• Sep 292010

    Haiti’s Challenge: How to Prepare for the Unexpected

    When the sky turned black and the rain started to fall last Friday afternoon, I took refuge in a shelter enclosed by glass on two sides. I watched as the first tree that fell bounced off the roof of the shelter, and then crashed onto the parking spot next to my car. Seconds later another tree fell, and the wind continued to sing like a tortured soul as branches hurled around me.

    All I could think about was the camps. The camps. At least I had a secure roof over my head, one that had survived the quake.

  • Sep 282010

    Haiti and its journalists try to rise from the ruins

    The challenges of setting up an investigative reporting team in Haiti reflect the challenges of the country as it tries to lift itself up from the weight of the January 12 earthquake. Management of resources, strategic planning, access to verifiable information, planning, insufficient infrastructure and materials, as well as security concerns influence, and in many cases hamper, Haiti’s reconstruction effort. These same elements enter into the reporting equation as well, only more so for investigative reporting.

  • Sep 252010


    How do you put out a paper when riots have paralyzed the city?

    By building calf muscles as strong as Diego Forlan’s!

    We walked. And walked. On day 2 of the riots, Fernando Mbanze, the editor of Savana sister’s publication, Media Fax started walking at 6:30 am and reached the newsroom 22 kms later, at 10:30. Several times the Savana car tried to reach him but either protesters or police, barricades of burning tyres or random shooting, prevented the car from going through. So Mbanze walked on.

    Fearing their cars might be stoned, damaged or burnt, car owners did not venture out.

  • Sep 242010

    Periodistas de Panamá debaten la ética periodística

    Diez editores y reporteros comenzaron el taller de periodismo de Mi Panamá Transparente. La primera sesión trató el tema de la ética periodística y el debate fue intenso y productivo.Panamá -- ¿En qué casos está justificado el uso del engaño para conseguir información sobre un caso relevante de impunidad o corrupción? Todo periodista debe respetar la ley, pero ¿cuáles son los dilemas éticos en aquellos casos en los que el reportero se ve obligado a violar alguna ley para conseguir y publicar información de alto valor público?

  • Sep 232010

    When time is scarce to receive training, what can we do?

    I have developed an online Moodle educational platform in Panama to help hyper-busy journalists to receive training in their free time.

    Panama -- We are developing a program to train Panamanian journalists on how to produce investigative stories based on a digital map which tracks crime and corruption with information sent by citizens.
  • Sep 232010

    A Dirty Word Called 'Development'

    Chapananga is a remote chiefdom on Malawi’s southern border with Mozambique. It is four and a half hours of meandering mountainous road and hard driving from Blantyre, the commercial capital of the country, where Nation Publications Limited, my host organization, is headquartered.

    In a month and a half’s time when the rains start, the area will be inaccessible by road transport, including their sturdiest and most reliable of 4x4’s.

  • Sep 222010

    Structure and Journalism

    As part of developing sustainable business models for online media, I have tried to catch-up with what Reg Chua is thinking about the structure of journalism at his blog “(Re)Structuring Journalism”.

  • Sep 222010

    MDLF and the MalaysiaKini Story

    The last few weeks have been a bit slow in Malaysia as the country celebrates the end of Ramadan and the festive season of Hari Raya. During the slow time, I have written a few things for other blogs on the work and situation at MalaysiaKini, as they get posted I will cross post them.

  • Sep 212010

    One happy student

    Another group was trained under the Mural workshops. A course that focuses on recruiting and training community correspondents reporting from the outskirts of São Paulo.

  • Sep 212010

    Measuring Impact

    I’m thinking a lot about the definition of the word “impact” these days. When I reflect on my past two years in Kenya, the meaning might seem clear at first.

    “Just what the heck is different about Kenyan media since my plane touched down in late June 2008?" Wow, that question almost felt egomaniacal as I typed it! How can one person expect to exert enough influence to quantify a tangible impact on an entire country’s media? In one year, or two….or 10, for that matter?