Monday, April 30, 2007

Week Two - intro to the list

Dear Change Leaders,
Thanks once again for a great Class
Today is Friday 27th April 2007, bringing to a close our class discussion on the topic ICT Journalism
Next week we are going to take a look at tools of our trade, see lecture notes attached
tools of our trade(part one) quick summary
1. Introduction to ICT tools for journalism
2. Digital Convergence
3. Media Convergence
4. Computer Assisted Journalism
5. Using Geographic Information System in Journalism
6. Publishing platforms
7. Content Management System
8. Database Management System
9. Maths and Stats for the newsroom
then tools of our trade(part two) looks at some online tools

During this week, we are going to be working with a number of tools, including blogging, more information to be sent to the class list soon

Happy reading

Podcasting will change radio, not kill it

BLOG and wiki were already dictionary words in 2004 when Adam Curry, a former show host on MTV, used his own celebrity and the underlying technologies of blogging to popularise yet another next big thing: “podcasting” (which provided him with a new nickname, “podfather”).
The word itself is hip but not helpful. The “pod” comes from Apple's iPod, a fashionable portable music player—a stroke of marketing luck for Apple, which initially had nothing to do with podcasting. The “casting” comes from broadcasting, which means sending a radio signal to an entire population in a particular geographic area at a particular time. Confusingly, in some respects that is the opposite of podcasting. But none of this matters any more. As with blogs and wikis, people are discovering podcasting as something genuinely new.
It works as follows. A podcaster records something—anything from music to philosophical ramblings, professional news or snorting noises—into a computer with the aid of a microphone, then posts this audio file onto the internet. There, people can listen to it and, more importantly, subscribe to a “feed” from the same podcaster, so that all new audio files from that source are automatically pulled down as soon as they are published. Whenever listeners dock their iPods or other music players for charging, the feeds that have newly arrived on the computers are transferred to the portable devices. People can then listen in their car, while jogging, or wherever and whenever they please.
It is not quite true, therefore, that podcasting is to audio as blogging is to text. Podcasting is about “time-shifting” (listening offline to something at a time of one's own choosing, as opposed to a broadcaster's), whereas reading blogs requires a live internet connection and a screen. More subtly, podcasts are different from blogs and wikis in that they cannot link directly to other podcasts. This makes podcasting a less social, and probably less revolutionary, medium.

Nonetheless, its rise has been nothing short of astonishing. Mr Curry's own podcast, The Daily Source Code, has several million listeners. Apple's iTunes, the software application and online music store that makes iPods work, currently lists 20,000 free podcasts and is adding them at a fast clip, all before podcasting's second birthday. Podcasting is even expanding from audio to video, although this trend is as yet so new that several words (“vodcasting”, “vidcasting” , “vlogging”) are still vying for the honour.
For listeners, the appeal is threefold. First, they become their own programmers, mixing the music and talk feeds that they enjoy. This liberates commuters, say, from commercial radio stations that, in America especially, seem only ever to get dumber and duller. Second, podcasts liberate listeners from advertising, and thus put an end to the tedious and dangerous toggling between the car radio's pre-set buttons at 100km an hour. (However, some podcasters are experimenting with putting advertisements into their podcasts.) Above all, the time-shifting that podcasts make possible liberates people from having to sit in their parked cars to hear the end of a good programme.
For creative types, professional or amateur, the appeal of podcasting is much the same as that of other participatory media: it dramatically lowers the costs of producing content. All they need is a microphone, a computer and an internet connection, and most people already have those.

