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  1. 1. Information Activism
  2. 2. What is Info-Activism? =Turning information into Action Information on BLOG, MAP, VIDEO (VISUALIZATION), MOBILE SMS, use of Twitter etc can turn people into action Map of Darfur Crisis campaign using SMS in Kenya election Online journalist in Burma using handy camera and cellphone for reporting
  3. 3. News Has Changed <ul><li>News and stories has always shaped &quot;public communication&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>News/stories used to be top-down information by mainstream media and by professional journalist </li></ul><ul><li>we are now in &quot;Information Age&quot; everyone have right to access information </li></ul><ul><li>equipment to record and spread stories became cheap and easy to use </li></ul>Everyone can use the power of information to tell their stories
  4. 4. So you have stories to tell... but how? You need; <ul><li>strategy -how to best tell your story, what goal, target, alliance, marketing </li></ul><ul><li>data -solid information, sources, </li></ul><ul><li>tools - use tools to best tell your strategy </li></ul>Reference: Blog for Advocacy 10 tactics
  5. 5. Your right to access public information Public bodies operate with publicmoney. Their role is to serve members of the public and the information theycreate and hold belongs to the public. National and international lawrecognises that members of the public have a fundamental right of access toinformation from public bodies. Even if your country doesn't have an'access to information' law (called 'freedom of information' or 'right toinformation' in some countries), there are likely to be some provisions whichrequire public officials to answer requests from the public. For a full list ofthe countries with 'access to information' laws see finding data
  6. 6. The right of access to informationoperates in two ways : Proactive: public bodies are under an obligation to provide, publish and disseminate information about their main activities, budgets and policies for information about what they are doing and what documents they hold. Reactive: all people have the right to ask public officials and bodies
  7. 7. ACTIVITY1: DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW Before you request information, decidewhat you need to know to achieve your goals. Write down one of your advocacy goalsand identify which pieces of information are likely to have the most impact inachieving it. For example, if your goal is toincrease government spending on pre- natal care for pregnant women in publichospitals, then perhaps you need accurate information on real current spendingin this area. Is that information alone sufficient and meaningful? Would ithave more impact if you also had some comparative information? You couldcompare how much is spent on treating the health problems suffered by mothersand children who don't have good pre-natal care. Or you could compare the amount spent on pre-natal care each day with the amount spent on the military.Your knowledge of your government's spending will help you find a comparisonthat strengthens your argument.
  8. 8. ACTIVITY2: TRY TO FIND INFORMATION THAT IS ALREADY PUBLISHED Search for information relating to yourcause that is already published by the government: · Throughthe websites of public bodies: for financeinformation, try the ministry of finance site or that of the national auditbody. If the information concerns a public service, such as education, healthor employment, try the websites of those ministries. · Througha search engine, such as Yahoo, Google, or a search engine popular in your region. Try searching in languages other thanyour national language. Useful information might be found in English in reportssubmitted to donor countries, or in reports written by international NGOs or think tanks. · Throughlocal, state or national libraries or government information offices. Visit in person, or phone to speak to a librarian or administrator, but bewareof spokespeople who may put a 'spin' on information. · Byvisiting a public body's office in person. Central government ministries are not always very open to the public but it'susually possible to walk into an authority's building to ask for information. If trying to find information yourselfproves time-consuming or frustrating, then use your right of access to file arequest for information.
  9. 9. Can Iaccess all government information? No. The right of access to informationis not absolute. Information can be withheld on grounds such as nationalsecurity and public order, protecting criminal investigations, privacy orpreserving the commercial interests of private companies. You will find a full listof exceptions and guidance in your national 'access to information' law. Governments should only withhold asmall amount of information and they must prove that it needs to be keptsecret. Public bodies are also obliged to balance the secrecy rule against thepublic's interests. If disclosure is very much in the public interest, information should bedisclosed even where an exception applies. Beaware that exceptions apply to information and not to entire documents. When anexception applies, public bodies should give you partial access to documents;this is done by blacking out or removing sensitive details and giving you therest of the document. If this happens, the public body should tell you thatthey have 'edited' the document, and mark the omissions, justifying in detailwhy they were necessary.
