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OMS 2012 – Six weeks of open learning

The Open Media Summit 2012 (OMS) has concluded its six-week run, involving bloggers, journalists and Internet activists from across North Africa and the Middle East in discussions on a range of citizen journalism topics. Live video conferencing events in English and Arabic, featuring various experts, acted as focal points for this open online course.

(Click here to watch the videos of our live sessions.)

Don’t forget to bookmark this website – which, with its numerous links, resources and videos of the recorded sessions, can act as a handy guide and permanent reference.

Date

2012/12/14

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Wrapping up: Q&A with Holger Hank

In the sixth and final session of the Open Media Summit 2012, host Dima Tarhini spoke with DW Akademie’s Abbas Al-Khashali and Holger Hank, head of DW Akademie Digital. Following are a few excerpts from the live event.

Dima Tarhini: Six weeks ago we talked about this project in the first live session. How did it go from your point of view?

Holger Hank: We very excited about the fact that more than 500 people signed up and joined the OMS Facebook groups. That’s a lot more than we could have expected, given that this is pilot project for the DW Akademie. It shows that there is great interest learning how to publish and work in Internet media.

Date

2012/12/13

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Keeping Internet free depends on users, experts say

Guests Grégoire Pouget and Moez Chakchouk discussed in detail how to keep the Internet free, including concrete strategies for staying online in repressive regimes as well as the legal and political situation, during the fourth OMS 2012 live session, “Staying online: Coping with censorship and online interference.”

(A video of the session may be viewed here.)

Pouget, who works in the new media office of Reporters Without Borders, provided some background on the issue including the fact that one-third of people going on the Internet are unable to use it freely.

Pouget broke down the threats to users as falling into two broad categories: cyber-attacks and site blocking. The best strategy for dealing with cyber-attacks is to choose a robust content management system, such as WordPress or Drupal, as well as hosting that can resist distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks.

Date

2012/12/08

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Censorship session a success

In the fifth OMS live event, experts Grégoire Pouget and Moez Chakchouk shared copious information about how to circumvent censorship and avoid online interference. This included references to specific tools, including freeware such as Tor, as well as innovative work-arounds like using online translators to access blocked sites. Also discussed were challenges, from the government side as well as the need to educate and make civil society aware of what needs to be done to keep the Web free.

You may watch a video of the event will be posted here, or read this summary of the event.

Date

2012/12/06

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In focus: using Tor to stay anonymous

Tor is a freeware tool that allows people to improve their privacy and security online. It routes data over several links, distributing the traffic and making it hard to track. Tor is especially useful in protecting yourself from potential persecution if you are a citizen journalist in a country with a repressive government.

Global Voices has published an Arabic guide in PDF format for anonymous blogging using Tor, while Compute Cycle has this video explaining in more detail how Tor works.

Find out more about Tor, and learn of other ways of being online safely, in the OMS session this Thursday. “Staying online: Coping with censorship and online interference” will feature two guest experts. Check back here for the link to join in the session, which will take place Thursday, Dec. 6, at 17:00 CET.

Date

2012/12/05

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Censorship in focus

This week’s live session will tackle the topic of censorship and online interference, providing hands-on tactics for what to do when websites are blocked and Internet users become targets of persecution. Relevant international initiatives will be highlighted, while light will also be shed on ongoing Internet regulation in the countries of the Maghreb.

The session is co-organized by Reporters Without Borders, which has recently launched a new initiative, We Fight Censorship. The topic is especially current in light of discussions on censorship and net neutrality at the World Conference on International Telecommunications, taking place in Dubai through Dec. 14.

Experts for the live session on censorship are Moez Chakchouk, chairman of the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI), and Grégoire Pouget of Reporters Without Borders’ new media office.

Don’t miss the live video discussion this Thursday, Dec. 5, at 17:00 CET! Check back here for more information.

Date

2012/12/03

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Know your sources: special session

A video of the make-up session for the third live event, “Know your sources: Dealing responsibly with the Web’s wealth of information” is now available. Join us this afternoon for a live chat on the topic, which will take place via the Arabic Facebook group page today - Monday, Dec. 3, at 15:00 CET.

We look forward to your participation in this event, which will provide a forum for interesting exchange on the topic of journalistic sources!

Date

2012/11/30

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Data journalism detailed in fourth session

Data journalist Nils Mulvad provided a thorough overview of data-driven journalism during the fourth session of the Open Media Summit 2012 (OMS). Moderated by DW television journalist Dima Tarhini, the OMS session “Data-driven journalism: Discovering new ways to gather and present information” included the participation of 21 students who viewed the live event at a media institute in Sana’a, Yemen.

In describing the what, why and how of data journalism, Mulvad highlighted its investigative aspect, explaining that the goal is to turn data from various sources into stories. “The data journalist’s role is to tell the story behind the data,” Mulvad said.

A spreadsheet is the most basic tool a data journalist needs to get started, Mulvad said, continuing that the journalist must then compile data into the table. Although data can often be obtained from government sources, also local or international organizations and associations can be good data sources, he added.

Date

2012/11/30

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This week: Driven by data

The Internet presents an unprecedented wealth of information. But how to harness this data?

Data center by Sean Ellis

This week, we are addressing the important topic Data-driven journalism: Discovering new ways to gather and present information. We’ll look at options on how to gather, analyze and present data for journalistic purposes.

Journalists use statistics on a nearly daily basis, but visualizing data is a different story. With a boom in tools and apps to generate infographics and more, this could be changing. One such tool is Datawrapper, developed by Deutsche Welle new media staffer Mirko Lorenz. “We didn’t just want to make showy charts, it’s really about the right diagram for the data at hand,” Lorenz said in an interview with DW Akademie.

The live session on data-driven journalism will take place over the Internet on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 17:00 CET. DDJ expert Nils Mulvad, associate professor at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, will join us.

With regard to last week’s scheduled event, Know your sources: Dealing responsibly with the Web’s wealth of information, the OMS team wanted to let everyone know that it was able to record a make-up session with Noha Atef, which will be posted here this coming Monday.

Date

2012/11/27

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Datawrapper: Making data-driven journalism fast and easy

Journalists use statistics on a nearly daily basis, but visualizing data is a different story. With a boom in tools and apps to generate infographics and more, this could be changing. One such tool is Datawrapper, developed by Deutsche Welle new media staffer Mirko Lorenz. “It’s a tool for getting started with data-driven journalism,” Lorenz said. He came up with the idea, and developed it with two programmers. “We didn’t just want to make showy charts, it’s really about the right diagram for the data at hand,” Lorenz said.

Editing desks around the world have been experimenting with the tool, including the Guardian data blog, Le Monde, a Dortmund regional newspaper – and of course, the Deutsche Welle. Datawrapper is open-source, and can be freely downloaded – it’s available in English, German and French.

In an interview, Lorenz clarified what he thinks “right” portrayal of data is all about, and explained the advantages of Datawrapper.

Date

2012/11/27

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