• Feb 32011

    Broadcasting in Sierra Leone is Going Through an Evolution

    Let’s look at radio first. According to a “2010 Media Use Survey,” commissioned by Fondation Hirondelle and Cotton Tree News (CTN), the peak times for radio listening are between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m. and between 6:00 and 8:30 p.m.

  • Jan 302011

    Miraculous Cures or Deceitful Ads?

    Reporter Helder Macuacua and I enter the Maxaquene sports pavilion, packed with 5,000 believers, and we freeze. As if cued to our arrival, prophet Cremildo thunders from the stage: “Those journalists who criticize us, they are driven by envy, by evil, by the devil. They shall feel our wrath!”

  • Jan 262011

    Haitian Journalists Investigate $2-million Project Shut Down

    As if the journalists I'm working with haven't had enough distractions, a new curve ball was thrown last week- the unexpected arrival of former dictator Jean Claude Duvalier, who descended from an Air France flight after a near 25-year absence.

    "Baby Doc's" appearance accelerated a tailspin that started with last year's earthquake. The disaster, which killed as many as 300,000, was then exacerbated by a hurricane, a cholera epidemic that has killed close to 4,000 people and a November 28 electoral dispute that is so mired in politicking that even the U.S.

  • Jan 252011

    Presidential Celebration in Malawi Does Little to Help Struggling Newspaper

    Red carpet…a sea of tuxedos and dazzling, figure-hugging evening gowns…a phalanx of paparazzi looking for someone important or something offbeat to shoot.

    But this black-tie event took place, not in Los Angeles but in a giant marquee on the lawns of Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika’s State House in Lilongwe, the capital.

    The event in question was an awards dinner hosted by the state-owned and government-controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), dubbed “Our People, Our Pride.” It is an annual ceremony to honor Malawians whose deeds have touched the lives of many—ordinary people

  • Jan 192011

    Maputo's New Unhealthy Fad

    They look lovely, the heaps of sand in ochre, sienna, orange and yellow hues, glistening under the sun or the dappled shade in the markets and street corners of Maputo. Five meticais (US$0,10) will buy you a funil, a cone made of newsprint filled with silky sand, the colour – and taste - of your choice.

    Yes, taste. For this sand is sold to be eaten. Eating soil or sand (geofagia) was a traditional practice among many groups, from Native Americans to Amazonian tribes.

  • Jan 172011

    Maps, maps, everywhere maps - Two New Geolocation Data and Distribution Services

    Lost in San Francisco, no need to ask for directions. Just pull out your mobile phone – iPhone or Android. Pinpoint your current location, “tell” your phone your destination and within a few seconds you have directions.

  • Jan 102011

    Creating a Journalism Community in Brazil

    Early in 2010, I bumped totally by chance on the streets of São Paulo into a good friend of mine, Alexandre Maron, an editor of New Projects at the Globo magazine group. I told him then that I was in Brazil as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, with the International Center for Journalists.

  • Jan 42011

    The Nobel Prize in Literature brings pride to Peru

    Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, but only lived there until the age of four. Still, he is considered the city’s pride and joy even though the city didn’t always show it. His childhood home still stands, but was recently sold to a company that was going to turn it into a center to help poor women. And, in a move right out of the best Hollywood movie, the announcement that Vargas Llosa won a Nobel put a stop to the remodel just in the nick of time.

  • Dec 312010

    Breast cancer is a neglected disease in Mozambique

    Editors Note: Mercedes Sayagues discussing breast cancer and hospital/patient awareness.

    For a change, I am happy to be queuing at the photocopying shop.

    I could queue the whole day, for the shop is air-conditioned on this Hot-Sticky-Maputo-Summer Day with 36 degrees Celsius and 200% humidity.

    I read a magazine, my pile of clippings on the counter. On top, last week’s story about breast cancer.

    People here know little about breast cancer. HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and cholera get the lion’ s share of attention, information and money.

  • Dec 212010

    Building a Consortium of Media Development Partners in Sierra Leone

    Working with the media in Freetown can be enormously frustrating and tiring. But a quick comparison of where we were a few years ago shows just how far we’ve come.

    During the brutal, ten-year war, Sierra Leone suffered a massive brain drain/exodus of journalists, teachers, business-people, politicians and young community leaders. In many ways, the country's media has never recovered. As a result, there are many challenges, both large and small.

    Since the end of the conflicts in 2002, there’s been a proliferation of newspapers and radio stations.