Tag Archives: United Nations

UN journalism fellowship now open to applications

Journalists from developing countries can now apply for a fellowship which will give them the opportunity to report from the UN in New York.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Scholarship Fund for Journalists’ fellowship scheme is open to reporters aged 25-35 who are native to one of the developing countries in Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean, and are currently working full-time for a media organisation in a developing nation.

Applicants must demonstrate an interest in and commitment to international affairs and to conveying a better understanding of the United Nations to their readers and audiences. They must also have approval from their media organizations to spend up to two months in New York to report from the United Nations.

According to the fund’s website applications can be submitted until 6 April.

EnvironmentGuardian.co.uk’s makeover

A new look for  Guardian.co.uk’s environment pages was unveiled today, with the promise of more editorial content from its six correspondents.

“The Guardian has built this unrivalled team in the belief that environmental issues, and in particular global warming, is the defining issue of our age, combining politics, economics and social justice,” said James Randerson, editor of EnvironmentGuardian.co.uk, in a release from Guardian News & Media.

“We hope that all of the new features on the site – together with the enthusiastic participation of our visitors – will serve as an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to understand the context behind the headlines.”

Expert correspondents now include one in Washington DC, one in China and one dedicated to green technology, the release said.

Also announced:

  • A new video series featuring the Observer columnist Lucy Siegle
  • To mark the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December, the foreign secretary David Miliband will answer users’ questions in a live online Q&A at lunchtime on Tuesday (September 8, 2009) – time to be confirmed.

Randerson is asking for user feedback at this link.

The Latin America news gap: what do you think?

Nuria Leon, a journalist and postgraduate student at the University of Westminster, recently demanded an explanation from BBC director-general Mark Thompson regarding the lack of varied BBC news content from Latin America. You can listen to the encounter here.

Now she needs journalists’ help: for her MA dissertation in media management she wants to find out what journalists think about coverage of Latin America in the UK. [NB: Latin American countries listed here, and UN information on the Americas here.]

So, if you think there is a hole in English-language reportage from that part of the world, please help her out. Here are her questions. Please leave your thoughts below, or email her directly: n.leon at my.westminster.ac.uk.

  • 1. Given your own experiences:
  • a. What do you think causes a gap between between Latin America and the UK in regards to the distribution and production of news?
  • b. What would help create a direct link between both markets for the production and distribution of news?
  • 2. What do you think about international news agencies and their service from Latin America?
  • 3. Do you think there is a demand for customised news services, rather than homogeneous news packages offered by international news agencies?
  • 4. What benefits would you see if both markets started to conduct direct, continuous and permanent business?
  • 5.  Do you think the UK would be receptive to more Latin American news content?
  • 6. Do you believe there is a niche for such a service? A need?
  • 7. More generally, what could help reduce the gap between Latin America and the UK news industry?

FT.com: UN criticised for hosting press freedom day in Qatar

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has criticised the United Nations for hosting its annual World Free Press Day in Qatar – a state where domestic media is suppressed, says the body.

Full story at this link…

FT.com: Gideon Rachman on getting ‘Drudged’

“There is an unbelievable amount of anger and hatred out there – directed at everything from the United Nations to big business to Barack Obama. These people can read, but they cannot think,” says Rachman after receiving more than 200 emails following an article picked up by the Drudge Report.

Live streaming from Norwegian journalism event

There’s a live video from the Free Media conference at the Norwegian Institute of Journalism in Fredrikstad today, courtesy of Journalisten.no.

You can’t rewind the video but you could opt in at the points you want to (Norwegian time is one hour ahead UK time).

Here’s the programme:

Thursday November 6

10.00
Welcome: Trine Østlyngen, director, The Norwegian Institute of Journalism
Opening remarks: Håkon Gulbrandsen, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

10.15
Strengthening media in the developing world – what does it take to ensure access for people living in poverty? Stephen King, director, BBC World Service Trust

11.15
The Muhammad Cartoons – an imagined clash of civilizations?
Opening remarks: Why I published – and how do I reflect upon my decision today? Flemming Rose, cultural editor, Jyllands-Posten
Panel discussion The caricatures as seen by the press around the world. Presentation of the new anthology summarizing the Muhammad cartoons controversy in several countries with Rose, Elisabeth Eide, researcher at Culcom, University of Oslo, and Risto Kunelius, professor and director of the journalism program at the University of Tampere, Finland
Moderator: Journalist and author Solveig Steien

14.00
Caucasus burning: The need for a free and independent media – and how to develop it? Danish SCOOP with support from International Media Support has started a program to help train journalists and develop media infrastructure in the Caucasus. The first national seminars were held last month in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. With Antti Kuusi, country coordinator, International Media Support; editor Boris Navasardian, Yerevan Press Club; and former Russia-correspondent Arne Egil Tønset, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, who recently returned from a journey in the region. Moderator: Aage Borchgrevink , writer and advisor at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee

16.00
A Cameroonian journalist in exile: Philip Njaru and Jan Gunnar Furuly, SKUP/GIJC

Friday November 7

09.00
A thousand words – the camera as a tool. Well-known Iranian photographer Reza presents his “100 photos for press freedom”

09.45
Safety for journalists. A global overview. Sarah de Jong, Deputy Director and Project Manager  INSI (International News Safety Institute).

