Thursday, May 24, 2007

5th Week : The birth of the new Internet

Dear Change Leaders,

"When spider webs unite they can entangle a lion."
Ethiopian Proverb

Greetings to all of you, this week is a bit different, because of have a
number of things happening
1. Group week, this would be the last official week to bring this to closure

2. We are also working on the "bunch of great questions" posed by Nancy and
posted to our class wiki at
1. GO TO
2. To edit, it would ask you for your password, name and email address
3. enter the password, your name and email address
4. this would take you to editing box with
5. Add your contribution, that is go under each question and add your
contribution, please add your name to the start of your contribution
6. click SAVE
7. remember to LOG OUT
see example, Below
Can blogs earn a living for journalists? For journalist, what we do with
whatever we write is to help generate public opinion and positive reaction.
I think the issue of making a living from blog can only depend on the number
of readership one has made, such traffic can bring about adverts on your
blogs. So the issue write well.


Kwami : Yes, though Journalists can make a living through blogging, I
believe it would take some time before this becomes a reality.

this part of the wiki now reads
Can blogs earn a living for journalists? For journalist, what we do with
whatever we write is to help generate public opinion and positive reaction.
I think the issue of making a living from blog can only depend on the number
of readership one has made, such traffic can bring about adverts on your
blogs. So the issue write well.
Kwami : Yes, though Journalists can make a living through blogging, I
believe it would take some time before this becomes a reality.
3. Discuss web 2.0, interesting and *controversial *
please feel free to add questions or responses
Going to pose trigger questions on web 2.0 tomorrow, see lecture notes
4. lastly we are going to play with podcasting

Online Global Course in ICT Journalism : Newsroom as wiki group one report

You can view it live here:

Our group with twelve members excluding the facilitator worked on a topic that has been circulated in an earlier report. From what I noted, it was exciting to learn and use wiki. From the contributions received, it appears only four people out of twelve managed to access the group page. There might have been difficulties for some members to locate the page on wiki or indeed to access it in any way. I suspect that there was confusion regarding which group to use. Why do I say this? We have our mediaictrain discussion group list to communicate, then the google group was created for each group and then the wiki workspace for the assignment. May be some little explanation on how different each is from the others would help or might have helped.

The topic was easily chosen by our leader and there was no objection to the suggestion. It was relevant and I think equally good to generate contributions from group members.

One challenge I think had to do with access to Internet. It seems that some members have not been able to find access to the Internet as such they could not participate.

Demystifying the terms like wiki, blogs, etc might be helpful. I am not sure how best this could be done. Otherwise I am sure group one would want to practise more with wiki. Those that contributed enjoyed doing so and could make corrections to their contributions very easily.

A final thought or question is on usability of wiki in our newsroom. Do we think are newsrooms are ready for using wiki? Can we use it? Is there any among us who is using it? Please share how it works for you.

Group One members can add or subtract from what I have written. The rest are also welcome to respond on the final thought and question.

Recorder, Victor Kaonga

Online Global Course in ICT Journalism : Newsroom as wiki group two report

This is a report about Group Two activity.

Basic Information of the Group:

- The group was created by Media Group to facilitate discussions about WIKI task.

- The Group link is ( (

- The period of Group activity is 8 -24 May 2007.

- The Group members are 15.

- The Group messages are 95.

- The participants in the Group Two WIKI are Five (until Thursday evening). Our WIKI URL is (

Difficult Start

In the beginning, the Group faced a lot of difficulties which contributed to the delay of fulfilling its task.

Those difficulties can be summarized as followed:

- Some members got lost in many necessary steps were needed to do their task like accepting the Group invitations sent by the Media Group.

- We suffered misunderstanding between the function of the Group page and the function of the WIKI page, until we discovered that the Group page was created to facilitate private discussions between its members, and not for writing in group.

- Some of the member did not coordinate well with others and they hurried up to determine the subject of the report, eventually those steps did not work well in creating teamwork.

Turning Point

By the time, the members succeeded in doing their tasks well; they accepted the invitations of the Group; they took part actively in the private discussions within the Group page, and they were able to find their way easily to the WIKI page and work in it.

After we failed to create a teamwork regarding the proposed subject titled "The Future of Newspapers", we managed to reorganize the Group work again by appointing a leader , an editor and a recorder.

Through more active discussions in the Group, we agreed to choose the subject titled "The Freedom of Press", in which every member has written about the freedom of the press in his country- all the members from Africa.

Gradually, the members posted their work in the WIKI, and our editor worked hard to polish the final report.

