Posts Tagged ‘ World Economic Forum ’

Future of Journalism

Media practitioners, journalists, communication professionals around the world need to build consensus to realize the significance of globalization, in the context of the socio-political gaps, economic interests, cultural and religious values, to strengthen the fundamental rights of individuals and societies.

Needless to say, efficient and transparent mechanisms need to be developed, which can help in determining the quality and implications of what is ‘good’ content and which is ‘bad’. Bringing the debate in the public domain will bridge the unnecessary gaps that are reasons for creating knowledge deficit in the society. Therefore enabling a healthy debate of reasoning and rationale.

In emerging economies, early adaptation of the ICT tools will connect communities pertaining local relevance with those ensuring best practices at a global playing field, hence raising the bar of journalistic standards encouraging not only an effective but an appreciative-well-informed society. It is through this transition, which gives an individual or the society to question and demand response playing a vital role in the newly formed democracies of the world. And because this industry on its own is so rapidly evolving, most fearing change will not able to adapt, compete and coexist in the digital space.

So as Adrian, suggests in his video, that the future of journalism, is for the digital savvy group of people having the ability to analyze massive amounts data; but then the question arises in what context does one critically evaluates such information…

 

Dear Journalist,

When you cover a story, or chase a lead hot or cold is this the way you’re looking for it to be…can this be the way how journalism should be done and offered to the masses or does this framework seem one-dimensional?

Future of Journalism – The Way Forward

Journalism in emerging markets have a unique opportunity to reinvent its traditional model, re-identify challenges, and manifest its achievements in form of knowledge in the public interest at the policy as well as at the grass-root (individual/community) level.

The Boston Globe and the MIT’s Center for Civic Media acquired a grant worth $250,000 dollars from the Knight Foundation, in order to build tools for newsgathering and reader engagement. This is one of the prime examples how new journalism trends will emerge from environments of mutual collaborations.

The industry, at least in Pakistan would need to go back to the Academicians, establish linkages that are very so often discussed but not processed into tangible results. In other words, and very right put by the Secretary of State’s Advisor on Innovation, Alec J Ross ” Innovation comes from taking risks, accepting failures” reason why we see so many venture capitalists investing in start-ups are thriving in the US.

The dynamics of the thought processes with the future generations to come will not be determined by shady propagandist tactics used by special interest groups that encourage fear-mongering that teased the less-informed segments of the society.

As the society is becoming increasingly informed; the ability to navigate through large amounts data by rationalizing with objective narratives will determine the credibility of the journalists. The industry-academics will need to ensure that the concept of journalism in the public interest is not lost in implied tactics of the external factors acting as the influencing force that challenges the credibility and the authenticity of the profession. One methodology of evaluation can be based on the following indices:

1) Content reflecting diversity.

  • Reports that highlight the issue and content that reflects an unbiased viewpoint.
  • Article that are thoroughly researched and well written and are edited by a professional news outlet.
  • Articles that mention people with contrasting viewpoints.

2) Content should serve the need of all groups in the society: public, private and community based.

  • Identify stakeholders: government, security establishment, political parties/groups, minorities, religious groups, cultural groups
  • Understand the history and be familiar with coverage of diverse groups in society. Usefulness of the news information for the public at large
  • Accessibility of the content

3) Content displays culture of self regulation.

  • Applied ethical guidelines and practices that govern the profession and the legal implications and considerations that inform the profession
  • Including information about sources, accuracy estimates, possibilities of bias and voluntary retractions

4) Communicating with fairness and impartiality.

  • Articles that demonstrate the ability to apply tools, concepts and technology appropriate for the presentation of images and information on diversity
  • Minimum 2 or more contrasting views in the story. Use of neutral (unemotional) vocabulary

5) Content displays high-level of trust and confidence with the civil society organization/academia.

  • Credibility can be measured by the number of readers or subscribers of the professional news outlet

6) The content should also reflect the linguistic diversity of the targeted issues.

  • Credit reports that discuss regional (and not national issues) in less commonly spoken languages and that interact with minorities in their local languages
  • The report includes interviews and/or information from linguistically diverse segments of society

7) The content should represent the views of the entire political spectrum and the wide spectrum of the social interests including the weakest segments of the society.

