Newsletter December 2010

Newsletter December 2010

(Only in Danish)

Jule-kampagne for Games og kollegaerne i Gambia

Af Lars Møller, formand for Games

Games har brug for din hjælp: Giv et medlemskab i julegave!

Et gave-kontingent for resten af året og hele 2011 koster kun 150 kr. – som er resultat af generalforsamlingens beslutning om at halvere kontingentet. Det nye motto er: Hellere mange medlemmer til få penge end halvt så mange til det dobbelte!

Vi har en deadline: Den 15. december søger Freelance Gruppen i dansk Journalistforbund i samarbejde med Games Danidas projektpulje om støtte til et fælles projekt sammen med kollegaerne i Gambia Press Union.

Men for at få støtten skal Games have flere medlemmer. Vi skal være mindst 50, og det er vi ikke helt lige nu. Samtidig har Games næsten ingen penge, for vi har det med at sende pengene ned til de gambiske kollegaer, der har mere brug form end os. Så vi kan bruge både medlemsskabet og kontingenterne, mange bække små…

Projektet, vi lav er sammen med Freelance Gruppen, kan bedst beskrives som freelancernes svar på Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke. Grundideen nemlig den mellemfolkelige, at kollega hjælper kollega – colleague-to-colleague (c2c) hedder projektet.

Det er let at give Games i julegave: Sæt beløbet ind i Merkur Andelskasse, reg.nr. 8401, kontonr. 1071580. Skriv modtagerens navn og e-mail i feltet “Meddelelser til modtager”, så får modtageren et takkebrev (efter jul J), mere information og nyhedsbreve.

PS. Send jule-kampagnen videre: Klik her for at få en tekst, der passer til dine andre (dansk-sprogede) netværk:

High on reporting – low on electricity

Volunteer trainer Irmelin Mei Viegas reports from a training mission to The Gambia

Undervisning

The last week of October I was teaching on-the-spot reporting in The Gambia. The students were overall happy with the week and they all said they learned a lot. As expected some of them complained about the lack of electricity. In this week there were more days without than with electricity, and only the last day there was an opportunity for the students to use the computers in relation to the journalistic work. Everything else was made in handwriting.

We were on a field trip and it was a great success. Everybody found the case persons they had planned to interview and they made a lot of focused observations. After making the observations and interviews they all came to me to tell what they found, and to my surprise only a few needed to go back to the source for more information. They also all managed to get photos of persons and environment. The students were surprised too. I think we should make field trips like this as often as possible.

The next day we worked on the village article. Everybody worked very concentrated and most of them had an article to hand in at the end of the day. I was coaching and instructing under the process. Again, it is frustrating to have a room full of computers you can’t use, and it can be quit hard to read and feedback handwritten articles.

The last day was mainly used for rewrite – the power was on! And I urged the students to finish the in-between assignment as soon as possible instead of waiting till just before the deadline. I received the first assignments tree days before deadline and almost everybody made the deadline!

The evaluation of the week was very friendly and positive, and it is my impression that especially the girls were happy to have a woman as teacher and role model.

A lot of the students were almost high on using reporting – but it IS the most fun part of journalism!

Billeder kan godt tages uden kamera

Irmelin Mei Viegas tog til Gambia for at undervise unge kollegaer i reportage. Til daglig er hun journalist på Dansk Handelsblad.

Middagsheden sitrer i skolegården på Brufut grundskole. En gruppe kvinder taler dæmpet sammen i skyggen. De står klar til frokostpausen, hvor alle børnene skal have skolemad. Pludselig kommer en stor flok ældgamle og forkrøblede mennesker ind i skolegården. De er laset klædt og flere af dem bruger stok eller krykker.

Er det mon beboerne på fattiggården, som kommer for at få et gratis måltid, når jeg at tænke.

– Det er sorte amerikanere, siger Alota.

Han sidder mageligt henslængt ved siden af mig i skyggen af et kæmpestort mangotræ.

Og nu kan jeg også se det. Det er en gruppe turister, som med en guide i spidsen er ude for at besøge en gambisk skole. Måske er de på jagt efter deres vestafrikanske rødder. Men hvor ser de gamle, slidte og skrøbelige ud. Helt anderledes end de gamle gambianere, som trods mangel på tænder og dårligt syn har en rank og værdig holdning. Det er tankevækkende, at turister fra et af verdens rigeste lande ser så elendig ud i forhold til deres jævnaldrende i et af verdens fattigste lande. Og det kan jo ikke en gang være fattige sorte amerikanere. De ville ikke have råd til at rejse til Afrika.

– Det må være kosten, lyder det tørt fra Alota.