Great Lessons

We have learned great experience from this task, as followed:
- It is easy to work alone, difficult to work in group, but working in group eventually leads to mutual benefits for all members.
- We thought it was impossible to start discussions with people we do not know, and to reach real results at the end, but now we are aware that coordinating within a group can be an easy task.
- To start a teamwork, you need to slow down and wait to let all the passengers catch the train. No need for a train without passengers. It was a mistake to hurry up and let the others behind.
- It is better to take a lot of time for discussions, but in the right time you need to be decisive to push everything forward.

Recroder of Group Two

Houssam Abdrabo

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Our Special Guest- week four - Nancy White

Dear Change Leaders,
This week was very exciting, once again Friday is here with us, meaning the end of another week
This week, we have the unique privilege of welcoming
Nancy White as our special Guest, she going to be with us as we take a look at " online tools for journalists" and going our sub group work on using wikis as a virtual news room
We are not going to have our traditional lecture notes but presentation from Nancy.
Nancy, on behalf of the class, you are welcome to our class, we are very pleased to have you in our learning space
This week is no doubt going to be very exciting

Words into Action : using wiki as a virtual newsroom

The Class is currently using the class wiki located at as a virtual newsroom.
Because of the class large size, we have five groups working on five stories in all
This time we are going to use the WIKI as our newsroom, to do this we have divided the class into five groups
ppbone - group one
ppbtwo - group two
ppbthree - group three
ppbfour - group four
ppbfive - group five

1. Select a leader from your groups that is each group should have a leader ( especially providing editorial role)
2. Select a recorder, that is each group should have the recorder( to record and summarise the work of your group and posted it to
3. Now have your first editorial meeting, basically select a story, the story can be relate to ICT journalism or ANY story of your choice
remember, the story should allow everybody to contribute to it
4. Go though the process of assignment, that is ask each of the group members to contribute portion of the story using the class wiki please find your group page and work at this space. The instructions of getting into wiki remembers the same.
5. Set the deadline for each person to contribute
6. After all the class members have contribute to the story using the wiki then the group leader editor, must undertake some quick edit
7. then the final story should be submitted to the whole class at plus a short report about how your group worked ( work of the recorder)
8. remember the essence of this task is to use WIKI as a virtual newsroom, so all the work must be done at our wiki that is contribution and quick edit

Enjoy this important group task and make us proud!

Class Discussion : Using blogs in journalism

Hello to all,
I want to share with you some questions about using blogs in Journalism. In fact , it was so easy to creat one, but I am still asking mysef how this could by used in journalism with the ideal way. I know that a lot of blogs have important news. but I want an advice on how to research all blogs to find the most useful material for my work? Is there any techniques to search blogs effectively? How can I discover so important information in a blog ?

Also, after creating my blog, I asked myself how can I make this blog important. I know that blogs are mediums for sharing information, but millions blogs can be created and disappeared easily without affecting anybody.

Would you share with me your ideas about blogs?

Dear Houssam,

I have create a blog last year exclusively to look after my frustrations. Not to see my articles however validated during the conference drafting to undergo contrary modifications with reality. In order to preserve the entirety of the original article, I thought that a blog was the tool indicated best. Thus, my friends, and many other readers and sympathizers can make the difference between what was published and what was transmitted for publication.

Dear Irene,
Thanks for reply. What I have understood that blogs can be used as a draft tool or a personal platform. Another question: If my blog is equivalent to my website, May that means that blogs are going to spread and websites are going to be disappear, taking into account the easy process of creating a blog comparing with building a website? Also, why most of the organization have website and official blog at the same time? What are the different in functionality between them? Sorry for headache, I am trying to think with loud voice to understand what I am using.
Blogging has many purposes; personal and professional reasons. Your blog as a journalist can help you express yourself more compared to your paper or media outlet. You can put on it whatever you want. It can earn you money-you have to do lots of work to start earning some money through adverts especially.

As you blog, you are adding your own and country's voice and presence to web. You may be the only person from your country that can present a certain perspective that the world would want to know online. Your posts can also be picked by other publishers, researchers, etc and you would never know who else reads them and the impact that may have. You can easily install traffic counters on your blog so that you know who and where from the visitors came. That helps give a picture of how your blog does. You can promote it by telling friends all over and invite them to read and comment.They in turn tell others, etc. On top of that, note that search engines can easily pick the content of your posts so anyone searching for say Houssam using google might be led to your blog as long as you have tagged it properly.

Note that as you blog, you are adding value to the web whether you like it or not. Here is a link that you can read: You can also simply search on the internet why people blog.

