The Guardian “tracks” a rural development project in Uganda

“I wonder if it will ever happen again,” pondered Madeleine Bunting, editorial director of the Guardian’s Katine project – a three-year link up between two NGOs – the African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) and Farm-Africa – and the media organisation in north-east Uganda. The NGOs are implementing the work in the rural sub-county, while the Guardian reports on progress on its dedicated website and encourages donations from readers, which are being matchfunded by Barclays.

So would it? Possibly not at the Guardian – at least not in the same way – but perhaps in a different form, elsewhere. But whatever people think of the Katine project, it has demonstrated how new media can be used to campaign and fundraise, writes Glenda Cooper in her 5 Feb blog.

Since late 2007 the Guardian is tracking Amref’s three-year development project to improve the lives of the 25,000 people in Katine sub-county in Uganda. They are explaining where donations go, how aid works, and how lives are changed.

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Theatre has more impact than journalism

The difference between theatre and journalism featured three times in my readings in the last couple of weeks. Two Dutch journalists wrote in de Volkskrant that theatre has more impact than journalism. And I dug up a story from my first Source Bulletin I wrote in 1998 on the use of theatre for water conservation in Palestine. I wrote this blog from neighboring Egypt where I helped facilitate a workshop on water and land with 21 journalists from seven Arab countries.

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The media and influence of lobbying

Last week I blogged about the role of the media  in the Mumbai terror and Venice flood, as reported by De Volksrant. This time the role of De Volkskrant itself is being questioned, interestingly by one of its columnists: Frank Kalshoven. Every Saturday he writes an interesting political economy column on the Economy page entitled “Het spel en de knikkers”, literally meaning ‘the game and the marbles’. Kalshoven argues that the impact of the financial crisis on the Dutch economy and incomes is less dramatic than De Volkskrant is presenting. He also accuses De Volkskrant of falling for the lobby and self-interests of the building world.

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Earth 3.0: Energy vs Water

Energy versus Water is flagged on the first cover of Earth 3.0, a new magazine published in America by the Scientific American in September 2008.

Catch-22: Water vs. Energy is the title of an interesting article by Michael E. Webber on fierce competition for water between Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Water is needed to generate energy. Energy is needed to deliver water. Both resources are limiting the other—and both may be running short. Is there a way out?

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The role of media in Mumbai terror and Venice flood

The role of the media featured in two stories next to each other on the foreign page of De Volkskrant last Friday. The media and all anti terrorism experts are part of the terrorism problem, according to UK terrorism expert Paul Cornish in an interview on the Mumbai terrorist’s attacks.

“Can you please write that we are not drowning here?”, asked a hotel manager in Venice from the Volkskrant correspondent. “The whole world thinks that Venice is flooded for days, as the media only report that the city is flooded. They don’t mention that this only lasted a few hours, by the evening the water had receded.”

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