Harry Dugmore

by Harry Dugmore

Giving African newsrooms, particularly community media and non-profit organizations, the ability to leapfrog into the mobile era is at the core project of Iindaba Ziyafika’s work in South Africa. As Anne-Ryan Heatwole reported last year on this site, our Knight-funded NIKA Content Management System, which was designed and coded in South Africa using Drupal as its […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

People in Grahamstown, a small town in South Africa, now know about 300 things we would never have known if it were not for citizen journalists. Some of what we know comes via big breaking news stories, while other information comes from small blog-like posts. Some of the stories are moving and some have clearly […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

In developing countries, and particularly in Africa, radio can be the key media channel in the local public sphere — that is, of course, in public spheres are allowed to be local and public! Iindaba Ziyafika, our Knight News Challenge project in South Africa, has focused a great deal on training citizen journalists for print […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

I recently attended the Walkley Media Conference in Sydney, Australia. It is run by the Walkley Foundation, a very interesting outfit that I’m learning more and more about. The Foundation aims to encourage professional and ethical journalism in Australia, and they run the country’s main media awards. They also publish the the Walkley Magazine every […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

There are no magic wands in the digital transition. Everything has to be built slowly and surely, as with legacy media. And failure is as likely, maybe even more likely, than in the analog world. But you have to keep trying because cell phones, the first true mass digital channel in Africa, are getting faster […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

Ever heard of load shedding? It’s one of the cleverest bits of Orwellian double speak the south African government (or in this case the government-owned electricity company ESKOM) has ever cooked up. It means, in plain English, power cuts — as in cutting off electricity to whole areas. Not because there is any extra “load” […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

We’ve been going through the recent Knight Commission report, Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age, and finding a lot of insights useful to our Iindaba Ziyafika project here in South Africa. Although focused on the U.S., the ideas explored under the commission’s three core topics: “Maximizing the Availability of Relevant and Credible Information,” […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

Communities need information, particularly information about what government is doing, and how people can access government services. In South Africa, this information doesn’t flow so much as trickle — and often a paper-based trickle at that! The fact that communication between government and us citizens is so poor is arguably part of the reason why […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

If you want to see citizen journalism in action — not to mention provoking action — take a look at this collection of stories by citizen journalists who have completed a six-week course in the Grocott’s Mail Citizen Journalism Newsroom. That page features 12 stories about a critical but little-covered topic that goes to the […] more »

by Harry Dugmore

Low literacy environments, and multi-lingual areas, like Grahamstown, South Africa, face particular challenges when it comes to encouraging citizen journalism. More than 80 percent of the population speaks English as a second language. While most people are able to speak and understand English, writing is not always a comfortable experience (and some are unable to […] more »