Citizen Journalism

Dec 292009

Brazil: God and the Devil In the Land of the Sun

The title is the name of a film by one of Brazil's leading film makers shot in the 60s and it somewhat summarizes the best and the worst of the country and these first days of my stay.

It has now been a little bit over one month that arrived in São Paulo, Brazil, where I will kick-start the fellowship which aims to train citizen journalists to cover poverty related issues and to see that the news stories they develop reaches the country's mainstream media.

On a personal level, at least I overcame some initial difficulties.

Nov 92009

Finally Tanzanians ready to let Swahili grow

Editors Note: The author discusses the growth of the Kiswahili dialect in Tanzania.

For decades, Tanzanians have cherished their version of Swahili, considered to be the purest in the region. But in the spirit of opening up, they now seem to be accepting the "less pure" versions of the neighbours.

Last week I gate crashed into a retreat of top Tanzanian editors and media managers that was taking place in Arusha and it was a most rewarding experience.

Sep 102009

Cars speed up as business slows down in Dar

It is the holy month of Ramadan during which Muslims all over the world fast and abstain from all forms of entertainment. Here in the coastal city of Dar es Salaam, life has taken a slow pace that can be felt almost everywhere and all the time.

From the lighter traffic on the usually congested roads, to the quiet night spots which during other times of the year are literally vibrating with life, you can almost feel this city of five million souls meditating.

Jun 262009

Knight Orientation

This is the last day of training for the the Knight International Journalism Fellowship, with the International Center for Journalists.

These five days were highly demanding, but also extremely rewarding and offered invaluable information, vital to when I reach the ground in Brazil.

May 12008

What difference can a newsletter make?

What difference can a newsletter make? Quite a bit, judging from the launch of a modest new publication in Uganda. Designed to serve health journalists, the “Uganda Health Reporter” is making a bid to help spearhead diverse training programs and become a rallying point for professional development.

“The first step is always the hardest.”

Mar 22008

Of Demons and Public Health

Editors Note: A group of journalists set out to investigate reports of demons in rural Uganda, but they ended up learning a few things about public health.

As I sped down a narrow dirt road enveloped in a cloud of dust in Hoima District, Uganda, I must admit I wondered what in the world I was doing. I had begun a stint as a Knight health journalism fellow three weeks earlier, but here I was with a reporter and photographer from New Vision, Uganda’s largest newspaper, bouncing toward the isolated village of Kiziranfumbi about three hours west of Kampala.