  • Is there a political bias or not?
  • Choice of a topic (or topics) that highlight a minority (or underrepresented) group. Major piece on a minor political group

Although this methodology is/could potentially be debatable, and is open for constructive critique, yet it covers variety of elements that an informed material, in whichever form that may be, can be evaluated and assessed over its quality. The amalgamation of the framework and the assessment criteria of creating quality content ensures the credibility of the content-originator/journalists.

In times where it may seem that the journalism in public good no longer matters, it only reinforces the behavior which will provide favorable circumstances to the bulging youth populations in the emerging economies to challenge the existence of monstrous infrastructure and traditional revenue models by exploring and innovating new wheels of the game.

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Target and Result: No Data

 

Quarterly Progress and Oversight Report on the Civilian Assistance Program in Pakistan

The U.S. Civilian Assistance Programme to Pakistan fails to measure the success of its various projects in the country.  According to its quarterly report, which was recently released, the indicators required to measure the success of these projects remain missing from its assistance programme, which were supposedly to be identified by the US Embassy. Three years down and with almost 4 billion dollars already spent since 2009 on the programme, the environment in Pakistan towards the U.S. is as hostile as it was post 9/11.

The assistance programme aims to support high-impact, high-visibility infrastructure; focused humanitarian and social services; and government capacity development, and then there is a shift in funds as the need arises and is determined by the USG in consultation with the GOP. But what this assistance programme doesn’t aim to do is to create a parallel public focus from within Pakistan on issues, which are relevant to their existence; even if it did, the approach is dealing with it at the surface as the problem lies with our institutions that lack the capacity to address deep-rooted issues despite the funding and the necessary linkages.

The areas where USG implements these project through the USAID, most of its partners are already bad storytellers not that the ‘AID is any different; they are far worse hence the strategic way of communicating the relevance of these projects in the targeted sectors that they operate in is often diluted with the cases such as “Davis’es” of USA and the “Qadri’s” of Pakistan, the fact of the matter here would be that situation such as these will continue to arise-so one of the core aim of each project/USG/USAID should be to communicate to the people of Pakistan that the money which is being spent through these projects on the assistance is coming out of the American taxpayers pocket, and that too not in a way that challenges and questions an average Pakistani’s ability to meet his/her own needs, but to develop a sense of realization that enables them to react constructively towards their basic rights.

 

Global Risks 2011 - Sixth Edition

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2011, one of the three important clusters of risks beyond the Economic disparity and global governance failures is the “Water-Food-Energy” nexus. According to which, shortages can lead to social and political instability, geopolitical conflict and irreparable environmental damage. The rapid increase in population will put unsustainable pressures on resources in Pakistan, despite having realtime factual data on the three, the debate that needs to be created on these issues within the media to bring them into public focus is far from ever happening. Yet the level of communication and advocacy strategies required for the emerging crisis out of the inter-relatedness of the nexus will be critical in raising awareness for the value of water, renewable energy technologies and agricultural production practices within the Pakistani society.

As of December 31, 2010, $3.931 billion in FY 2009, 2010 and 2011 fund were obligated to support the assistance strategy; of this amount, $233.8 was obligated for energy, $225.6 for agriculture and a staggering $298.5 for water. And if this were to be translated into the public debate it would mean nothing less than a “void”.

Risk in focus 3: The water-food-energy nexus

For instance, not much content has been created over the past three years on education especially the areas where the AED was operating in, had that been the case, it wouldn’t had taken the USAID OIG this long to make up their minds over suspending the partner’s operation in Pakistan. The livelihood development programme in the upper region of FATA, where the mission had no baseline data to determine the progress of countering the influence of extremism, is yet another example. Consequently, the assistance programme suffered greatly as it lacked a strategic content integrated approach to it, in other words it lacked the knowledge that could have been as a result of an outreach support from within Pakistan that could have put the most relevant challenges in the spotlight.

So as the OIG expects to conduct four performance audits and one financial audit for the remaining FY 2011, programmes such as the Pre-STEP, Firms, the Energy and Efficiency Capacity are in the waiting of being evaluated.

And in spite of such overarching principles and priority programmes; almost everything in Pakistan tends to be politicized so it’s either a conspiracy or a propaganda, the civilians are normally found religiously lost in the debate over the two.

So if the assistance strategy, that as it may seem strengthening the partnership with the Pakistani people is often looked as impediments to the country’s economic growth and social stability. Meanwhile the media falls short of creating any content whatsoever upon pre-identified local priorities just as the embassy tries to realign the indicators required for the ‘AID to measure the impact of it’s projects in the country.

 

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