Hammed radio
Does podcasting therefore spell the end of radio? “I don't really buy into that per se; what we're really seeing is a big mash-up of stuff,” says Mr Curry, the podfather. Podcasting, terrestrial radio and another newcomer, paid-for (ie, mostly advertising-free) satellite radio, are all carving out their niches in people's crowded media lives. The limiting factor of podcasting, says Mr Curry, is that it is “inherently asynchronous” (ie, not live). “If they find Osama bin Laden, don't go running to your iPod,” he adds. Breaking news, call-in shows (an old-fashioned form of participatory media) and other live programming will still work on terrestrial radio.
This might lull radio bosses into a false sense of security, however. “I'm not sure that the average consumer is going to want to hear, you know, Joe podcasting out of his garage,” says Mark Mays, the chief executive of Clear Channel Communications, America's largest radio broadcaster with 1,200 commercial stations. Mr Mays claims that when people buy an iPod they will reduce their radio listening for a few months, but then increase it again to educate themselves about new music. “And where else to go for music than their local radio station?” asks Mr Mays.
If they are young, they will go anywhere but to their local radio station, says David Goldberg, the music boss at Yahoo! “The odds that you and I like the same five songs in a row are very low,” he says. “If you hate Metallica, you're not going to sit through three minutes hoping that the fourth minute gets better.” To young people today, song sequences are simply “playlists”, which happen to be among the easiest things to share with friends online, so this is what Yahoo! concentrates on doing. It lets people listen to music (for a small monthly subscription or pay-by-download) and then rate the song. Yahoo! then uses its knowledge of the online communities formed by its users to recommend the right kinds of songs “by connecting you with other people who like the same music”, says Mr Goldberg.
The effects on radio, while not lethal, will therefore be large. Radio broadcasters understand that they need to make commercial radio less disagreeable to listen to, which above all means shorter advertising interruptions. This is why Clear Channel has introduced a campaign called “less is more”, in which it sells fewer minutes to advertisers in the hope that this will drive up ratings and prices.
Historically, radio has been good at adapting. When Franklin Roosevelt gave his “fireside chats”, radios were in the living room and families gathered round them during prime time. Then television came along, and radios migrated to the car for use during rush hours. Podcasting may herald yet another migration, to a place and context yet to be determined.

Copyright © 2006 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 23, 2007

ICT Journalism Gets Its Due

By Michael Alan Hamlin
May 13, 2002
One of the concerns of the Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (ITECC) is disseminating factually accurate information about the Philippines' information and communication technology (ICT) sectors to key publics like investors, entrepreneurs, and investment analysts. That includes getting this information out regularly, so that awareness of the Philippines' emerging ICT sectors builds among those constituencies. In other words, ITECC wants the Philippines' ICT sectors to be top-of-mind among people who matter most.
There are several reasons why it's sometimes difficult to disseminate information that has to do with technology. The most important reason now is that technology has lost a lot of its luster. The average technology stock has lost 75 percent of its value since the tech meltdown began two years ago. Another reason is that technology isn't easy to write about. For one thing, technology can be very complicated, and so it's difficult to understand. And, it's always changing. Taking a subject that is inherently complicated and is constantly evolving and explaining it in a way that non-techies understand is a huge challenge.
But it's also a challenge that must be met. Despite the lost luster, technology drives product and service innovation in every company and every industry. When it comes to economic development in general, technology is an efficient creator of value-added jobs. It's not a fast ticket to development, but it certainly is a faster ticket to development than traditional development models. That's still true, and it will be for a long time. Probably forever.
There are a number of ways to disseminate information about the Philippines ICT sectors. But of all the communication channels available media is probably the most effective and timely. For this reason, it's important to have journalists not just assigned to ICT beats, but journalists that have an interest in technology, understand it, and are enthusiastic about reporting its development.
Philippine ICT journalists understand this. In an effort to strengthen ICT reporting they formed a kind of press club, called the CyberPress six or seven years ago, according to Jerry Liao, the producer and host of InfoChat. The club is an informal switchboard for trading information, but also organizes and attends seminars on both writing and technology. It provides a means of continuing education and skills and knowledge enhancement.
Many in the ICT sectors appreciate that effort, which the ICT journalists took upon themselves, and have looked for a way to acknowledge the work and role of ICT journalism. And so this year, for the first time, Microsoft and IBM have formed an alliance to present what will be called "The Excellence in ICT Journalism Awards." The project is being conducted in cooperation with the Asian Institute of Journalism, which is administering the awards process and supervising the evaluation of submissions. (Full Disclosure: Microsoft and IBM are clients of my firm, TeamAsia, and we have been retained to organize the awards.)
There are three main objectives for the awards. First, the program is intended to encourage ICT journalists in popularizing and humanizing ICT. Even in this day and age, there are lots more people who shun talk of technology - and enjoy only an uneasy relationship with their keyboards - than embrace the next big idea. Second, the awards will recognize ICT journalists who excel in their field. Finally, the program is expected to promote the development of online journalism (I am consistently surprised at the number of people who tell me they have given up on hard copy reading in favor of "surfing" the news.).
There are five different categories encompassing both print and online journalism, and news, feature, and column writing (No, I wasn't allowed to submit. Unfortunately.). And there are even cash prizes. Not big prizes, but worthwhile prices, ranging from P10,000 to P25,000. The real prize, though, is the honor of being judged by impartial, expert evaluators, and having your work held up as an example of the product of professional journalism. That sets a standard for others to aspire to, and to surpass.
Our firm has quite a lot of experience with rigorous, respected awards programs, and we've seen how they can energize both individuals and entire organizations. Seeing that impact is one of the most important benefits of the work we do. And so we're delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of this program. We think that others will also find the program a project that deservers their support.
And I have good news. There's room for other organizations that share the interest of Microsoft and IBM in supporting ICT journalism to participate. If you represent one of those organizations, you know where to contact me (See below.). But you'll have to hurry. The first awards ceremony will be conducted on June 20. Submissions for this first year are already in, and the evaluation process is beginning.
There are a lot of noble and worthy projects to invest in that give something back to the country and the market that supports our businesses. This is certainly among the most important.