  10. 10. strategy <ul><li>the existing situation </li></ul><ul><li>who is affected by the campaign issue both positively and negatively </li></ul><ul><li>what changes could improve the situation </li></ul><ul><li>what resources, tactics and tools are available to implement a campaign that will address the issue. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>What problem are you confronting? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your vision of how the world will be, once the problem is resolved? </li></ul><ul><li>What change/s would bring about this vision? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is affected, positively or negatively, by the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>How are these people or groups related to the problem and to each other? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are you trying to reach? </li></ul><ul><li>If your campaign is successful, who will be affected? </li></ul>
  12. 12. glossary for strategy video dashboard ( Allows you to automatically cross-post a video and track its activity on other video services such as YouTube, DailyMotion, or Vimeo, and to the micro-blogging site, Twitter. This dashboard can be used to solicit and aggregate responses to your campaign’s video/s. Google Analytics ( Allows you to measure how many people visit your website, from which websites they were referred, how long they spent on your website, what pages they read, and on what page they clicked out of your website. You need to be able to add a JavaScript code generated by Google to your website in order for Google Analytics to track your visitors. The data collected is held on Google’s servers. Email alerts Many social network sites allow you to opt to receive emails notifying you when new people add you as a friend or contact, comment on your content, or send you a private message. If you dedicate an email account to these alerts, you can share them with others in your organisation, and avoid overloading your regular email account. AWStats/JAWStats ( / AWStats is a free and open source web traffic analytics tool, which can track how many people visit your website. JAWStats is a plug-in that runs with AWStats to generate more readable reports. This software must be installed on your own web server. FeedBurner ( If you have a website or blog that publishes a syndicated feed of your content, FeedBurner is a web-based application you can use to track how many people subscribe to your feed. FeedBurner also generates reports, so that you can see your site’s popularity over time. ClickHeat ( This free and open source web application generates visual representations of where people click when visiting your website, so that you can see what parts of the page are most interesting, easy to read, or effective in getting your visitors to act.
  13. 13. glossary for strategy 2 People in Mumbai used Twitter, a micro-blogging service, to post live reports during the 2008 terrorist attacks. By searching Twitter for the word “#mumbai,” other people – even those not in Mumbai – could track current news, organise responses to calls for help and connect people in Mumbai to one another. The following tools can be used to track the issue online, keeping you up-to-date with developments so that you can respond to them if necessary: Google Alerts ( you to search for any coverage of an issue, in digitised print media as well as in online-only media and blog posts. By signing up for alerts via email or RSS feed, you can get updates as they appear RSS Readers (such as Google Reader: or Bloglines: or RSSOwl: you to subscribe to any syndicated (RSS) content published on websites (such as blog posts, podcasts or videos) and see it as soon as it is posted. Twitter ( you to monitor what people are saying about your issue on Twitter, by using keyword searches or mentions of the campaign’s Twitter username. You can track replies to your messages, and track keyword searches by hashtag (#), which makes relevant posts easier to find. HootSuite ( has built-in analytical tools to track how many people quote, or reply to, your Twitter posts TweetDeck ( can use TweetDeck to make it easier to keep track of the Twitter accounts you follow, sorting them into groups; for example, allies, politicians and media. CiviCRM ( & SugarCRM ( constituent relationship management systems allow you to track actions taken from your website or from an emailing; for example, if users or recipients send an email to a target, forward an email to a friend or sign a petition.
  14. 14. Summary <ul><li>Telling stories, reporting news has changed due to technology </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone has a right to access and spread information </li></ul><ul><li>Three important element in telling a story or reporting news are; data, strategy, tools </li></ul><ul><li>Data: tips in utilizing public information </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy and tools(glossary) for strategy; campaign, analysis </li></ul>We will look at &quot;creativity&quot; and &quot;mobile, security, privacy online&quot; in next module
  15. 15. <ul><li>answer questions of slide 11, &quot;problem, vision, change&quot; in representing your cause </li></ul><ul><li>Try at least 2 tools introduced in glossary and write us what you think is useful </li></ul>Assignment
  16. 16. Reference Critical social movements and media reform/ Robert A. Hackett and William K. Carroll 10 tactics/tactical technology collective Can NGO Change the News?-International Journal of Communication 5