Men hvad har amerikanske turister overhovedet med Games at gøre? Ikke noget som helst, men jeg sidder og keder mig lidt i landsbyen Brufut, mens jeg venter på de gambiske journalister, som jeg er hernede for at undervise. På dette modul handler det om reportage og interview, og journalisterne har fordelt sig rundt i landsbyen, hvor de samler observationer og finder kilder til artikler om malaria. Alota, som er leder af GPU’s kontor og jeg, har fundet en skyggefuld plet her i skolegården, og nu venter vi på, at alle skal komme tilbage med gode historier. Så kan jeg jo lige så godt skrive mit eget lille øjebliksbillede.

Reportage er efter min mening det journalistiske værktøj, som er sjovest at bruge. Med det kan man tegne billeder i læserens eller lytterens fantasi og give sin historie liv.

De gambiske journalister er da også begejstrede og har kastet ud i at bruge deres sanser. Her i Brufut, som ligger en halv til en hel times kørsel fra GPU’s kontor, alt efter om man tager den dårlige eller den endnu dårligere vej, skal de alle have observationer af miljø og personer på blokken. Reportageturen bliver en stor succes og et vigtigt lærestykke i, hvor meget der er at hente ved at tage ud og interviewe almindelige mennesker og bruge sine observationer til at fortælle deres historier.

Da ugen er omme siger en af journalisterne:
– Der er jo desværre ikke så mange billeder i vores aviser, men nu kan vi bare selv skrive dem.

Det er dejligt at kunne lære de gambiske kolleger noget – men jeg håber ikke, at de tager ved lære af den vestlige livsstil. Jeg håber, at de også fremover vil kunne ældes med ynde.

Kollega hjælper kollega – colleague-to-colleague (c2c)

GPU, Games og Freelance Gruppen sætter de sidste søm i c2c-projektet i december.
Af Pernille Nørregaard

Om alt går vel kan Freelance Gruppen i Dansk Journalistforbund allerede fra næste forår sende de første danske journalister, fotografer, kommunikationsfolk og andre freelancere til Gambia som frivillige i en til to uger af gangen.
Vi arbejder på flere former for colleague-2-colleague-missioner, der kan bruges til forskellige grupper. Helt kort er de:
1.    Produktionsworkshop for unge journalister, hvor en større gruppe på en uge producerer et avisindstik eller en hjemmeside. Fokus på grundlæggende journalistik til de nye i faget.
2.    Produktionsworkshop for erfarne journalister, hvor en større gruppe på en uge producerer et avisindstik eller en hjemmeside. Fokus på grundlæggende journalistik til de mere erfarne i faget.
3.    Co-produktion og coaching af mediehuse. Den danske kollega arbejder med hele avisredaktionen eller radiostationen som kollega og coach i 1-2 uger og styrker på den måde både de grundlæggende journalistiske færdigheder og samarbejdet på redaktionen.
4.    Klubudvikling. En intensiv uge, hvor en dansk kollega træner 3-4 gambiske kolleger med samme stofområde. Ugen afsluttes med en workshop for resten af klubben, hvor det lærte gives videre.

Lars Møller er netop nu i Gambia for – ved siden af undervisningen – at gå projektet igennem en sidste gang sammen med gambiske partnere.

GPU ønsker, at projektet løber over to år i stedet for halvandet for ikke at sætte for stort pres på medierne, der skal undvære journalister i træningsperioden.

I begyndelsen af projektet laver vi en vurdering med de udvalgte klubber (bl.a. Women Journalists og Human Rights Journalists), så de får præcis den træning, de har brug for – uanset om det er i form af klubudvikling eller en produktionsworkshop eller en kombination af begge dele.

Gambian journalist found a safe haven in Copenhagen

Seedy Bojang is since September a guest of Frederiksberg Municipality in greater Copenhagen.  As a City of Refuge within ICORN, Frederiksberg welcomed him as the city’s first Guest Writer.

Seedy Bojang was once time editor of The Independent, before it was closed down by the government. As such he has been active in reporting on restraints to freedom of expression, and threats and harassment of journalist and writers in The Gambia.

Before Seedy Bojang came to Denmark he earned his living as proofreader at the government controlled newspaper, The Daily Observer.

Tip of the Iceberg

Being a journalist and an author he has published both fictions and non-fictions. His novel from 2009, Tip of the Iceberg, exposes corruption and criminality among civil servants and the affluent in The Gambia.

Among his published works are Shadows From My Past (2010), Bumpy Journey (2008), set among young African men looking to Europe for opportunities, The Changing World (2006), on social issues in The Gambia, and Devil’s Lover (2007), a novel. He has also published The ABC of Journalism (2007), a handbook for journalists.

Nowadays, when not studying to learn the Danish language, Seedy Bojang is writing on a new novel, as well as articles for a local Danish paper in Frederiksberg, called Lokalavisen.

Seedy Bojang would be happy to be in touch with Games’ members. So if you want to meet him? Write to smdbojang@hotmail.com.

Do you want to meet him? Write to Seedy Bojang at smdbojang@hotmail.com

Strengthen the board and get a strategy!

