As we were making our monthly round of reports on FBC activities, we noticed that we didn't take the time to properly introduce our October 2008 addition, here at the Rising Voices, the talented ESSVA classes of Journalism and Media from Antsirabe.
ESSVA, Ecole Supérieure Spécialisée du Vakinankaratra“ in Antsirabe was founded in 1999 and has became a distinguished professional education center in Madagascar with students coming from all the regions including the Comorros Island to graduate in Journalism, Ecotourism, Management, Education, Engineering and since 2008 in Restauration. Foko had the priviledge to have a citizen media workshop at this prestigious school with Randy Donny a professional journalist who is teaching the 2nd and 3rd year in Communication and Media. Our partnership was renewed when the school staff allowed the students to attend and host the E-bit technology fair in Antananarivo on October 17th helping the entire Foko community to introduce Citizen Media to thousands of Malagasy high-schoolers. After 6 months of activities, this new FBC location is still very active despite the recent events and their heavy school schedule. Imahaka, Raslmetal and Micramia were also very alert and took part at relaying news during this 2009 political crisis (they joined Facebook, Twitter and the Ushahidi Squad). We were also very happy to learn from Randy that the bloggers are still very motivated and have helped opening dizains of new blogs since.
I urge you all to support Imahaka by posting comments on his blog. His latest posts are worth the reading. And we also have new bloggers, we have to put on Foko list because they passed the ‘salutation’ stage : http://pchutedia.wordpress.com, http://andrikely.wordpress.com, http://seheno.wordpress.com, http://marcelgallo.wordpress.com, http://nouny.wordpress.com. And we have a new girl from Fianarantsoa http://mahatsiatra.wordpress.com and a student from the Comorros http://zalinasser.wordpress.com. You might keep looking for these new blogs that we still need to be fixed : http://pocahonthas.wordpress.com, http://jtaxx.wordpress.com, http://muldejangama.wordpress.com (a girl from Majunga), http://mirlucia.wordpress.com and http://Nanncy.wordpress.com
As the political crisis is getting new developments but the media focused on the capitale only, Jelona the new coordinator from Fianarantsoa was able to bring more news from his region publishing pictures of daily manifestations. He will put all his energy in training new bloggers to Citizen Media not to cover the events only but also to introduce the extraordinary cultures and traditions Betsileo region.
Patrick, über Twitterer, is by far the most hard working blogger of Foko community when posting videos regularly and bringing wonderful stories from Tamatave's region. Recently he has helped Julienne to open a blog : http://juleetam.wordpress.com and updated us on the port staff's strikes, rumours of a Diabe (political march), the results of a Volley Beach tournament and the very touching interview of Bosco :
Tahina, who is in charge of the Ushahidi aggregator in Antananarivo, has showed to many Foko how to use this new citizen meda tool and many bloggers were interviewed by International Media such as the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Lemonde. Lova is reporting on Ushahidi:
Amidst increasing concerns over the political instability in Madagascar and the safety of local news reporters, citizen media has made an important contribution to the understanding and documentation of on-site based reports.
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