(Michael Alan Hamlin is the managing director of consultancy TeamAsia and the author of three books on Asian economies and companies. His latest book is Marketing Asian Places, of which he is co-author. His e-mail address is

Sunday, April 22, 2007

New technologies: The influence of ICT on African Newspapers

There are many African countries where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has already had a great impact on the media scene. This way of dealing with both communication and material transfer could revolutionise African newspapers.
Kunda Chinyanta Mwila is a Zambian web development specialist with much experience in journalism. He is vice board chairman of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia Chapter. He tells RAP 21 about how he sees the future of ICT and African newspapers.
RAP 21: Which changes has ICT brought to African newspapers?
Mr Mwila: Africa is a diverse and multi-faceted continent in the sense that countries like South Africa and most North African countries, such as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, got advanced communication infrastructure earlier than countries in sub-saharan Africa, for example Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana.
The introduction of ICT has led to a change in type-setting, layout, designing and printing infrastructure at most African newspapers. For instance in Zambia, which is representative of sub-Saharan Africa, almost no newspapers use typewriters for typesetting or editing their news stories, or for page layout or designing. Instead they are now using computers to typeset, edit and design their publications.
There’s also been a lot of transformation in the communication infrastructure. Instead of using telex and fax machines to send or receive material, many newspapers today use e-mail or computer networks for such purposes. Mobile and satellite telephones, and general improvement of landlines have made it possible for newspapers to get stories from a reporter stationed anywhere.
It’s worth mentioning that the fax machines still remains an integral part of communication in many media houses and not all newspapers have taken the full advantage of ICT.
RAP 21: Why has there not been greater change?
Mr Mwila: The most prominent reason for failure by media houses to fully incorporate ICT in their daily operations is financial constraint. It is very difficult for most newspapers, for instance in Zambia, to run profitably, hence they are constrained with money to invest in ICT infrastructure. For example, the cheapest PC costs around US$ 1,000, a cost many media houses can hardly contemplate. Although many media houses have an internet connection, the monthly subscription is still high (an average of US$ 20 per month) and this might be uneconomic for small newspapers.
In the rural set-up of most African countries, there is no infrastructure to support the existence and availability of ICT. Even where they might exist, the cost is even higher than those in urban areas. Hence, many media houses in rural set-ups have to continue with the old communication tools.
There is also the aspect of the high-level of computer illiteracy in Africa, from which the journalism profession has not been spared. Most old journalists have no knowledge of computers and even modern trained ones have limited abilities. Therefore, even where ICT facilities exist, no maximum usage may be applied.
RAP 21: How would you say that ICT could ideally change the African newsrooms?
Mr Mwila: Once fully adopted and adapted, the ICT will transform the newsrooms into cabled and networked centres with all journalists discharging stories onto a network, editors picking them before sending them to the page designers or casters in the case of electronic media. Basically, the newsrooms will utilise all the available ICT to easily coordinate material for publication or broadcasting and also to communicate among staff.
RAP 21: How could an African newsroom with, for example, 20 employees benefit from ICT in their daily work?
Mr Mwila: With accurate deployment of ICT, newsrooms will be able to efficiently coordinate material, communicate easily with all members of the staff and easily send materials for publication or broadcasting. For instance, instead of individuals getting copy from one desk to another, the ICT will enable copy and articles to flow on a local area network (LAN), drastically reducing the time lag in passing materials.
RAP 21: Can you give me an example of an African newsroom where ICT has made a radical difference?
Mr Mwila: The Post newspaper in Zambia has fully networked its newsroom which has improved tremendously in copy and material flow from the reporter to the editor, to the graphic and page designers and to the printers. The Post’s use of internet or e-mail facilities also enable the staff to easily access especially international stories. There is no doubt that ICT will transform the African newsrooms for the better.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Training : Global Online Course in ICT Journalism Starts Today

