Jun 202018
 
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A few weeks ago I went to the CiviCRM Bootcamp in London, which was an opportunity for me to find out more about the use and development of the CiviCRM system.

CiviCRM is an open source Contact Relationship Managment application that has been built by a community of contributors and supporters. CiviCRM is web-based software used by not-for-profit organizations to support the activities and data-managment needs of charities, community groups and not-for-profit businesses. The CiviCRM vision is that “all organisations – regardless of their size, budget, or focus – have access to an amazing CRM to engage their contacts and achieve their missions.”

I spoke with Rose Lanigan and Eric Hommel, who are active developers and users of CiviCRM.

There are a couple of CiviCRM events coming up, one in Hartford and one in Manchester if you want to find out more, and talk with people who are using or are looking at using CiviCRM to support their community activities.

Dr Pat Kotchapakdee Discusses Documentary with John Coster

 Audio, Community Media, Out & About  Comments Off on Dr Pat Kotchapakdee Discusses Documentary with John Coster
Jun 052018
 
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Today, John Coster and I were very fourtunate to spend the day with Dr Pat Kotchapakdee from Khon Kaen University in Thailand. John and Pat were able to sit down and discuss how Pat approaches his documentary work, and what he thinks is the use of telling stories through photography, film and social media platforms.

John and Pat discussing the potential for restoration of film projection equipment.

Khon Kaen Podcast

 Community Media, Out & About  Comments Off on Khon Kaen Podcast
Jun 042018
 
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John Coster and I have been travelling in South East Asia visiting universities in Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Khon Kaen. In this podcast we talk about some of the challenges of understanding life in Thailand and Cambodia, and how we can use community and documentary media to enhance civic engagement and sustainable development.

DIY-DMU Podcast 017 International Community Media Expo

 Audio, Community Media, DIY-DMU, DMU, EMCMN  Comments Off on DIY-DMU Podcast 017 International Community Media Expo
May 092018
 
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Today’s podcast was recorded as part of the first DMU International Community Media Expo. Sitting around the table was Julian, Kiaran, Ineke, Gerhart and myself. We chatted about the role and the importance of community media and what we need to learn to make our own media.

Democratic Media Institutions

 Community Media, Debate, DIY-DMU, DMU, EMCMN  Comments Off on Democratic Media Institutions
May 022018
 

BBC Media Action is the charitable arm of the BBC that seeks to support communication development in developing nations around the world. James Deane is the Director of Policy and Research, and in his latest blog he asks if we need to rethink how we build media organsations and institutions that support democratic accountability around the world. Deane suggests that:

Access to information that people can trust, find relevant, that underpins informed democratic debate, and can hold power to account, will depend on the existence of media institutions, not just information networks. That remains the major challenge of media support. It is a challenge that we need fresh thinking to achieve.

I agree with Deane that this isn’t just about rolling-out large media corporations, or throwing open the communication floodgates to the market, and that we do need to undertake some careful thinking about what we build and put in place for the future. As Deane argues:

Media freedom and media sustainability indicators focus on whether media is free and sustainable and less on on whether they are valued, trusted or relevant to the populations of their societies, especially those outside an educated middle class. This is especially important at a time of digital and demographic transformation.

The challenge, from my perspective, is how do we harness the independent and distrubuted technologies in which we aggregate news and media content, in which ‘brands’ are no longer as importnat, but the need for trusted informants, guides and advocates is?

Trusting Community Reporting?

 Community Media, Debate, DIY-DMU, DMU, EMCMN  Comments Off on Trusting Community Reporting?
May 012018
 

John Naughton writing in The Guardian makes a very powerful point about the need for trusted sources of information in developing communities. With the use of Facebook as a tool for promoting fake news, which has led to violence in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, Naughton suggests that:

We have woken up to Facebook’s pernicious role in western democratic politics and are beginning to think about ways of addressing that problem in our bailiwicks. To date, the ideas about regulation that have surfaced seem ineffectual and so the damage continues. But at least liberal democracies have some degree of immunity to the untruths disseminated by bad actors who exploit Facebook’s automated targeting systems – provided by a free press, parliamentary inquiries, independent judiciaries, public-service broadcasters, universities, professional bodies and so on.

However, as Naughton goes on to point out:

Other societies, particularly the developing countries now most assiduously targeted by Facebook, have few such institutions and it is there that the company has the capacity to wreak the most havoc.

The importance of trust in our civic and community media is crucial to promoting peace and reconciliation, but do we have the right tools to do this as independent media producers and communities? Large media organisations spend a lot of time promoting their ‘brand’ identity so that it can be trusted and relied upon, but this appraoch isn’t available to small, independent, volunteer-led community media groups.

Is there a way, then, perhaps with something like the Mozilla Open Badges project, which independently verified people’s learning, to independently verify the output of reporters across different media platforms, networks and communities?

Trust is the currency that holds society togehter, and when trust dies, our social order suffers. How can we build a new infrastructure that enables trust to be implicity validated in our media use, and what would the criteria be that would demonstrate that a reporter or a media producer is a trusted source? If Uber and Tripadvisor can do this, why can’t news organisations and social media corporations put some funding and development time into producing trust tokens for community reporters?

DIY-DMU Podcast 013 Cambodia #dmuglobal

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Mar 282018
 
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For the last week or so, John and myself have been in Cambodia doing some teaching and research work with the American University of Phnom Penh. We met some fantastic students and experienced Cambodian life and culture. It was my first time in Cambodia and it was completely different to how I expected it. We chat in this edition of the DIY-DMU podcast about scratching the surface, not making any assumptions and honoring the proud traditions of Khemer life, both in the city and at Angkor Wat.

Trevor Baylis, Inventor of the Wind-Up Radio, Dies aged 80

 Community Media, DIY-DMU, DMU  Comments Off on Trevor Baylis, Inventor of the Wind-Up Radio, Dies aged 80
Mar 052018
 

Community media isn’t just about programming, it’s also about the access that we have to different media. The death of Trevor Baylis is perhaps a moment when we can reflect on the contribution that his invention made to understanding, conflict resolution and disaster management around the world, allowing people to listen to radio when they have no access to reliable power sources. Far sighted and innovative people like Trevor are few and far between.

 

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 023

 Community Media, DIY-DMU, DMU, TECH3501  Comments Off on TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 023
Feb 202018
 

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-third lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.

TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 022

 Community Media, DIY-DMU, DMU, TECH3501  Comments Off on TECH3501-18 Lecture Summary 022
Feb 192018
 

This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty-second lecture for TECH3501 Community Media Leadership.