Archive for the ‘Balkans’ category

The Power of Journalism Around the World

February 16, 2009
Serbian Web Journalism School participants.

Serbian Web Journalism School participants.

Newspaper circulations may be declining worldwide with the advent of web-based media, but that has not diminished the vital role journalists play in society, particularly when it comes to social development. In terms of coverage, journalism has managed to adapt with the changing times through web-based reporting: blogs, online networking sites and other new media applications have added a whole new twist to how news is covered and consumed. Due in part to the increased connectedness the Internet now brings us, reporters in other parts of the world are learning how to take advantage of the perks technology offers the industry while others are answering the call to journalism’s role in social development and how it can improve lives in their own countries.

One notable project that is helping shape the journalists of today is the Serbian Web Journalism School which was founded “in Belgrade by Serbian citizen media enthusiast and veteran blogger, Ljubisa Bojic.” The school relies on local media experts to teach the fundamentals of citizen journalism to participating students.

Thanks to the help of a grant from Rising Voices (see sidebar), an initiative dedicated to bringing “new voices from new communities and speaking new languages to the global conversation by providing resources and funding to local groups reaching out to underrepresented communities,” students at the Serbian Web Journalism School are learning how to take advantage of web-based applications and are using them in their reporting.

Students now can use Google Maps to help illustrate a news story and are experimenting with new media applications such as Facebook, blogs and Flickr – all which bring reader interaction to online journalism. In fact, the students have their own Flickr page and blog, which we have added to our sidebar.

(To see other Rising Voices projects, follow this link.)

In another example that highlights the importance journalists have in today’s society, during an interactive forum in Nigeria, journalists there have been “urged to double their efforts towards anchoring developmental projects that have direct impact on people at the grassroots to enable them to enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

Jummai Alhamdu, the Kano/Jigawa program manager of the State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) emphasized to participants the growing roles journalists must fill when it comes to social development efforts, especially in their own communities:

“As the eyes and ears of the general public, journalists are expected to inform the government about the needs of the grassroots and at the same time inform the public about government policies and programs for proper execution,” she said.

The full story can be read here.

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