Training : Global Online Course in ICT Journalism (April 20 to July 20 2007)
After successfully pioneering an online course in ICT Journalism in 2006, The International Institute for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Journalism Penplusbytes is starting today its second online course. 55 participants were selected from Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia to participate in this course from over 100 applications received

year 2007 participants pictures
Participants will be exposed to the wider context of ICTs assisted journalism including its history, how these technologies are impacting on the world of journalism, how ICT can be used in producing stories and how to manage change process in using innovative ICT tools.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Self Introduction format, no rules but protocol yes and 3 Tasks

Self Introduction format, no rules but protocol yes and 3 Tasks

I am going to send my self introduction as a sample soon
1. Start with TASK STATEMENT - Tell us if you have successfully log into dgroups, updated the class wiki with my self introduction and your five key objectives as well. If you have a personal blog, please provide us with the address. If you don’t do not worry, you are going create one soon as part of this class.
2. Tell us about your name, which country you currently reside etc
3. Your educational background
4. What is your job title, current roles and responsibilities etc
5. Share with the class, your five key objectives for participating in the training course( as much as possible your objectives should be measurable )
6. Lastly share with us the most interesting application of ICT in your work

We want to avoid rules, rules and rules for this class space but we strongly suggest we all ensure that this space is used for its intended purpose that is training space for ICT Journalism.
If you have a very strong reason to post some which is not relate to the course, please state in your subject line OT – out of topic, for example, if you have a new car and you strongly believe you should tell us, please state OT in the subject line. Eg, Subject: OT NEW CAR.
Your subject must correspond to the body of your message
Secondly, make sure your subject line reflects the body of your message. Do not click reply to – Subject: RE: online journalism when in the body of your mail your content refers to Newsroom Knowledge Management.

As much as possible please let us all stick to the purpose of this list – ICT JOURNALISM.


Due to the expected high volume of mails, you can request a digest format, whereby message would be sent to you in batches instead of single mails.


1. Go to and enter your email address and password (provided in the first mail from dgroups). If you have forgotten your password, then you can click on RETRIEVE A PASSWORD(found below email address a password and submit slots) then input your email address then click on retrieve password and a reminder would be sent to your email box)
2. Click on my groups and then click on MEDIAICTRAIN
3. Then go to MY PROFILE
4. MY PROFILE opens with the following information
A. * First Name:
B. * Last Name:
C. Email:
D. * Password:
E. * Verify:
F. Country:
G. Organization:
H. Website:
I. Picture:
J. Comments:
At MY PROFILE window, you can do corrections to your name, change your password, change your email address, update your profile with your organization name, website, upload your picture and add comments etc
TASK TWO - WIKI – Creating a self introduction page
1. Go to Course wiki found at
2. Enter the password : provided on the class list
3. Click on create NEW PAGE
4. Then click on NAME YOUR NEW PAGE and this, please use your name
5. Select a template – please use Journalist's article repository template
6. Click on Create a New Page
7. Copy and paste your self introduction on this page
8. Click on Save
TASK THREE -WIKI- Adding your five objectives to the home page
1. Still in the WIKI click on HOME PAGE
2. Then click on EDIT PAGE
3. Type out your name then copy and paste your five objectives from the introduction to the HOME PAGE