I don't know if you know Global Voices ( which aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore. Your blog might be used on this site too. I do write round-ups for my country and it is a good way of telling the world how bloggers the issues under discussion in an individual country. Check your own country on this site and see what other bloggers say.

Dear Irene and others
I share your sentiment about creating a blog to care of your frustrations in the newsroom.
I guess we all have the same problems of editors turning your stories upside down and sometimes putting unsuitable headlines or totally shelving your story.
With blogging, no story should end up in the trash can.
I do credit the source of my stories I put on my blog to take care of copyright problems coming from my employers, in case they ever raise the issue of the fact that they sponsored the stories and as such they own them. After all, has been distributing many stories from African media for free and several websites are using them without knowing the sources or paying any monies to the writers or originators or the newspapers concerned.
All they do is to credit the sources.
Therefore I don't think I should feel anything, putting a copy of my already published story on my blog and crediting the Paper.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Death of Newspapers/Radio/TV - Class debate

Are we going to see the death of newspapers/radio/television due to ICT?

Not really. But they will have to change/evolve. The situation is dire especially for print journalism. I believe that in near future we will be getting all our NEWS from the Internet or television. But than, as we know from communication theories, the newspapers do not exist only to give news to people. I strongly believe in Uses and Gratification Theory ( and think that if newspapers can evolve according to the changing needs of their users they can still be relevant. Combine it with the Media Dependency Theory ( and you will understand what I am thinking of. I believe we use a particular newspaper not only because it can break stories more regularly than its competitors but because the way it presents news. When it comes to newspapers, we all have our favourites, largely, I suppose due to the perspective that the newspaper gives to the news items. It is the character of the respective newspapers, the way they present news ~ with a shade of particular ideology ~ that will help them survive the new media onslaught. Of-course to fend off the challenge they will have to supplement their main product with some ICT channels like websites, but if they can work to build a loyal user base on the ideological lines, they will survive. Now I must stress that by this argument I do not mean to say that newspapers have to be dividing factors in a society or rabble-rousers with biased reportage. Objectivity still has to be the guiding factor but your readers should be able to associate themselves with the newspaper's general ideas and should feel gratified with the association. (Javed Anwer)

The Idea of ICT journalism replacing print media or traditional electronic media like radio and television is far fetched and to belongs to a distant future, but even in the developed countries despite the existance of the ICT infrastructure these traditional media channels like the newspapers, radio and television still exist and are still influencial as ever.( Paul Kihika)

Young people should not be blamed entirely for the slow decline in circulation of newspapers. We should also consider that the age bracket you have mentioned is more concerned with entertainment. The 43 minutes they spend reading is probably spent on finding best spots for meeting people or checking out which cinema to go to.
NB: At least in Kenyan context.(Liz Apondi)

Yes, I am agreeing with miss Apondi for the contribution, young group should not be blamed since this group likes more entertainment than other news stories, from there I can say that people likes watching and listening. when you take a newspaper its just the eyes which are used, when you consider television people see and listen. This entertain them more.

In our countries which are developing its difficult for decline of circulation of newspapers since majority of village dwellers dont have television for watching they depend on the newspapers and sometimes radios for those who can afford buying it.

I can give an example in my country Tanzania in the village they have an access of newspapers though they reach there late due to communication problems like bad roads. But accessing broadcasting media like radios and television is difficulty since there is no electricity in many of the villages. they can access radios only if they have money to buy batteries.

The example our colleague gave us is of a developed country USA. For them I think they can manage making the newspapers circulation decline but for ours it may not be easy( Caren Kahangwa)

Given the way in which the world is split between those who have and those who dont,especially in the southern hemisphere, I can't forsee the death of newspapers, radio or television due to ICTs. In this part of the world, Radio leads as the main way to reach communities of people literally living in a SEA OF ISLANDS. If anything, and taking the question literally, my response would be that ICTs can enhance the LIVES of newspapers, radio and television depending on what strategies publishing and news organisations take -- and I think the readings pose a wide range of strategic planning actions and ways to manage change.(Lisa Williams-Lahari )


Are we going to see the death of the newspaper/magazine/radio/television due to ICT?
No, ICT can not bring about the death of the print and electronic media. Actually, ICT complements the print and electronic media in disseminating accurate and prompt information. ICT makes it possible for print and electronic media outlets to be able to have large audience coverage. By this I mean they are able to use the internet to disseminate reports, news and images to a larger audience. Digital technology has made it possible for print and electronic media houses to put their contents on the internet which can be read, heard and seen by those interested in the information.(Harrison Alechenu Akoh )

