Citizen Media tools to describe the struggles of a population

During the past two weeks, the bloggers of the Foko network have taken fully charges of every aspect of the Citizen Media project. Twitter was the object of everyone's interest when we advised  to connect their Facebook accounts to this micro-blogging tool, Antsa and Koloina jumped on the idea and Tahina shared his experience with mobile phone updates on this very active thread (the community is very actively exchanging tips everyday on facebook, blogs and mails). So don't forget to update your Twitter contacts  list:

“efa ele no niandrasako ny momba ny twitter ka kisaotra betsaka tamin`ny fanazavana raha toa ka mila more fanazavana dia manontany eny ihany e! koloina”

I was looking for a way to learn to open my twitter account, thank you for the explanations when I get to it I will come back to you guyz for more questions.

“wep j'ai essayé le texto sur twitter, pas mal, le coût est le même qu'un sms international, ça dépend donc de votre opérateur en tous cas pour zain c'est 340 et quelques ariary.”

wep i tried texting on twitter, it costs an international sms, it depends on your operator but on zain it's 340 and something ariary.

 Patrick on his facebook status updated with Twitter on February 7th during Cyclone Gaël alert .

One of our prioriry was to bring more and more news from the provinces. Not only because of the very little place they take on mainstream media but also to share to the world the cultural diversity and great potentials of each regions. The return of Zouboon, one of School of Journalism of Majunga talented student, to blogging was good news litterally to all of us. With her articles, mostly written in Malagasy, she adresses, in a very skilled and sensitive way, to matters that occupy the everyday lives of people in Majunga.  When she reports on the difficult return to life after the riots (which also took place in her town on January 27th), she uses an interesting and very professional perspective putting in exemple people she took the time to interview on the streets : Milamin-dratsy i MajungaMajunga is strangely calm

“Mifaritra eny amin’ny endriky ny vahoaka hatramin’izao ny fahatsapana fa mbola tsy ao anatin’ny fandriampahalemana tanteraka isika(…)Ramatoa Vero na I maman’I Dada araky ny fahalalan’ny maro azy dia milaza mazava tsara hoe “raha vao taratara ny fidiran’ny ankizy mody avy ampianarana dia efa miasa ny lohako sao ka nisy zavatra najoa azy indray sanatria”

Everyone has on mind that we are not in peace yet. Ramatoa Vero or Dada's mom as everyone call her is very clear on this : “when my kids are late from school I am always very worried something happened to them” *ndrl: many towns in Madagascar are still applying curfews from 8pm to 5 am.

Koloina, who is now a part of the great translators team at GlobalVoices in Malagasy, is sharing the news from Sambava which is the capital of the Vanilla rich region, SAVA

“Raha ny any Sambava manokana no resahina dia miaina ao anaty tebiaeby tanteraka ny mponina any noon y disadisam-poloitika sy ny ahiay amin’ny tsy fandriam-pahalemana eo koa ny tsaho iasankarazany. Tsy izany ihany anefa eo koa ny olana aterakin’ny tsy fisian’ny herin’aratra any antoerana ka tsy ahafahan’olona miaina tsara ampilaminana. Na mba te-hanara-baovao aza dia tsy dia tena mahazo vahina loatra saria adin’ny telo na mahery kely isan’andro no mba azon’izy ireo ampiasana ny herinarara (…) Betsaka ireo trano fisakafoanana manary ny tahirin-tsakafony to ny karazan-tsakafo vita avy amin’ny ronona sy ireo hazan-dranomasina isankarazany.”

In Sambava people are worried about the political movements and for their own safety. But the most of their problems is coming from the lack of electricity which keeps them from resuming to normal life. Even if you want to hear news from the radio, you can only get electricity for 3 hours per day (…) Many restaurants have to throw away their foods (seafood, milk,…) because they can't keep it refrigerated.

And Layshyuu the most prolific videoblogger of the entire Malagasy blogosphere (we hope more and more Foko will join him) illustrates the struggles of the population who depend on tourism and vanilla exportations by showing a video of the market of Bazar Kely in Tamatave under extreme conditions. *ndrl : all Madagascar is still under the threat of a very active and potentially damageavble yearly cyclone season.

Bazary kely

please watch his video here

Of course, we are still dealing with the challenges of finding (cheaper) connexions, transfering videos, motivating the troops and even found new obstacles at practicing this passion that Citizen Media has become for all of us. We will expose our problems and successes on the next post for our second self-evalutation 6 months after our first August 2008 one

In Antananarivo after learning that all Foko bloggers were safe and sound, we aslo had the extreme sadness to learn that a reporter for the Radio Television channel RTA was among the victims of saturday’ s shooting. His name was Ando, he was a young man whose passion was communication and especially giving a voice to the young Malagasy generation.

As a member of the journalist community, Ando understood the contribution of citizen media to the media landscape in Madagascar if it is done properly. He sought out Foko bloggers and interviewed them for RTA.

More importantly, Ando became a dear friend to bloggers. They visited his family and paid a last hommage to a friend. Additionally,
Lomelle and Pakysse gave tribute to his life and what he meant to them in blog posts.

Lomelle writes (fr):

je rends surtout hommage pour Ando journaliste de la RTA qui a reçu une balle et qui en est mort [..] Les membres de Foko se souviendra toujours de lui a travers ce reportage qu'il a fait de nous/( translation):
I especially would like to pay tribute to Ando, reporter for RTA who dies from gun shots [..] Foko members will always remember him thanks to the documentary he made of us.

Pakysse says farewell and explains how they met (mg):

nifankahalalanay roa lahy dia tena naha talanjona tokoa satria dia tany anaty cyber raha iny izy anao emission speciale iny lédala dia niresaka izahay [..] ny tao ariana moa dia maro ny projet fa ny tena nivaingana indrindra dia nanaovany ledala emisson tao @ vaovao city news ny RTA dia nahazo minitra vitsy tao ny mpitoraka bilaogy avy ao @ FOKO/
We happended to meet in a cyber center as he was preparing for a special broadcast. After that, there were a few projects but the one that stood out was the report in vaovao city news for RTA where the Foko bloggers had a minute of airtime.