Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to begin practicing open journalism

in Poynter

"Journalism is a discipline of action. That’s why “The Case for Open Journalism,” is best made with real-life examples: for instance, online news sites being transparent by listing their missions and funders, reporters posting original source material along with stories or journalists asking and answering questions in public dialogue with readers or viewers.

 As we enter a new year, these practices offer starting points for newspeople wanting to make journalism more transparent, responsive and interconnected with civic values and customer needs."


Spying on Journalists is Easy

Lax computer security creates easy targets
By Alysia Santo

Telephone, Skype, e-mail, texts, and instant messaging are easy to intercept with the right technology. The surveillance industry is big business, and governments are regular customers. The stealth and sophistication of this monitoring merchandise was revealed in December when WikiLeaks released The Spy Files, a leak containing hundreds of documents from surveillance companies, including contracts, pricelists, and marketing literature.


Top 10 danger zones for journalists

Global media freedom agency, Reporters Without Borders, have for the first time compiled a list of the world’s 10 most dangerous places for the media. Fienie Grobler reports.

The 10 most dangerous places for journalists last year, in alphabetical order, were: Manama (Bahrain), Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Cairo’s Tahrir Square (Egypt), Misrata (Libya), Veracruz state (Mexico), Khuzdar (Pakistan), The Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro metropolitan areas on the islands of Luzon and Mindanao (Philippines), Mogadishu (Somalia), Deraa, Homs and Damascus (Syria) and Sanaa’s Change Square (Yemen).


Friday, January 6, 2012

The Beat

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The translator vs the interpreter

John le Carre, writing in his novel The Mission Song, makes this useful distinction between something ordinary in the business of dealing with words and something quite extraordinary, even magical:

Never mistake, please, your mere translator for your top interpreter. An interpreter is a translator, true, but not the other way around. A translator can be anyone with half a language skill and a dictionary and a desk to sit at while he burns the midnight oil: pensioned-off Polish cavalry officers, underpaid overseas students, minicab drivers, part-time waiters and supply teachers, and anyone else who is prepared to sell his soul for seventy quid a thousand. He has nothing in common with the simultaneous interpreter sweating it out through six hours of complex negotiations. Your top interpreter has to think as fast as a numbers boy in a coloured jacket buying financial futures. Better sometimes if he doesn't think at all, but orders the spinning cogs on b0th sides of his head to mesh together, then sits back and waits to see what pours out of his mouth.

For The Guardian's review of The Mission Song, click here.

For The New York Times' review, go here.

For le Carre's official website, visit this.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New monument honours slain journalists

A new monument in London pays tribute to the hundreds of journalists killed in the course of their jobs.

According to Democracy Now!, the daily TV/radio news programme, which airs on over 700 stations, mainly in the US, an estimated two war journalists have died every week over the past ten years. The latest victim is Iraqi journalist Muhieddin Abdul-Hamid. He was killed Tuesday in a drive-by shooting soon after he left his home in Mosul.

According to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, the 32-foot-high glass sculpture atop the BBC broadcasting house in London was unveiled by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, following the recent deaths of the two BBC journalists, Abdul Samad Rohani and Nasteh Dahir Faraah, in Afghanistan and Somalia. The memorial, which will shine a light into the sky every night, is dedicated not only to journalists, but also to those working with them, including translators and drivers.

Rodney Pinder, director of the International News Safety Institute, told Democracy Now!: "This kilometre-high beam of light will shine every night in the center of one of the biggest cities in the world. So it brings attention to thousands, and over the years, if not millions, of people who will see this light and will ask what it’s about. So it brings attention to an issue that has been so widely ignored or not known about for so many years. The numbers of news media professionals, journalists and their support staff who are killed trying to do their job of shining light in the dark recesses of society, not just in wars, but in peacetime, often in their own countries. This has not been known, and the numbers have been rising year after year since the millennium. So this focuses international attention on what is a grave blight in all our democratic societies."

Read the rest of the interview broadcast at

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Indonesia's old radio hands decry falling standards

Old radio hands reunite, fault gap in foreign language skills

According to a report in The Jakarta Post, former radio announcers of the Voice of Free Indonesia (VOFI) have criticized contemporary announcers for their low proficiencies in foreign languages, especially English.

"They must improve their language skills because the radio programs are broadcast all over the world," Zuraida "Ida" Rosihan Anwar said here Monday.

"Most announcers used to speak more than one foreign language like Dutch, English, French and German, fluently. Today, I see current announcers have limited capacity to speak foreign languages. They should train more," said Ida, who speaks English and Dutch.

Ida, 84, was one of the VOFI's first announcers.

She was speaking at a talk show to celebrate the spirit of independence in conjunction with the radio station's 62nd anniversary with several of her former colleagues.

The VOFI broadcast in four languages -- Dutch, English, French and Indonesian. It took part in boosting the spirit of the nation in the struggle to defend the country's independence, and could be heard in countries as far away as Europe.

In 1950, the VOFI became a part of the Voice of Indonesia, or Suara Indonesia, the international program of the state-owned radio broadcasting station Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI).

Today, the VOI broadcasts 24 hours a day (14 hours through terrestrial and Internet programming, with 10 hours on radio Internet only) in 10 languages -- Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Malay and Spanish.

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