ICT and new media - PANOS workshop

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ICT and new media in Sri Lanka. Prepared for a workshop run by PANOS Sri Lanka for female journalists in Sri Lanka.

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ICT and new media - PANOS workshop

  1. 1. Groundviews & new media journalism Sanjana Hattotuwa Ashoka Foundation News & Knowledge Entrepreneur
  2. 2. New media journalism <ul><li>Glocal information – what is local anymore? </li></ul><ul><li>Information agents are rapid moving, transnational and cellular </li></ul><ul><li>A person in Cape Town can report on activities in Colombo who sources his information from someone in Menik Farm who sends an SMS to a relative in Australia who posts it to the web </li></ul><ul><li>Models of news gathering and trust are changing </li></ul>
  3. 3. Groundviews <ul><li>Over 930 submissions, almost all original, including text, photos, video </li></ul><ul><li>Over 8,000 detailed comments to date. </li></ul><ul><li>One and a half million words of original content </li></ul><ul><li>Renowned Sri Lankan poets, writers, activists, youth leaders, politicians, senior diplomats of the Rajapakse government, a previous President of Sri Lanka, academics and others have written in. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Groundviews <ul><li>Started in 2006. No funding since February 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Won SNCR Award of Excellence in 2007. The first ever international award won by any news website in Sri Lanka. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Groundviews reach <ul><li>Groundviews is the only citizen journalism website in Sri Lanka to be directly indexed on Google News and ranked Number 1 on Google by keyword. </li></ul><ul><li>Articles on the site are regularly republished in other local media, including media websites such as InfoLanka News, Tamil Canadian and Tamilnet </li></ul><ul><li>Articles regularly republished in mainstream print media – Daily Mirror and the Sunday Leader in particular </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Over 2,000 read it daily on average </li></ul><ul><li>Over 550 Facebook fans with a combined reach of ~55,000 eyeballs (calculated at avg. 100 friends per fan) </li></ul><ul><li>Over 210 follow tweets </li></ul><ul><li>Over 9,000 get email updates at least fortnightly </li></ul>Groundviews reach
  7. 7. Facebook reach
  8. 8. Cost to reach? <ul><li>On a day a new article is published and an alert sent out, Groundviews content is seen by over 65,000 individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Cost? Just a broadband connection (Mobitel HSPA is around Rs. 1000 a month) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Some key content guidelines <ul><li>Treat others with respect. Attack the issue, not the person. </li></ul><ul><li>Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved. </li></ul><ul><li>Comments that seek to inflame tensions on the ground, or are of a defamatory nature, will not be approved, or will be taken off the website as soon as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Groundviews is a place for original and creative writing, not repetition or regurgitation. </li></ul><ul><li>No NGO statements </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Commons 3 Sharealike with attribution license </li></ul>
  10. 10. Objectives of Groundviews <ul><li>Citizens are empowered to bear witness, to speak out </li></ul><ul><li>Bear witness </li></ul><ul><li>Issues highlighted that mainstream media cannot, or will not </li></ul><ul><li>Information as a public good </li></ul><ul><li>Contestation of policies including war, debunking black and white notions of patriot vs. terrorist </li></ul>
  11. 11. Key challenges <ul><li>Hate speech online </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymity </li></ul><ul><li>General context of impunity and violence </li></ul><ul><li>English language proficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Context of anxiety – difficult and dangerous to bear witness </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability of the initiative </li></ul>
  12. 12. Creating online content <ul><li>Think beyond text. Online is not print. </li></ul><ul><li>Think beyond prose. Online can be satire. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of photos, audio, video. Rich media tells stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of SMS and crowd-sourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t suggest you know everything. Use the community to add value to story </li></ul><ul><li>Link to other stories online </li></ul>
  13. 13. No longer just the elite…
  14. 14. Power of SMS <ul><li>“ My name is Mohammed Sokor, writing to you from Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab. Dear Sir, there is an alarming issue here. People are given too few kilogrammes of food. You must help.” </li></ul><ul><li>Simple SMS text messages from refugees can become an effective mechanism to hold aid agencies and govt’s accountable. </li></ul><ul><li>What about mobiles instead of Facebook for Menik Farm IDPs? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Power of SMS <ul><li>The web is littered with examples on how SMS helped in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I'm standing on the Galle road in Aluthgama and looking at 5 ton trawlers tossed onto the road. Scary shit.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Found 5 of my friends, 2 dead. Of the 5, 4 are back in Colombo. The last one is stranded because of a broken bridge. Broken his leg. But he's alive.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Made contact. He got swept away but swam ashore. Said he's been burying people all day.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Just dragging them off the beach and digging holes with his hands.” </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. New visualisations of old problems
  17. 17. Google Earth | Crisis in Darfur
  18. 18. CMEV election violence mapping
  19. 19. Citizen generated information
  20. 20. First citizen journalist?
  21. 21. First citizen journalist? <ul><li>Abraham Zapruder </li></ul><ul><li>Bell & Howell </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 30 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Sold to Life Magazine for US$ 150,000 3 days later </li></ul>
  22. 22. London Bombings <ul><li>7 July 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Within 24 hours, the BBC had received 1,000 stills and videos, 3,000 texts and 20,000 e-mails. </li></ul>
  23. 23. “ Saffron Revolution” in Myanmar in 2007 <ul><li>100,000 people joined a Facebook group supporting the monks </li></ul><ul><li>No international TV crews allowed in the country </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile phone cameras were the first footage of the monks protest </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs from Rangoon were the only sources of information </li></ul><ul><li>The junta shut down all Internet and mobile communications </li></ul>
  24. 24. Underlying tech
  25. 25. Twitter http://www.twitter.com <ul><li>Twitter, a micro-blogging and social networking service which allows users to send frequent updates of 140 characters or less, was launched in 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Iran 2009 showcases use of Twitter and social media </li></ul>
  26. 26. Google Maps for urgent help
  27. 28. Bambuser http://bambuser.com/
  28. 29. Broadcasting | Ustream.tv
  29. 30. Over 52 websites | Read around 50+ stories a day
  30. 31. Facebook Fan Pages
  31. 32. Yahoo Meme http://meme.yahoo.com
  32. 33. Flickr
  33. 34. Mumbai bomb blasts 26 th and 27 th November 2008
  34. 35. Spy http://spy.appspot.com
  35. 36. Flickr | Vinu http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinu/sets/72157610144709049/
  36. 37. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/26_November_2008_Mumbai_attacks
  37. 38. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/26_November_2008_Mumbai_attacks <ul><li>400+ edits / updates </li></ul><ul><li>100+ authors </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 24 hours after first attack </li></ul>
  38. 39. Menik Farm flooding
  39. 40. Menik Farm flooding <ul><li>Groundviews broke story at 11.02pm on 14th August, when it was still raining hard. Used Twitter for on the ground eye-witness perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>First time CJ site has broken a major news story. First time Twitter used as a source. </li></ul><ul><li>First photos, originally from mobile phone and digitally up-scaled, go up at 8.16pm the next day. </li></ul><ul><li>Photos and story picked up by New York Times and BBC. </li></ul>
  40. 41. International examples
  41. 42. New witnesses - CNN iReport
  42. 43. Investigative journalism
  43. 44. Old media waking up
  44. 45. Pull and push of new media
  45. 46. Thank you

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