Tuesday 18 June 2013, 16:30
Esfandiar Adena, BBC Media Action's Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, on the online conflict between pro-government and opposition voices ahead of Tajikistan's presidential elections.
Tuesday 18 June 2013, 16:30
Esfandiar Adena is the BBC Media Action Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) for spring 2013. He is currently working on a research project at RISJ in Oxford on social media and governance in Tajikistan.
The closer we get to the November presidential elections in Tajikistan, the more hostile the polemic is becoming between government and opposition. And it's the country's social media platforms that have become the battlefield for the most savage skirmishes.
Slander and name-calling between heavy-handed critics of President Emomali Rahmon and furious pro-government cyber activists is common on the Tajik pages of Facebook.
But the online clashes have intensified recently in reaction to a video leaked to K+ TV, a popular TV channel in Central Asia.
Filmed during the wedding party of President Rahmon's son in 2009, the video shows the president apparently drunk, singing and dancing.The Rahmon wedding video on YouTube. At one point in the video, after the head of the state-owned radio and TV committee whispers something in his ear, the president looks at his watch and motions for guests to leave only to suddenly stop them moments...
Friday 14 June 2013, 14:28
Joseph Warangu is the presenter of Kenya’s TV and radio debate show Sema Kenya (Kenya Speaks) which returns for its second series this weekend. Broadcast in partnership with BBC Swahili and the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, the series’ first debate focuses on the topic of insecurity and comes from Mwingi in the east of the country. Half the audience will be from Garissa, where the Dadaab refugee camp, which has recently been subject to attacks, is located. As in the first series of Sema Kenya, Kenyans from all over the country will be able to join the debate online and via social media.
I'm a fan of boxing, but have never personally knocked out anyone. On the contrary, I sometimes knock myself out with too much porridge!
One of the boxers I used to watch a lot while living in London was the former British world champion Chris Eubank. He used to put on quite a show on and off the ring. His eccentric style of dressing stretched from riding boots, bowler hat to a monocle.
This, combined with a typical boxer’s arrogant attitude, meant you either loved him or loathed him. His Tina Turner entrance song in the ring said it all: Simply The Best.
Every good boxer...
Friday 14 June 2013, 11:25
It might not have made the international headlines. It didn't even feature famous names such as Aung San Suu Kyi. But a national TV and radio debate in Burma last week broke new ground in a country that is experiencing dizzying changes on an almost daily basis.
At the World Economic Forum for East Asia, the BBC debate brought together members of the government, the leading opposition party (NLD) and Mizzima, a formerly exiled media group, to answer questions about whether the country’s economic growth would really trickle down and improve the lives of all, rather than just the elite.
The debate, moderated by Soe Win Than of the BBC Burmese Service, took place in a gleaming conference centre in Naypyidaw, the country's vast, empty capital built five hours north of the country's most populous city, Rangoon.
But the voice of ordinary Burmese men and women was heard loud and clear through vox-pops recorded by the production team of BBC Media Action’s youth radio programme, Lin Lat Kyair Sin (Bright Young Stars).
"If we work, then we eat"
The vox-pops featured people like a motor-cycle taxi driver in Rangoon who said that Burma's much celebrated economic transformation has had...
Friday 14 June 2013, 10:17
The authors of a just published review of the evidence around the role of media in conflict have done us all a real service. 70% of our work takes place in fragile or conflict-affected states, and increasingly we're working with media to reduce the risk of conflict. This kind of systematic review by two authors who have spent years studying and working in this field is really valuable.
BBC Media Action aspires to be an evidence-based organisation and we place a major priority on research which can both ensure our media support is as effective as it can be, and enable us to measure the impact...
Tuesday 11 June 2013, 12:51
Since August last year, I and my team in Juba have been producing Our Tukul, a weekly radio programme that aims to improve the lives of mothers and children in South Sudan by tackling misinformation and misconceptions about maternal and child health.
And one thing's been clear from the off: to really improve people's lives, we need to both educate and entertain our audience.
In one of our editorial meetings, therefore, we came up with the idea of commissioning some songs to break up the information-heavy segments in the programme. We began compiling a list of South Sudan's top...
Monday 10 June 2013, 10:18
My name is Eze. Eze Eze Ogali. I’m the head of productions for BBC Media Action in Nigeria and if you ever meet me, one of the first things you'll notice is that I like to have my hair close shaven. Not because I'm growing bald – or maybe I am! – but because I don’t have any time to comb my hair every morning. Maybe I should wear dreadlocks again like I did way back in university. But I know my wife and three young daughters wouldn’t like that! So my only option is to visit my barber, Big ID, every week.
Big ID! I don't know why he's called that. He’s not physically big. But perhaps...
Wednesday 5 June 2013, 09:54
"Eradicating poverty" is the headline recommendation of a report published last week outlining a new development agenda for the 21st Century. If the panel's recommendations are accepted, another issue will have found its way into the heart of the international development agenda for the first time: a commitment to support free and independent media and access to information.
The Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons Report on the post-2015 development agenda titled A New Global Partnership proposes an "indicative" set of 12 new universal goals, the first of which is to end extreme...
Thursday 30 May 2013, 14:50
This week I presented four BBC Media Action public service advertisements (PSAs) at Women Deliver in Kuala Lumpur.
The conference is focused on investing in women and girls and in the Cinema Corner, a mini festival of sorts, it’s showcasing films from around the world that explore issues around gender, and sexual and reproductive health.
At BBC Media Action in India we have been working in health communication for 13 years. We've created communication campaigns about condom use, sexually transmitted infections, blood safety and tuberculosis, and now we're working on family health including...
Wednesday 29 May 2013, 16:39
Right from the start, this episode was different. This episode was dear to our hearts.
Because in this episode of the Palestine Territories' TV debate show Hur el Kalam (Free To Speak), people with disabilities were going to get the chance to get their voice heard.
The atmosphere was electric in the Al-Zahra hall in Ramallah as it began to fill up with the audience, who included wheelchair users, people with visual impairments, representatives from Palestine's Association of the Deaf and family members of people with a disability.
On the stage were the panellists, the Minister of Social...
Wednesday 22 May 2013, 15:29
A still from BBC Media Action's TV public service announcement about cyclone preparedness.
Dhaka, Sunday 12 May 2013, 8am (Bangladesh Standard Time)
Amongst the usual ebb and flow of general strikes and political protests, news of an approaching cyclone reaches BBC Media Action’s office in Bangladesh. Details are sketchy and conflicting – a direct hit within a couple of days or a blow in a week or more. No-one’s really sure.
One thing is for certain though: Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world when it comes to cyclones. The last big one to batter the...