December 12, 2003A parting shot. Civil Society wound up summit proceedings with a strongly worded statement condemning both the Swiss authorities and the summit organisers - a statement that caused Kofi Annan's special advisor, Nitin Desai, to erupt in fury when it was put to him by Daily Summit at WSIS's closing press conference.
Civil society activists, however, ducked questions over whether they would boycott the second part of the summit in Tunis, if Tunisia did not improve its human rights record. An indication, we suspect, of deep divisions within the lobby. More
The Academy Award goes to... anyone but the US media. Coverage of the Iraq war, and embedded reporters in particular, came under the spotlight at a workshop hosted by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. More
December 11, 2003In the line of fire. Al Jazeera moderator Dr Faisal al-Kasim defended the station's decision to broadcast footage encouraging Muslims to rise up and attack Westerners, saying, "we are in the business of scoops, especially in times of war". More
Flying Bertie. Irish premier Bertie Ahern jetted in for a flying visit to address the plenary this morning - one of a few heads of state bothering to do so.
The Taoiseach squeezed the speech into a jam-packed day of engagements, which saw him flying out to Brussels less than two hours after he touched down in Geneva. More
Shashi Shocked. Kofi Annan's man for Communications and Public Information, Shashi Tharoor, got a bolt from the blue on Wednesday from Professor Annabelle Sreberny, visiting professor at SOAS, University of London.
She interrupted Shashi just as he was winding up a session called View from the Bridge and pointed out that none of the grandees on the bridge or the several voices called from the floor was female. More
December 10, 2003Modern day missionaries? The Irish and Swedes teamed up today to launch the UN's ICT Task Force's Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative. The initiative will be piloted in Bolivia, Ghana, Namibia and India between now and Tunis 2005, but run from Dublin.
"We've always been seen as missionaries with a love of education and knowledge and a willingness to bring it around the world," said Brendan Tuohy, Secretary General of Ireland's Ministry of Communication. The internet fuels child sex tourism but can also combat it, according to international children's organisation Terre des Homme.
"A pornographer can go to Thailand and film pornographic actions, go to a cyber cafe and send the digital images to his own e-mail address," said activist Christa Dammerman. "Then when he goes through customs he has no pornographic pictures on him. Travellers are doing this more and more with mobiles and laptops." More
Claire Regan @ 01:08 PM | Comment (0)
December 09, 2003Not just a UN face. Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information for the UN, joined Daily Summit fresh from his platform session accompanying his boss Kofi Annan.
Over a shared tin of mints he offered his reflections on media and violence - a main topic today (Dec 9) for the World Electronic Media Forum (WEMF). More
Claire Regan @ 08:32 PM | Comment (0)Right to dignity? Images of the rotting carcasses of murdered Africans left lying in the street were shown at the World Violence World Media panel discussion today.
"The pictures of these bodies were shown without restraint," said Professor Serge Theophile Balima of the University of Burkino Faso. "If they were American, there would have been a code of practice preventing that but not when you are dealing with the corpses of Africans." More
Claire Regan @ 07:59 PM | Comment (1)Looking for the good in bad news. Does reporting negative news reflect the world we live in or is it simply lazy journalism?
That was the weighty question debated at the Images and Voices of Hope workshop. Guest speaker, Jacqueline Berg, a freelance journalist from the Netherlands, accused journalists of reinforcing prejudies and fuelling fear - with the public becoming desensitised to human suffering as a result... More
Claire Regan @ 07:48 PM | Comment (3)
December 05, 2003Child power on the internet. The internet has the potential to be used as a powerful tool for the development and safety of our children, a leading campaigner has said. Logging on is often portrayed as a dangerous activity for children with exposure to paedophile groomers and pop-up pornography among the real risks.
But Northern Ireland Children's Commissioner Nigel Williams believes the internet is a largely untapped resource through which youngsters can learn and express themselves in a way like no other. And in some cases it could even save their lives, he said. More
December 01, 2003Can the 'Can-Spam' Act work? The New York Times casts doubt on the effectiveness of the US's recently up-dated 'Can-Spam' Act, although bill sponsor, New York Senator Charles Schumer promises that the bill will mean that "if you're a spammer, you could wind up in the slammer." The senator also calls for an international approach, with spammers pursued with the same vigour as drug dealers or money launderers
Meanwhile, the Australian Government's Spam Bill is expected to face a set-back tonight, before being passed later this week.
Claire Regan @ 03:03 PM | | TrackBack (0)
November 29, 2003What Digital Divide? Business Week questions the notion of a digital divide, in an article that suggests that the internet is no longer being socially divisive.
Business Week quotes Donald Hicks, professor of political economy and public policy at the University of Texas, who argues that "the market seems to be taking care of digital divides."
Many of those not online in the US, at least, are avoiding the web because they don't want to use it, with researchers identifying a group of 'net evaders,' who reject the internet as a point of pride.
Claire Regan @ 10:03 AM | | TrackBack (0)
November 27, 2003Up-coming events The programme for the Civil Society Side Events, produced by the Swiss Platform of Civil Society in cooperation with various groups in Civil society is available online at www.communicationrights.org . It has been billed as the ultimate guide to the three days of the summit for those who want to grapple with the real issues of the "Information Society", with preview of the events on all the relevant websites. It provides info for those interested in the alternative events of the summit, inclusive of the WE Seize! events outside the official walls of the summit.
Claire Regan @ 10:09 AM | | TrackBack (0)