Welcome Message year 2007 course

International Institute for ICT Journalism – Penplusbytes:
PPB01007 - Global Online Course in ICT Journalism
Three months (20th April to 20 July 2007)
Level: Intermediate
Welcome message
Welcome to International Institute for ICT Journalism -PenPlusBytes online course on ICT Journalism for the period of three months (20th April to 20th July 2007)
We shall post weekly lecture notes based on the topic for the week plus relevant documents via the class primary online space All class members would receive mails automatically to their email address once it is posted to the In addition to interfacing via email, you can also log in at with your email address and password(provided in the first mail from dgroups or you can click on request password and a reminder would be sent to your email box)
Active Participation is key
Participants are expected to contribute through questions, comments, contributions, suggestion etc after reading the lectures notes and undertaking your own research. Please remember that class postings constitute part of your final grading. It is not enough to say I agree with someone posting, yes you can agree or disagree but tell us why. One of the course objectives is to ensure participants learn from each other and by posting your colleagues can learn from you.
At the end of each week, a weekly summary of postings shall be post to the list.
Class Assignments
Class assignments are expected to be submitted on due dates.
Submit your assignment before Sunday each week to
In the subject line indicate your name and the question for the weekly assignment
For example, question: Are ICT tools replacing Journalists? Name: Viva Jima
Subject: Viva Jima (Are ICT tools replacing Journalists?)
If you can not submit your assignment for a valid, please request for extension in advance from course facilitators.

Project Work
At the end of the course, each participant is expected to submit a project work in any ICT Journalism area of choice. Class members are allowed to submit group project work upon agreement from the course facilitators.
Special Guests
In addition to the course instructors, participants would have a unique opportunity to interact with special guests with expertise in ICT Journalism.
53 participants have qualified and registered to take part in this online course from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North American.
A full participants list shall be made available to the group soon.
Grading: Participants are expected to undertake weekly assignment, participate in online discussion and published final project work on PenPlusBytes website.
Final grades:
• 20% on weekly assignments
• 20% on class participation
• 40% on project work
• 20% on multiple tests
The course mailing list is located at
See course blog at
Course wiki is found at
For PenPlusBytes website point your browser to
Class assignment email address
Course sponsors:
CLASS TIME TABLE - Three months (20th April to 20TH July 2007)
WEEK ONE 20th April Introduction of Participants and Course Objectives Introduction to ICT Journalism concept, theory and definition, History of ICT Journalism
WEEK TWO 27th April Introduction to ICT tools for Journalism
WEEK THREE 4th May Wikis, Blogs, Website, Chat, Forum, e-mail
WEEK FOUR 11th May Web 2.0 /Web 3.0 for Journalism
WEEK FIVE 18th May Content management system, news room management system and publishing platforms
WEEK SIX 25th May The role of information and knowledge management in the newsroom
WEEK SEVEN 1st June Online Research
WEEK EIGHT 8th June Online Research/Special Guest
WEEK NINE - 15th June Reporting ICT Stories
WEEK TEN – 22ND JUNE Special Guests/Business models of Online Journalism
WEEK ELEVEN – 29TH JUNE Special Guests/Project Work
WEEK TWELVE – 6TH JULY Special Guests/Project Work
WEEK THIRTEEN – 13TH JULY – 20th JULY Conclusion and Future of ICT Journalism
Learning Online
Learning online comes with a lot of advantages especially when learning about technologies. There are inherent challenges when learning online mostly because of the lack of face to face experience. Learning online is an important skill you have to acquire.
1. Set a period of day to undertake online learning
2. Find a folder and print out hard copies of key notes and resources
3. Plan your on learning experience
4. Interact and connect with other participants via f2f, email or phone calls
5. Discipline
6. Time commitment
Course Facilitators
Course Director Kwami Ahiabenu, II
Eric Osiakwan
Kofi Mangesi