Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

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Long live the Orange Revolution

February 8, 2010

Five years later, another election in Ukraine has come and passed. This time it looks like the winner will be Viktor Yanukovych, the one-time victor in 2004 who was abruptly ousted when a nation of millions stood up and demanded an election without fraud. And with his victory, the loser presumably won’t just be exiting president and Orange Revolution champion, Viktor Yushchenko, but the Orange Revolution itself.

I know that there are huge swaths of Ukrainians out there who will be feeling somber about this today, as they have been on a steady somber slide since the collective chant of “Yu-shchen-ko, Yu-shchen-ko, Yu-shchen-ko!” first filled the streets of Kyiv, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and elsewhere.

I remember back to late 2005, early 2006, the mood in western Ukraine was already shifting back toward the pessimism from a millennium of outside invasion, brutal dictatorship, soul-crushing bureaucracy, scant traces of self-rule, and the din of empty promises. As the honeymoon of the Orange Revolution was beginning to fade, people said to me that they had hoped for a strong leader, and that it was clear that Yushchenko wasn’t the right man for the job. Read the rest of this entry ?

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And then along came the Droid Eris

January 13, 2010

I’ve finally upgraded to 3G. Last week, I picked up a Droid Eris.

It’s been a long time coming, of course. I work in international media development, and given that mobile phones are the game changing technology for communications in the developing world, it only makes sense that I go this route. It’s not for lack of interest that it took this long. Just a bad economy. But, now that I am here, I am ready to go. Whole hog. Read the rest of this entry ?

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2009: A retrospective on my year of media development adventures

January 4, 2010

2009 was a banner year for me in terms of media development. It was not by any means my starting point in media, but it could go down as year in which my work achieved lift off. But all was done in the name of helping people spread information, express themselves, and/or strengthen their networks with other people to promote change. So, I thought I’d take a look back at my year in media development, get it all together in one place, take stock, establish something to compare 2010 to, reminisce a little.

Researching Extractive Industry Transparency and Journalism Development in Africa

I began the year leading a team through a study to assess needs and effective training practices to raise the level of business journalism in Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda. Our findings would then be synthesized into a report to provide training and media development recommendations to Revenue Watch Institute, which wanted to use training to improve business journalism, and promote extractive industry transparency. The best part of this project was that I got to spend two weeks in January in balmy Nigeria–a country the Bradt guide calls “Africa for the Advanced”–and meet face to face with Nigerian journalists, journalism educators, and media development experts. Lagos, in particular, was INTENSE. And fantastic. I also got a chance in this to bone up on my skills developing surveys and interview guides, building networks of contacts, designing a team research wiki, and producing a report of findings. Read the rest of this entry ?

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A look at Fukuyama, social capital, and media development

December 30, 2009

I was reading Smart Mobs by Howard Rheingold when I came across something he wrote about Francis Fukuyama:  “Fukuyama argues in his book Trust that there is a strong correlation between the prosperity of national economies and social capital, which he defines as the ease with which people in a particular culture can form new associations”. Huh.

That immediately struck me. The idea of helping people form new associations in the name of promoting prosperity within (and ultimately of) national economies is essentially a major driving force behind my work in media development. Reading this sentence pushed me to dig deeper. I began hunting down Fukuyama and what he had to say about social capital. I had read him before during my master’s degree work at SIPA, and remember feeling some connection then. I probably even encountered what he had to say about social capital. If so, it wasn’t till now that it caught my attention. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Rethinking “Sustainability” in International Media Development

September 9, 2009

Look13040As an international media developer, I am frequently bombarded with concerns regarding sustainability and evaluation. Media development, particularly journalism development, is a very tricky field to create project sustainability, and an even trickier field to evaluate using the tools of the day.

The difficulty with journalism development sustainability is that journalistic outlets – newspapers, magazines, radio, etc. – face a whole slew of economic, social, and political barriers, including limited advertising revenue due to an undeveloped marketplace, a culture unused to how such outlets operate in a marketplace, cultures that distrust information openness, governments with a history of censorship, the list goes on. There are a lot of forces working against them, and few if any working for. Read the rest of this entry ?

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MediaNext: Facebook Pages for Journalists and NGOs in Ukraine

August 31, 2009

87469124_629d5b3db9During my training on Facebook in Ukraine, figuring out how to use the Translations application on Facebook to translate Facebook to Ukrainian and Russian opened up the possibility of training Facebook Pages. Of course, about a week later, I discovered that Facebook had simplified the process by putting a link in the lower left corner of every page that can easily be clicked to switch languages, saving a lot of explanation time. The funny thing about all of these Web 2.0 sites is that they upgrade without being too loud about it. There’s a lot of serendipity to working with them.

I really became a fan of Facebook Pages during this training, when I saw how much they could do for journalists and NGOs that just isn’t that easy to do elsewhere. I came to understand just how extraordinary they are as a marketing and communication tool. And in the context of Ukraine, it was clear that they presented a paradigm shift in how journalists and NGOs relate to the internet. Here’s essentially what I trained: Read the rest of this entry ?

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MediaNext: Facebook and Social Networking – Training Links I Used in Ukraine

August 6, 2009
Here are the links I used during my MediaNext training seminars on Facebook, Vkontakte, and Social Networking for Ukrainian journalists and NGOs in June and July. You will find examples of how these tools are being used by journalists and NGOs (case studies, if you will), links to articles with statistics and trends in these tools, and other misc. links backing up with at I was training. You will also find at the bottom a section of “helpful links” and one on “Facebook Tips”. I was working with co-trainers, so these aren’t all of the links we used in our seminars. But, this gives you a good base.

Three other things to note:

  1. Languages – You will see that some of this is occasionally in Ukrainian or Russian. In those instances, I tried to provide an English translation to make it easier to read for non-speakers. In some cases, I have used Google Translate to translate into Ukrainian. Be careful with these, because occasionally the translations are a bit funny. However, they are close enough to be informative. Also, ideally I would have a Russian version, Ukrainian version, AND an English version. But, time is finite.
  2. Downloadable Version – I have also created a downloadable PDF version that might be a useful alternative for you. Please let me know if you have troubles with this, and I could post a different version.

I hope these links below will prove useful for you. I tried to stay current, using links and info only from 2008 and on. I’d love to hear any thoughts, questions, or feedback on any of this. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry ?