Stories from January, 2009
The recent coverage of Tropical Storm Eric, Cyclone Fanele, and the ongoing protests and political turmoil in Madagascar by local citizen journalists reveals the importance of 1.) citizen journalism training programs, 2.) the translation and contextualization of local content for a global audience, and 3.) networks of media groups so that local voices can be amplified and understood when breaking news hits.
In 2008 REPACTED carried out magnet theatre and other outreach efforts including the use of digital media-photography, video shooting, blogging and encouraged HIV positive persons from the community to blog about their stories. The REPACTED bloggers advocated use of contraceptives in schools and pleaded to stop the stigma against the HIV positive persons in their society.
The Orizonturi Foundation's "Blogging the Dream" project got a little boost in November when project leader Gabriela Tanasan was invited by the Soros Foundation to participate in their Advocacy Through Blogging conference in Bucharest, Romania. Here she reflects on the conference.
Pavel Kutsev, co-founder of the Ukrainian non-profit Drop-In Center, shows the challenges that injection drug users face when trying to access medical care in Kiev, including a personal story of how his wife was rejected by a doctor when in need. Maryna Reshetnyak translates from Russian.
Global Voices contributing author Aparna Ray has translated a poem by Nari Jibon blogger Naoshin Tushil entitled "Street Children."
The Serbian Web Journalism School will be introducing new online elements to its teaching curriculum in early 2009. The classes are progressing well and the students have learned how to work creatively with photos online and rss feeds among other things.
In 2007 Rising Voices, an outreach initiative of Global Voices aimed at bringing under-represented voices from the developing world to the social web, got its feet on the ground. 2008 was a year of scaling up and defining processes. In 2009 we plan on becoming more inclusive to build a global resource and knowledge network centered around citizen media training.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $2 million in BiblioRedes, Chile's national network of libraries, to promote great inclusion in the modern social web.
Pavel Kutsev, co-founder of the Ukrainian non-profit, Drop-In Center, describes his incredible personal story which led to the creation of the center for injection drug users in Kiev and his impassioned life goal. Maryna Reshetnyak translates from Russian.
So far FOKO Blog Club, the Rising Voices grantee from Madagascar has completed 13 workshops in 4 locations in Madagascar. And what a year it was as most of the growth happened in 2008. 2009 will be a new year for Foko as blogger-members are slowly taking over charge from the coordinators and facilitators to take the project forward.
The “Blogging the dream project” in Romania created a blogging club for mental health service users with the help of a Rising Voices micro grant. It trains them how to maintain a weblog, upload videos to online sharing sites, and use social networks. With these blogs these people are voicing their opinions and hope to break through stigma barriers, fight discrimination, and create awareness of mental health problems.