Friday, 1 August 2014

Futurist Robert Scoble on what's next for journalism

By Dana Coester 

I sat down with futurist Robert Scoble at the Augmented World Expo in May to talk about what’s next for journalism. Scoble, former tech evangelist for Microsoft and currently startup liaison for Rackspace, is renowned for the “Scoble effect” — which in geek celebrity terms may be the tech equivalent of the Oprah effect. 

He’s also known for being blunt (his pronouncement “Glass is doomed” reverberated through tech media early this year). He pulled no punches assessing the state of journalism and offered some words of wisdom for journalism’s next steps.

Glass half full

Wearables were the centerpiece of the AWE event, with a host of new contenders entering the market, from Epson’s Moverio (I bought one) to cult favorite Oculus Rift (I want one). Scoble makes it a habit to play with all kinds of augmented reality and virtual reality devices, and we talked about why journalists should too — less for producing content (You’re better off using a GoPro, he says); but for the epic social upheaval underway.

Online resources to help your audience understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Natasha Tynes
Whether you're trying to put the latest escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian violence in context for your audience or trying to stay informed yourself, here's a list of social media accounts to check out, followed by a list of sites that can help you understand the background on the conflict:

On Facebook

A number of journalists who are currently covering the conflict from the field have been using Facebook effectively to disseminate information and engage with the audience. Among them is Ayman Mohyeldin, a foreign correspondent for NBC News. The Arab-American journalist (who was pulled back briefly from Gaza and then sent back after a backlash) was among the first journalists to report the story of the four Palestinian children who were killed on a Gaza beach by an Israeli raid. Mohyeldin’s coverage of the conflict has earned him the respect of fellow journalists.

Five journalism opportunities to apply for in August

Looking to expand your journalism toolkit, take on a new beat or receive recognition for your work? Check out these promising courses, fellowships and competitions with deadlines in August. Each is open to journalists worldwide.
AJ+ offers reporting fellowship. Deadline Aug. 1

AJ+, Al Jazeera's new digital channel, seeks six budding journalists from across the globe to take part in its first fellowship program. The one-year fellowship will allow the chosen journalists to hone their crafts autonomously while also receiving support from Al Jazeera's structured newsgathering organization.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Witness to an international crime: Israeli state terrorism in Gaza

By Ajamu Baraka
The inverted reality presented by the US corporate media of the 1.7 million captive and largely defenceless Palestinians in Gaza as vicious aggressors against the peace-loving settlers of Israel fails to recognise the nature of the relationship between Israel and Palestine. What we are witnessing is the systematic eradication of a colonised people – an international crime

‘Protective Edge,’ the cartoonish name given to the latest Israeli military offensive against the occupied people of Palestine, is representative of the inverted reality whereby the 1.7 million captive and largely defenceless Palestinians in Gaza are the vicious aggressors against the peace-loving settlers of Israel. 

Similar to the inverted reality in the US, where the myth of the innocent settler was created to justify the systematic slaughter of Indigenous peoples, the genocidal policies of Israel are camouflaged by the transformation of its position from an armed colonial invader to one of victim.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on International Youth Day, 2014

Youth is a period of dramatic change, and the journey from childhood to adulthood can be complex, raising a host of mental health issues.
The theme of this International Youth Day is “Youth and Mental Health,” under the motto Mental Health Matters. This is an opportunity to raise awareness about the difficulties facing young women and men, including from stigma and discrimination, and to support them so that they can fully achieve their aspirations.
Guided by an Operational Strategy on Youth (2014-2021), UNESCO focuses on the needs of marginalized young women and men to promote their full integration into society. We work to support school health programmes, as well as informal and non-formal learning, and by mobilizing the power of information and communication technologies.  

How social media is destroying our society

By: Chemory Gunko
I was an early adopter of social media... my Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn accounts all kicked off around 2006/7 - and once again I find myself an early adopter as I join the ranks of millions of people around the world who are shutting down their social media profiles.

In fact, a recent Princeton University study estimates that Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2017, likening Facebook and other social media platforms to an infectious disease that the societal immune system is finally fighting back against.

Then in my research to verify the Princeton article and understand all the sides of the story before writing this article, I found the following interactive piece, which, if you have 15 minutes to spare is an eye-opening take on how social media is devastating the world we live in and creating the societal problems we face: Take a look here.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

7 reasons why Gov Aregbesola will be reelected

By Bayo Adeyinka

Friday, May 24, 2013, 35 governors gathered to vote for the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF). With the initial postponement and intrigues that surrounded it, it was going to be a night of long knives. With the Presidency interested in the outcome and with Governor Amaechi determined to give it another shot in spite of his open confrontation with the President, it was going to take more than ordinary determination to navigate the treacherous waters. 

