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Zed Blog Social Media Awards

Zed Blog Social Media Awards identify and celebrate the best in blogging and social media in Zambia:

Meet our Judges| Bwalya Chileya or @MissBwalya as she is known by most is founder of the twitter based chats ‘Insaka’ which can be described as targeted at discussing cultural and societal issues in Zambia. Bwalya is also a freelance writer who has penned articles for Voices of Africa. She is also a blogger.

Meet our Judges| Merushka Govender is a travel blogger, social media strategist and freelance writer. In 2013, she was named one of the top 10 Travel bloggers in South Africa. She has been handpicked by brands like Samsung to test their products, as well as selected for numerous blogger campaigns, including a recent #GoToReunion trip.

Caribbean Court of Justice Mired in Controversy

Barbados Free Press says that few people realise “that the vaunted Caribbean Court of Justice carries no actual power or authority”, partly because compliance with the court's decisions is apparently voluntary. Comparing the institution to a toothless bulldog, the post went on to provide links to reports on several incidents that are allegedly affecting the integrity and performance of the court, including lawsuits from former employees, a legal battle with a daily newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago, and quite damningly, reports of mismanagement and judicial misconduct.

Trinidad & Tobago Minister Passes the Buck with Failed LifeSport Programme

Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister has shut down the controversial Life Sport programme following the results of an audit, which uncovered the ministry's inability to account for millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money. The programme was originally intended to provide disenfranchised youth with options to a life a crime through sport, but ironically, the Minister of National Security alleged that funds from the programme were being paid to criminals. In a satirical post about the issue, Wired868 says:

Persad-Bissessar [the Prime Minister] said the contents of the Auditor General’s report into Life Sport would be forwarded to the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions] and Integrity Commission, which do not have their own investigators, and the Police Service that, based on its record, could not find sand at the beach.

Roberts [the Minister of Sport] followed the Prime Minister’s lead by suggesting that the criminal activity was done by his employees and the buck stops with them, which…is arguably the equivalent of a motorist pleading innocent to a fatal accident because he closed his eyes just before impact.

Colombian Sentenced to Prision and Fined for Comments Online

On a judicial ruling that sets a dangerous precedent in Colombia, the Supreme Court of Justice refused to reconsider an appeal taken on the verdict that orders 18 months of imprisonment and a 9,5 milon pesos fine (about US$5,1000) for netizen Gonzalo López for comments published on El País newspaper website, in the Colombian city of Cali.

On 2008, López called Gloria Lucía Escalante, former officer at a public utilities company, a “rat”.

Newspaper El Espectador wonders if this is not a threat against the freedom of expression and shares opinions by lawyers who consider there is a confunsion between information and opinion.

One and a half years without cassation by Gonzalo López to dismiss verdict for slander.

What abot his right of free expression? Supreme Court condemns Gonzalo Hernán López for telling Gloria Escalante what he thinks. Wrong!

Some netizens have sarcastic opinions that the decision should be for former president Alvaro Uribe:

(Former president Alvaro) Uribe accused (former president Juan Manuel) Santos without producing evidence, he is free. Gonzalo Lopez accuses Gloria Escalante on the internet and he serves 18 months. Equality?

2 Journalists Arrested for Alleged Defamation of a Minister in Madagascar

Two journalists from the daily paper Madagascar Matin were placed under arrest at Antanimora's jail, in the capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo. Earlier this morning (July 23), both of them were summoned to the Brigade of Fiadanana for a hearing.  Solo Rajaonson, another local journalist,  posted the following update in Malagasy on Facebook :

About the latest news regarding freedom of press in Madagascar: our colleagues, the Publication Manager of the newspaper Madagascar Matin, Jean Luc Rahaga and his Editor-In-Chief, Didier Ramanoelina are placed under arrest at the penitentiary of Antanimora in Antananarivo, Madagascar. This is the result of a complaint of defamation from  Rivo Rakotovao, the Minister of Transport and Industry. So much for breaking away from our recent dark past, I guess

 

China’s Soldiers Have Instant Noodles Cooked With Muddy Water. Political Performance? Or Not?

Offbeat China

Offbeat China reported on state-run media, Global Times’ report and self-denial response on a photo feature showing soldiers eating instant noodles cooked in muddy water in Yunnan earthquake zone.

Highway Africa 2014 Extends Deadline for Registration

The deadline for registration for the 18th annual Highway Africa Conference has been extended to Friday, 08 August 2014:

Due to the influx of interest in the 18th annual Highway Africa Conference, the deadline for registration has been extended to Friday, 08 August 2014.

The world’s largest annual gathering of African Journalists takes place at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, from 7 – 8 September 2014.

With the theme, “Social Media – from the margins to the mainstream”, the event will explore how social media have impacted on all aspects of our lives in the last ten years.

Spanish Congress Comission Approves AEDE Tax or Google Tax

The Spanish Congress’ Commission of Culture approved the so called AEDE Tax (for the Spanish name of the Association of Editors of Spanish Newspapers), also known as Google Tax as part of the draft bill of the Law of Intellectual Property.

GurusBlog explains what is this tax about:

A tax by which an inalienable right is created so every journalistic update website automatically generates a collection right on any other website that links to it. An organ like a SGAE (for the Spanish name of General Society of Authors and Publishers) will be in charge of the collection and the distribution among its associates.

On Xataca they note:

Unlike Germany, the media group that is lobbying for this legislation -AEDE- gets the “inalienability” to be added so as to avoid to be self-evident: if Google has to pay a medium for linking from Google News, it would suffice to take it out, and after realizing the sudden loss of traffic, that medium might request to get back without any fee.

After some tweets, some netizens are upset:

Angrier than me with the AEDE tax. Überfav, unfortunately.

This AEDE tax is ridiculous and it goes against the nature of Internet itself! LINKING IS NOT A CRIME!

Other users are promoting not linking to the media:

WordPress plugn to block all URLs than link to AEDE y the Spanish Center of Republishing Rights.

The Hypocrisy of Outrage Against LGBT Rights in Jamaica

An off-colour comment by a Jamaican sports commentator who “dampened the moment of post World Cup celebrations with his shouts of ‘Heil Hitler’ on national television” leads author and blogger Kei Miller to pen a letter to the editor illustrating why his countrymen are living a double standard – outraged by the Hitler reference, most Jamaicans seem to have no problem “liv[ing] comfortably in a period of bigotry” when it comes to LGBT rights.

But wait, some may argue…isn't that like comparing apples and oranges? Perhaps, but Miller argues that the two can be compared:

The point of any comparison is never to make things equal. A thing is only equal to itself. My point really is…that it is interesting a widespread reaction against the historical REMINDER of bigotry, when there are other contemporary expressions of bigotry being tolerated and even celebrated.

Palestinians are Friends with Journalists

Marcelino Torrecilla N. has started a series in Spanish called Stories from Gaza. The first installment by this United Arabe Emirates based Colombian was published on El Tiempo of Bogotá and tells a story of two Gulf News journalists in Abu Dhabi.

Taking pictures in the Gulf is challenging and even when trying to take pictures of women. But Palestinians are used to be photographed. The media are friends of the Palestinians and they know that. as Torrecilla translates:

In Gaza it is very different. With one of the highest concentrations of media in the world, the people of Gaza are used to being photographed. Not only this, but they welcome the eyes of the world. The Palestinians don't have an army to fight with. They have the rocks they throw at Israeli soldiers and they have their tears.

For more stories about the Gaza Strip in Spanish told by an eye witness, follow Marcelino Torrecilla's updates on Twitter.

This post was part of the elventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014.

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