• Dec 222009

    Mozambique holds presidential election

    Editors Note: New information technologies used during presidential election in Mozambique.Mozambique held presidential elections at the end of October, with the final results announced in mid-November. You couldn’t ignore the campaign buzz in the weeks leading to the polls: horn-honking caravans, city walls covered in colourful posters, supporters wearing T-shirts, caps and kapulanas (African cloth) emblazoned with party colours and logos.

  • Dec 52009

    Authors Talk About Latin America at International Book Fair in Guadalajara

    Knight International Journalism Fellow James Breiner moderated a round-table discussion with former Knight Fellow Benjamín Fernández and former Bolivian president Carlos Mesa at the 23rd International Book Fair in Guadalajara on Thursday.Fernández presented his new book, “¿Y ahora qué? Itinerario de la eterna desilusión política en América Latina.” During his 2008-2009 Fellowship in Mexico, he helped boost freedom of expression and access to public information.

  • Dec 42009

    Thanksgiving and World AIDS Day an uneasy mix

    LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — Reporters have a choice on World AIDS Day. They can go to the press conferences, the speeches, the red-ribbon-test-a-thons that happen every year, and write down what everyone said -- again.

  • Nov 212009

    Researchers, journalists, artists come together

    LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — For three days this week, a group of artists, researchers, journalists and others ready to make a difference sat around the Olive Grove room at the Intercontinental Hotel and talked about what they had in common.

    Not much, one would think, on the face of it. Researchers talked about protocols and policies, journalists about tight deadlines and bad headlines, and the artists -- singers, dramatists, visual artists -- they talked about the myriad ways to create messages concerning matters of life and death.

  • Nov 122009

    How a Gringo teaches writing to Spanish-speaking journalists

    This is a neat trick. You kind of fake it. You get them to teach themselves.

    I´m teaching an online course right now, How to Write for the Web, actually "Cómo escribir para la Web", totally in Spanish, for about 40 Latin American journalists from a dozen countries.
  • 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.

  • Nov 82009

    Where routines are challenged, health reporting abides

    Fuel shortages, power failures and Internet outages hinder, but don't halt health reporting here.Last night the lights went out, the sudden total onset of darkness followed by a resounding crash of thunder that went on, rumbling and clattering, shaking other bits of infrastructure for some minutes after.

    Interpreting sounds in the darkness can lead to dire conclusions, and it seemed likely then that the power would stay out for some time, as it has in the past after routinely predictable events.

  • Oct 312009

    Partner in Serbia launches new web site with integrated content

    Belgrade-based Beta news agency launched a new web site this week, presenting its neatly integrated text, video, audio and photo production.

    The first private and independent news agency in Serbia, Beta, has been a great host organization. Its young and dedicated reporters continuously strive to beat the competition and provide superior service to the agency's more than 250 subscribers. Their efforts meant a better Web was needed to present Beta's diverse production.

  • Oct 312009

    The Streets of Maputo: garbage and peacocks

    Maputo was getting on my nerves big time. I was running out of cash. My credit card was not working. Opening a bank account was taking longer than expected. I had a bad cold. Every morning at 5:00, the peacocks of the presidential palace, 30 metres from my window, woke me up with their screeching.

    When I packed for Maputo, it was 32 degrees in Pretoria, 500 kms away. Friends in Maputo said it was equally hot there, so I packed dresses. But the weather in Maputo is treacherous. Two days later a nippy wind blew from the Indian Ocean.

  • Oct 292009

    Lección de Soitu: banqueros son malos socios para medios digitales

    Los proyectos de periodismo digital necesitan lo que se llama "el dinero paciente" para sobrevivir. Es decir, necesitan inversores que no estén buscando ganancias a corto plazo.

    El inversor en Soitu, que cerró esta semana, era el BBVA, un banco importante.

    Este tipo de empresas que cotizan en la bolsa se definen por sus resultados cada trimestre. Por eso, no pueden tolerar pérdidas continuas sin posibilidades de un retorno amplio.

    Se necesita la pareja justa

    Este matrimonio entre Soitu y el BBVA estaba destinado al divorcio desde el principio.