It would take grit, uncommon courage and the ability to outfox the henchmen of the Presidency. At the entrance of the venue of the election, all the Governors were mandated to submit all their mobile phones. But one man particularly suspected there was going to be foul play so he sneaked in a pen camera. 

He recorded the vote counting surreptitiously until when Governor Godswill Akpabio noticed they were being secretly recorded. When controversy sprang up on the actual winner of the contest, he released the video to the public. The man who exposed the lie for what it was was Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Governor of Osun State.

Factsheets & guides – Freedom of information in Africa

By Karen Mohan
Freedom of information (FOI) is considered a fundamental component of freedom of expression. When citizens are ill-informed and unable to access basic public information, it is impossible for them to fully realise their right to freedom of expression.

As Steven Adler of the data and information governance website, InfoGov Community, describes it: “To be ill-informed and speak freely is a form of intellectual slavery.”

FOI is also central to the realisation of a number of other rights. Where FOI is absent in a national legislative framework, citizens cannot effectively access information about basic services, fully participate in the social and economic development of their countries or hold their governments accountable for public spending, which can in turn adversely affect their rights to health, employment and education, and to fight corruption.

Aregbesola’s coat of many colours

By Gbenga Olorunpomi
With the dust of the upcoming Osun gubernatorial election beginning to settle, it is now clear to everyone that this is clearly a one-horse race. The main opposition in Osun, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), will surely believe they are still in the race. This is simply because they are getting unscrupulous and illegal support from Abuja. 

But, the more they boast of their financial prowess and their propensity for violence, the more they grow unpopular with the very people they hope to govern. They more they spend bashing the very vivid and life-saving achievements of the incumbent, they more they are hated for their lies. The proverbial wind has blown and the anus of the chicken is on public display.

It is obvious that Sen. Iyiola Omisore clearly miscalculated in his ill-advised bid to unseat Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. He also did not take into account the mentality of the people he was hoping to trick, bribe and force into enslavement. For starters, his party is losing credible members like rats jumping off the sinking Titanic. 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Like Ekiti, unlike Osun

By Doyin Odebowale

Gov of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
The growing audacity of the members of the ruling party in Nigeria, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, which continually finds expression in the subversion of the people’s wish, in an unabashed display of moral bankruptcy, must be confronted headlong.

Beyond the security challenges currently faced by the people of this country and the crass ineptitude of the main functionaries of government in tackling the socio-economic problems bedeviling the country, the obdurate determination of the current impostors to rule in perpetuity, using all vile means, must be challenged.  

This is, perhaps, a convenient point when all those who still believe in the project called Nigeria must cast aside all pretensions to neutrality and eschew petty and puerile comparisons between political office holders and some prominent politicians in the opposition who have exhibited traits of uncommon avarice and unwillingness to adhere strictly to the tenets of neo-liberal democracy.  

Project PINK BLUE's inspirational story

Project PINK BLUE is a youth-led cancer initiative that started as an NYSC Community Development Service project with focus on Breast & Cervical Cancer Awareness and FREE Screening.

We have been mobilizing volunteer medical doctors, nurses, and other collaborations to provide free breast and cervical cancer screening, psychological support, raising funds for cancer patients, survivor's support and cancer research.

BF: What do we say?

By Husseini Abdu, Steve Aluko, Nasiru Kura, Adagbo Onoja and Auwal Musa 

His family, nuclear and extended, must be shattered. His immediate family would certainly still be in a shock from the reality that a vivacious father and husband is suddenly no more, with all the economic and socio-cultural implications of such dislocation. 

We grieve along with them, especially Bimpe, his wife and our friend from her days at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, which was where we operated from as NANS leaders more than even Bayero University, Kano, that was the Secretariat of NANS in the early 1990s. His friends in both the bench and the bar, his fellow worshipers in his church and his neighbours must have lost a truly dear one in Bamidele Francis Aturu, aka BF who died on July 9th, 2014.

For the five of us writing this collectively, however, we mourn BF politically. Politically here is not in the sense that we were comrades. That is part of it but it is in the very specific sense that BF was the personification of the culture of immanent critique. We argue that it is that culture that he imbibed from God knows where that makes him the BF whose death we all feel very sharply today. 

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