated.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Accra, Ghana to defend and promote the rights and freedoms of the media, and generally, to help expand the boundaries of freedom of speech and expression in West Africa.

Freedom House Calls for Entries for its 3rd Annual Photography and Art Contest

Freedom House is calling for entries for its 3rd annual photography and art contest titled ‘Images of Repression & Freedom Photography & Art Contest’.

The call accommodates professional and amateurs photographers and artist to submit photos and other forms of art such as: cartoons, prints, paintings, graphic art.

Photos and art should mirror matters concerned with freedom, political participation, human rights, democracy and repression.

The top three winners will be featured on the Freedom House website, Facebook and Twitter, also in Freedom House’s newsletter. Cash prizes will be given to the top three winners:

–          $300 – First place

–          $200 – Second place

–          $100 – Third place

Semi-finalists chosen by Freedom House will be displayed and auctioned as a fundraiser on April 15, 2014 in Washington DC.

Photos and art from any country or region of the world will be considered, but preference will be given to works from countries where freedom is a threat.

Chosen artists will be notified through email. Photos must be sole property of the submitter.

Participants are expected to email their entry form and photo in jpeg format to freedomphotos2014@gmail.com.

Deadline for submission is Monday, March 10, 2014. For more information, click here.

Winning Photograph for 2013
Winning Photograph for 2013

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world.

MFWA Resolution Outlines Challenges to Free Expression, Media Freedom and Professionalism in West Africa

The Board of Directors  of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) issued a resolution in Accra, Ghana,  last month outlining challenges facing Freedom of Expression, Media Freedom and Professionalism in West Africa.

In its resolution, the organization expressed great concern about the serious challenges posed by extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking to media freedom and practice in West Africa.

MFWA urged countries in the West African region to actively implement the resolution and promote media freedom and professional practice in the media sector.

In the 11 point resolution, the governments of Nigeria, Mali and Ghana were commended for their support in co-sponsoring the resolution as it welcomed the adoption of the resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity by the UN General Assembly.

Mr. Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director MFWA
Mr. Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director MFWA

The Board commended MFWA Secretariat for its relentless efforts in promoting free expression in West Africa, especially during the political crisis and ongoing democratic recovery processes in Mali and Cote d’Ivoire.

Also highlighted in the resolution is the undeniable relevance of Internet penetration, affordability and access for the overall development of the region. This will serve as an effective tool for the enhancement of media freedom and freedom of expression.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Accra, Ghana to defend and promote the rights and freedoms of the media, and generally, to help expand the boundaries of freedom of speech and expression in West Africa.

MDIF Announce Development of Outernet Project

Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) has announced the development of its Outernet project, a global media delivery service  to provide information to the world from outer space.Outernet_logo_300

The Outernet project grasps the sprouting new-space start-up industry, leveraging multicasting technology to take Wi-Fi network to the extreme with the primary objective of bridging the global information divide.

According to Mr. Harlan Mandel, CEO MDIF, “Outernet will bypass censorship, ensure privacy and offer worldwide access to information to everyone, including those who today are beyond the geographic reach of the internet or can’t afford it”, he said this as he described MDIF’s excitement to incubate a revolutionary project.

In addition, Mr. Syed Karim, the project founder, MDIF’s Director of Innovation said “Outernet is the modern version of shortwave radio that uses leading-edge technology to address a deep social problem. As the world moves towards a global knowledge-driven economy, more than 3 billion people are excluded by cost, geography or jurisdiction.”

He further reiterated that, “Outernet will increase opportunities for everyone to access digital news and information, allowing greater access to opportunity and education than anything that currently exists.”

Mr. Harlan Mandel, CEO MDIF
Mr. Harlan Mandel, CEO MDIF

Outernet will basically ensure unrestricted, globally accessible, broadcast data. Quality content from all over the internet made available to all of humanity for free.

All components crucial to the effectiveness of the Outernet have been endorsed by different governmental, university and amateur satellite projects. The project is purposed to draw together all these technologies in order to provide standardization where none existed, and build a genuinely innovative global media delivery platform.

MDIF is a mission-driven investment fund for independent news businesses in countries with a history of media oppression. MDIF provides affordable financing and business assistance to independent news outlets in challenging environments, helping them to become financially sustainable.

WAN-IFRA Holds 2014 World Newspaper Congress in Torino

 The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is inviting media workers from around the world to the 66th edition of the World Newspaper Congress 2014, the 21st World Editors Forum and  the Advertising Forum in Torino, Italy.

This event scheduled to hold from June 9 to 11, 2014  is entitled ‘New Voices, New Reality, New Energy’ and its expected to draw more than 1,200 publishers, editors-in-chief, heads of media houses, other senior newspaper and news publishing executives.

Mr. Vincent Peyrègne, Chief Executive Officer WAN-IFRA
Mr. Vincent Peyrègne, Chief Executive Officer WAN-IFRA

WAN-IFRA is the most important annual gathering of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. The events provide best case studies and presentations by global industry leaders on subjects of pressing concern to the news industry: new digital revenues, innovation; strategies in turbulent times; newsroom evolution; audience loyalty; advertising networks; multimedia operations; and much more.

The Chief Executive Officer of WAN-IFRA, Mr. Vincent Peyrègne said: “Twenty years ago, when Torino suddenly lost 10 million square metres of industrial space, it needed to entirely re-invent itself; it is now an art and culture hub for northern Italy. The newspaper industry is now going through a similar process of transformation. This is one of the reasons that Torino is a most appropriate venue to host the summit meetings of the world’s newspapers and news publishers.”

Among the notable and leading news media companies that will grace the event are USA Today, The Asahi Shimbun, the Guardian, The Associated Press and RCS Media Group.

The Congress and Forum are supported by RCS and Espresso which are two major publishing groups and by La Stampa.

For more information and registration, click here.