What we are going to experience is a shift in newspapers, radio and television business models. Newspapers are already availing their content online and this offers newspaper companies an opportunity to cross-promote their online content with hard copy content (e.g you click on an online news story and the “read more” link directs you to the hard copy version for a full story). It will also be cost-effective for news makers to update changes, online when such changes are necessary (i.e ICT will make it possible to correct and update facts online ).
Radio stations are already broadcasting over Internet through streaming audio.This means that the use of ICT will enable broadcasters to reach wider audiences. It also means that listeners will have an opportunity to choose the broadcasting content which appeals to them(i.e freedom of information consumption)
Television also broadcasts over the Internet , offering the audiences the a complete communication solution, package(converged communication solution)(Humbulani Rambau)

I do not think think that we are going to see the
death of newspapers, radio and television. Rather I
see a situation where these media will be enhanced by
ICT. The positive thing that ICt has brought to
journalism is that now jouirnalists will have to more
careful with the information the disseminbate bearing
in mind that there many others out the (self
-journalists) who are providing information to the
"world" at large. Journalists can no longer take their
readers/audience for granted.

The most important tool is the internet. We uise it to
collect information, for research and keeping in
contact with our various sources. The telephone too is
very important. We can record telephone interviews.
The cellphone is handy as we use it to record certain
events especially if one does not have a still or
video camera when they come across breaking news.

We can generate more stories from other news source
including other media organisation through the
internet. Appoints do not necessary have to be done
through one meduim. Most organisation have internet,
therefore if the phone is not working, we can get in
touch them through the internet or cell phone.(mildred chama)


NO. Actually we are going to see an improvement in the delivery of information because of the ICTs. A classic example is where I work – Chikuni Radio. From the time we were equipped with internet facilities we have been very able to produce well researched programmes and news items. We have been able to access government documents online which would otherwise have taken very long to access the hard copies. In countries like Zambia, accessing official documents is very hard thing especially when you are in a rural area. Newspapers are not forthcoming to the rural areas. With online editions of newspapers we are able to have the news and stories from other parts of the country. There are a number of people that cannot afford missing out the hard copy of newspapers. This is because you can read back and through wherever you want, and it is highly portable to the developing world. The ICTs have created a mutual dissemination of information.(Matongo Maumbi)


No , I think its not true that ICT is going to do that. Moreover I do Believe
that It is going to make the Journalism Too easy to do. As it is much time
consuming to write keyboard than a pen. No Only that ICT helps the
Television/ Radio to broadcast News the news too early to happened by the
Modern Cameras and other technical factor . About The News Paper ICT help
the national Newspapers to become International through The Internet.(Naznin Kabir)


Agree or Disagree?

I would like to make a comment on the issue of whether
we are going to see the death of newspapers/ radio/
television due to ICT.

In my opinion I feel that the opposite would happen
instead. This means that the growth of ICT would see
the birth of many newspapers/ radio and television
with improved quality.

For example newspapers would publish high quality copy
due to sophisticated Cameras, Software and Printing
Machines. Who knows, in future due to improvement in
ICT we would witness newspapers printed using
hand-held devices unlike now when we are only using
stationary and very big printing machines.

In Radio, it is evident that ICT is performing wonders
in the growth radio industry. In the past it was hard
and expensive to run a radio station on shortwave and
medium wave frequencies. But now the introduction of
FM frequencies has witnessed the birth of many radio
stations. For your own information, currently the
world radio industry is positively responding to a
call to switch from analog transmission (FM
transmission) to digital transmission by the year
2015. This development has been facilitated by the new
radio technology on the market.

There have also been a growing number of internet
radios which are run using ICT products. Malawi has
one, Radio Yako, which operates from Florida in USA
and can be accessed at .At local
level; Capital Radio which broadcast from the
commercial capital Blantyre airs its morning show
programme Day Break Malawi at

On television, Malawi Television (TVM) is in the
process of broadcasting on satellite – a shift from
the previous terrestrial transmission – all because of

With above arguments I strongly feel that ICT would
instead contribute to the birth and operation of
Newspapers/ Radio /Television and NOT the demise of

Do you agree or disagree with my opinion? You have the
floor…..(Lameck masina)


To add to what lameck wrote, don't think the internet or news online can replace newspapers, Televison or radio.
People have listened to radio for many years in our part of the world. For nstance in Ghana, the prolifearation of FM stations has made radio a household tool. Broadcasting in local languages have made radio very popular as market women listen to news and discuss issues as if they were politicians. Newspaper stories are read and interpreted on radio every morning and people are able to call in and make contributions. Also in Ghana where the bulk of people are illiterates or semi literate and live in rural areas, I don't think they are going to carry laptops to their farms even in the next 50 years and read their news online.

