Thursday, April 26, 2012

Penplusbytes’ 4th global online course in ICT journalism begins

The Fourth International Institute for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Journalism (Penplusbytes) innovative global online course is underway with 35 participants drawn from Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. A statement issued in Accra by Mr Jeremiah Sam of Penplusbytes, copied to Ghana News Agency on Monday said the objective of the course was to teach the theory and concept of ICT journalism; the impact of ICT on Journalism and how to increase excellence in journalism using ICT as a tool. The course which began on Friday, April 20, would end on Friday, July 20 and would expose participants to the wider context of ICT assisted journalism including how these technologies are impacting on the world of journalism. Mr Kwami Ahiabenu, the course facilitator stated that, “The course is designed to enable participants harness the power of ICT in producing high quality impactful stories, and how to manage change process in using innovative ICT tools.” He noted that the online global course would provide participants with skills and knowledge within a practical interactive learning environment with the main goal of strengthening capabilities in both multimedia and online news production while increasing understanding of the rapid changing environment in newsroom operations due to opportunities and challenges Information and Communication Technologies revolution brings. “After successfully completing the course, each participant should be able to produce and implement a variety of creative solutions for online news operations.” The online global course which was successfully pioneered in 2006 has so far trained hundreds of journalists in using ICTs to enhance their work. Participants meet online via weekly group discussion, assignment and make use of ICT tools to produce a final project work before the award of a certificate. Penplusbytes is a registered not for profit institution since July 18, 2001 with the vision of driving excellence in ICT journalism. It seeks to empower the media through the use of ICTs to advance the work of journalism. Penplusbytes consists of a network of media organisations and journalists interested in using ICTs effectively to advance the cause of journalism. Source: GNA

Dr. Niyi Alabi is dead, burial on Friday

We were privileged to have Dr. Alabi serve on ICONNECT GHANA editorial board during inaugural editions of this GINKS publication May His Soul rest in perfect peace Kwami Dr. Niyi Alabi is dead, burial on Friday Seasoned journalist and media trainer and consultant, Dr. Niyi Alabi has been reported dead. Family sources say Dr Alabi passed away at 3:20am Thursday at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra where he had been on admission for the past two weeks for an ailment. He will buried tomorrow Friday, in keeping with his Muslim calling. Family sources say the body will be conveyed to the Madina Central Mosque at midday for religious rites before interment at the Madina cemetery. Dr. Alabi, who worked with many international organisations around the world, would have turned 60 in September. Dr. Niyi Alabi has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education (1st Class Honours) from the University of Cape Coast; a Diplôme Supérieur d’Etudes Françaises from the Université d’Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, a Masters in French from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies & Diplôme de 3ème Cycle (Ph.D) both from University of Paris – Sorbonne.He also has a Diploma from the University of Génèva, Switzerland. He has been an Interpreter and Translator for organizations such as UNESCO, Amnesty International, UNDP, NEPAD, ECOWAS, UNIDO, UNECA, UNHCR, etc. has serviced the UNCTAD XII and was the interpreter for former President J.A Kufour during his tenure of office as President of the Republic of Ghana. Before his death, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Polyglot Limited.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A JOURNEY THROUGH 10 COUNTRIES -Online election coverage in Africa

Ben Akoh & Kwami Ahiabenu II

The African Elections Project ( was established with the vision of enhancing the ability of journalists, citizen journalists and the news media to provide more timely and relevant election information and knowledge, while undertaking monitoring of specific and important aspects of elections using social media tools and ICT applications. Elections are the cornerstone of democracy and the media have a key role to play in deepening democracy by providing impartial coverage of elections. In addition to traditional election coverage, online election reporting on the Africa continent has been experiencing growth in recent years. It takes the form of special election websites that incorporate elements of citizen journalism or crowdsourcing and is mostly driven by mobile phones. It is mashed up with blogs, interactive maps and social media tools such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook among others. This article chronicles the African Elections Project's field experiences based on the elections it has covered in 10 countries: Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mauritania, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Togo and Niger, showing the similarities and importance of online election coverage in these countries. The Internet is gradually providing new sets of tools for journalists which could be relevant and applicable for reporting elections. The paper concludes by showing the difficulties journalists encounter in the practice of reporting elections and offers suggestions for future research.

Published in March 2012 in Journalism Practice