The members have spoken: Let the activists do the activities and leave the strategic decisions to the board

The message from Games’ general assembly was clear. Games needs a distinction between the roles of board and the very active project committee, which is run by the trainers in the ongoing training project.

In the future the board has to meet on a regular basis to examine Games’ activities and draw the overall lines of the future work.

This was the major decision on Games’ general assembly September 23 in Århus.

The project stole the focus

The background was Games’ overwhelming focus on the ongoing “Media for development – development for media” project. For the past 1½ years the project’s steering committee has met regularly to plan and implement the training and capacity building. And because three of five board members also were active trainers and members of the project committee, the committee often discussed board matters, such as new projects, cooperation with other organizations, newsletter – on the expense of the board meetings and even of the general assembly which actually should have met long ago.
This is not OK, everybody agreed.

New strategy

In the future the board should meet 2-4 times a year – and it must take board decisions outlining which way the organization should be run and in which direction.

The discussions already set a direction: Games should not grow into a bigger media development organization in terms of building a hierarchy organization running several projects. Games should focus on one project at a time and rather grow and engage in new projects by budding, i.e. by entering alliances with other partners who in cooperation with Games can implement and run the activities they want to engage in.

Strategy discussion

The new board decided to prepare a strategy discussion for next board meeting – and involve our partners and advisers in the preparatory work. The board pin-pointed a number of issues which should be addressed among other important issues:

  • Growth strategy for Games (growth by budding  – knopskydning in Danish)
  • Priority and development of advocacy, media development, capacity building GPU
  • Assessment of various ongoing and coming projects in the Gambia – what works? How do we work?
  • Assessment of Games – where are our strength, competences and weaknesses
  • Defining the scope of work for Games, e.g. supporting
    • print media development
    • radio development
    • TV development
    • development of the media infrastructure
    • development of new media such a joint media SMS news service or a joint cellular radio with free phone-to-listen-radio-programs, joint internet-services for media…
    • development of innovative new media
    • freedom of expression, freedom of information
    • safety
    • safe communication
    • connection and cooperation between media and civil society
    • civil society’s communication and popular enlightening and civic education
    • structured dialogue with the government
      • development of a journalism school at the university
      • development of a progressive legal framework for the media (together with Article 19 and UNESCO)
      • an effective government communication/freedom of information
      • GRTS
  • How Games in positioned in the world of media NGOs and donor-organisations
  • Who are Games’ possible partners in the Gambia apart from GPU and its affiliates – from TANGO to the Public Relation Officers
  • Games’ partners and possible line of work in West Africa and the rest of the world
  • Development of methods in media projects and development (such as Analysis School, access to sources in The Gambia)
  • Information strategy, web-strategy, newsletter, advocacy-strategy
  • Membership and service delivery to our members
  • Economy and organisation

Only one fee for Games
The general assembly decided to have only 1 level of fees for Games, 150 kroner per year. Earlier Games had a fee for students and retired of 150 kroner and a fee for others of 300 kroner.

The new board will decide how and when the fee will be collected in the future.

The new board

Games chairman and the then vice-chairman was re-elected for 1 year. Three new board members were elected for two years. In additions the board is strengthened by an adviser.

The new board itself with chairman, vice-chair and treasurer. New vice-chair is Jesper Helgaard, new treasurer is Chuka Ringgaard, while Lars Moller continues as chairman.
The three new board members are:

  • Pernille Nørregaard, journalist, author and member of the Freelance Group of the Danish Union of Journalists. She replaces Irmelin Viegas who continues as a member of the Project Committee.
  • Jesper Helgaard, reporter with focus on the developing world and great experiences with reporting on and communicating for Danida and various development organizations. He replaces Elise Utke Schiøler.
  • Chuka Ringgaard, accountant, was elected as treasurer for Games. Chuka has worked as accountant for a Danida financed printing house in Mongolia. She replaces Kirsten Jensen.

Re-elected for 1 year was Games chairman and vice-chairman, Lars Møller and Peter Kramhøft, both reporters with extensive project experience.
As first alternate for 2 years Elise Utke Schiøler was elected. For second alternate for 1 year Troels Nørlem was elected.

Kirsten Jensen continues as alternate for the general assembly’s elected auditor (Kristian Meldgaard, chairman of the Freelance Group of the Danish Union of Journalists).

Troels Nørlem collects second hand equipment

He challenges GPU to make him a shopping list: How much do the media need?

Photo journalist Troels Nørlem has volunteered to organize a collection of 2nd hand computers and other equipment for GPU and the media in the Gambia. And he needs help to organize a large scale collection of a container full of equipment.
Hi asks Danish colleagues to be part of a volunteer task force targeting the big companies when the changing computers.

And he asks GPU to make him a shopping list: What do the media and the reporters want of second hand equipment? Specifications? Quality? Amount?

Troels Nørlem is second alternate for the board of Games, but more important he is also a goodwill ambassador of the Gambian photo journalists association.