Even in the advanced countries people get tired of being behind the the computer screen for a long time and prefer reading newspapers for a change.
Also reading news tit bits via mobile phone does not provide all the details. Therefore people will still want to have the details in features in newspapers while relaxing etc.
Therefore what I want to say is that while among the elite some people will be stuck to their screens surfing the net. newspapers, radios and televison will continue to serve poor countries for many years to come and will still be relevant even in the advanced countries.
To me what will happen is taht each media will have its own clientele based on the kind of comfort and satisfaction a person gets from it be it inteh office, home, market, farm etc.
Therefore ICT cannot kill the newspapers, radio or televison, just tough comeptition(Isabella Gyau Orhin)


Newspapers would not die just because of ICT. ICTs are there to enhance newspapers production and sales depending on the approach of the newshouse. I know of a few newspapers in the Scandinavian countries (which top the list of the best Internet connection and usage and they have taken advantage of Internet. These countries like Sweden, Finland, etc, still lead the world in newspaper sales partly not only because people subscribe but also the papers have web versions which also carry adverts in a webfriendly manner. One of the newspapers in Sweden even runs webtv for the younger generation that does not want the hard copy. The webtv has commercials and it is interesting to see how a newspaper is using this opportunity to run stories in webtv format. It is all an issue of business plan for the paper. If ICTs are seen to be useful to a newsroom, then there should be a way of selling the idea to the very customers who benefit from it.( Victor Kaonga)
No, because the ICT is not going in this way but the give high technologies for the better in the future for the Journalism around the world's and share information with them and how to owning the skill to dealing with globalization. I think ICT to convert the local to become regionally and it become internationally. It becomes that as followed:

1- Participate of the database.

2- Web site (blogs). ( Eltahra Magzoub)


I agree with Paul that ICT cannot kill newspapers. If
anything it will simply be complimentary. If Dennis'
example of Tanzania is anything to go by, then it will
take plenty of years for ICT to kill papers especially
in Africa.

Many countries in Africa are not well versed with ICT.
Many are in the process of acquiring ICT skills. Can
you imagine that a lot of senior government officers
in Malawi do not have email addresses? They cannot
access internet. What does that mean? If officials
have no idea about ICT what can they offer to their
country?( deogratias mmana)


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Trigger Questions - tools of our trade

1. Can you list five top ICT tools in your news room?

2. How do we protect and secure our hardware and software in the newsroom?

3. What factors should we consider in selecting and implementing ICT tools in our news room?

4. Should we make use of "free" software (especially open source software) or we should go for paid for ones?

5. Do computer software make it easy for us to manipulate facts, figures, statistics etc in the news room?

6. We have two types of convergence - digital convergence and media convergence. What are the key similar elements?
Happy Contributions

News feeds from the BBC

What are News Feeds?
News feeds allow you to see when websites have added new content. You can get the latest headlines and video in one place, as soon as its published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from.
Feeds are also known as RSS. There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most people plump for 'Really Simple Syndication'. In essence, the feeds themselves are just web pages, designed to be read by computers rather than people.

How do I start using feeds?
In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications.
Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using Outlook, or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.
Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want it to receive. For example, if you would like the latest BBC News Entertainment stories, simply visit the Entertainment section and you will notice an orange button on the left hand side.

Using BBC News feeds on your site
If you run your own website, you can display the latest headlines from other websites on your own site using RSS.
We encourage the use of BBC News feeds as part of a website, however, we do require that the proper format and attribution is used when BBC News content appears. The attribution text should read "BBC News" or "" as appropriate. You may not use any BBC logo or other BBC trademark.
We reserve the right to prevent the distribution of BBC News content and the BBC does not accept any liability for its feeds. Please see the Terms and Conditions for full details.

Can I make my own feeds?
It is possible to create your own feeds, by using the BBC News search engine. The first step is to choose a search term, and type it into the search engine as normal. When your search results load, then choose the "BBC News & Sport" tab. Review the new results, and if they accurately reflect the topic you have chosen you can now use the orange feeds button to add the selection to your news reader, or to your website.

How do I get a news reader?
There is a range of different news readers available and new versions are appearing all the time.
Different news readers work on different operating systems, so you will need to choose one that will work with your computer.
Mac OS X
Microsoft Live
My Yahoo!
Mozilla Firefox
Other News Readers (GOOGLE)