10.30
Conflict-ridden Colombia: The role of the media
A journalist’s perspective: From death threats to a life in exile – reflections from Maria Cristina Caballero
Followed by a panel discussion where Jan Egeland, former UN Under-secretary general and the secretary general’s special adviser on Colombia, and NRK-journalist Sigrun Slapgard, will join. Moderator: Journalist and former Latin-America- correspondentHaakon Børde

11.30
Closing speech: Former presidential candidate and FARC-hostage Ingrid Betancourt

Journalism in Africa: Rwandan journalists protest new law; Kenya’s media voted most trustworthy institution

Rwanda

Rwandan journalists have officially petitioned their upper parliament to shoot down a stringent media law that would force journalists to reveal their sources.

The proposed law would criminalize any story on cabinet proceedings, internal memos and documents in public institutions.

Under the legislation, anyone starting a newspaper would be required to pay $20,000 (£12,500) and 10 times more to begin a radio or TV station.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Gasper Safari, president of the Rwanda Journalists Association, said the new laws were a death sentence to investigative journalism.

“How will investigative journalism survive? It is a rope and we are just being asked to practice journalism and the hangman will pull the rug under your feet,” he said.

Safari explained how his organisation had initially written a protest letter to the lower house of parliament, but it was ignored.

“We will explore other methods in dealing with the upper house. People cannot be allowed to shout they support press freedom while deep down they do not support the existence of the media,” he said.

Kenya

The media is the most trusted institution in Kenya – and the country’s electoral commission (ECK) the least, according to a recent survey by Gallup International affiliates Steadman Research.

The quarterly poll found that 80 per cent of Kenyans trusted the media – exactly the same number that found the ECK the most dishonest.

Fortunes for the media and the ECK have been on a downward trend since the violence surrounding last year’s disputed presidential election, but the media has regained some ground in the last two months after two major commissions backed by both the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) returned a not guilty verdict on most of the media.

“Kenyans are saying that their last hope is with the media, their trust for institutions is at an all time low, but they have their thumbs up for journalists,” Tom Wolf, a lead researcher at Steadman, told a press conference in Nairobi.

The media was placed ahead of Kenya’s President, Prime Minister and parliament by the survey.

“We are not very happy to be ahead of all other institutions. It means we have a duty to assist them in getting to the highest level of trust, but our work is easier since we have the trust of our readers and viewers,” said Martin Gitau, general secretary of the Journalist Association of Kenya (JAK).

Journalism in Africa: Kenyan news organisations cleared of fuelling post-election violence

A report from Africa’s Independent Review Commission (IREC), which was set up to investigate last year’s disputed presidential elections in Kenya, has cleared the country’s media of professional malpractice in its coverage of the election results, and blamed the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and politicians of delaying results at grassroots level.

The commission, which has trashed claims of rigging and alteration of presidential results at the National Tally Centre – the main complaint of the opposition, also dismissed concerns over the media’s role in the post-election violence raised by international observers, including the European Union, as overly reliant on hearsay.

IREC – headed by retired South African Judge Johann Kriegler – recommended that the media should be fed results electronically to increase speed and that a secure line of transmitting results from village polling stations to the headquarters be developed with an access password for all media houses.

“The media was under pressure to relay results, politicians and the electoral commission of Kenya delayed the numbers, the media had no choice but to report what they had, you cannot blame the beast if you have not fed it,” reads the report.

However, the report did find fault with vernacular media stations for fuelling tension after the announcement of the election results and called for a review of employment policies in media houses. “Only professionals should be employed,” it said.

“How can you blame the media when politicians forced their way into the press centre and took over the role of the ECK at a time when there was[sic] information gaps?” asked the 117-page report.

Within the next 15 days another report on the media’s handling of the elections is expected to be presented to President Mwai Kibaki and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was chief mediator in the post-election crisis.

The report is expected to name, shame and recommend crucial steps that politicians, the media and the ECK should take to avoid a repeat of such violence in future.

FT.com recruits Bono and Jeffrey Sachs as bloggers

U2 frontman Bono and development economist Jeffrey Sachs are teaming up with FT.com in a bid to form the world’s ultimate rock group to blog their way through the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals summit, which starts in New York on Thursday.

Sachs, who is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Bono will post ‘development diaries’ throughout the event, a release from the paper explains.

Coverage was kicked off with a Q&A with Bono, who, it seems, is taking his duties pretty seriously:

AB [Andrew Beattie, FT trade editor]:What are the two or three goals you want to achieve this week?

Bono: 1. Blogging for the FT, being your roving reporter in the canyons of Manhattan. While the world upends on Wall Street, I’ll be mostly midtown at the UN and the Clinton Global Initiative talking about the resilience of the world’s poor while the world’s rich find out how fragile life can be.

Or then again…

AB: What exactly happens in the meetings you have with these world leaders?

Bono: Judo in a suit.

Trinity Mirror schedules Ayrshire Post and Paisley Daily Express for revamp

The Ayrshire Post and Paisley Daily Express will be the next titles from Trinity Mirror’s Scottish division to be relaunched as standalone websites.

The new sites are part of plans to create individual websites outside of the ic umbrella sites for all of Scottish and Universal Newspapers’ (S&UN) 17 local newspaper titles.

The Hamilton Advertiser was the first title to go it alone in March and recorded 20,000 unique users in its first month of operation.

To run the new sites a new team of digital journalists has been recruited by the newspaper group led by S&UN head of digital Craig Brown and online editor John Hutcheson.

The remaining websites will be phased in over the summer, a press release from the company said.