Stories from Quick Reads and Media & Journalism
Below is an edited version of “The Translation Detail Everyone Missed in the China Internet's Incredibly Surreal Anthem“ by Jason Li, originally published on the blog 88 Bar and republished here as part of a content-sharing agreement.
In case you missed it, the New York Times, ProPublica, the Guardian and the Atlantic all wrote about this incredibly surreal but voted best of event anthem celebrating China’s glorious Internet. Thanks to ProPublica, we have a subtitled YouTube video above.
As James Fallows at the Atlantic pointed out, one of the most stirring phrases in the song that is repeated eight times during the chorus is 网络强国. The New York Times and ProPublica both translated this as “Internet power,” while Fallows points out that:
English speakers might think of “Internet power” as comparable to “soft power” or “girl power” or “people power.” But to my amateur eye there is a more explicit connotation of China’s becoming a national power in cyberspace. I’m sure Chinese speakers will tell me if I’m wrong to read 强国 as meaning a powerful country, as in “rise and fall of the great powers” etc. Thus the refrain would emphasize “a powerful Internet country.” The impression I got from this was of a strongly nationalistic message about a supposedly borderless medium.
I wanted to add to the translation and confirm Fallows’ viewpoint by examining one of the lines from the chorus:
Both the New York Times (Paul Mozur) and ProPublica (Sisi Wei and Yue Qiu) translate this to some variant of: “An Internet power: Tell the world that the Chinese Dream is uplifting China.” (Emphasis mine.)
Actually, the line in Chinese does not end with the phrase “China” (中国) but “the greater Chinese” (大中华). Not only does “the greater Chinese” sometimes mean Greater China, but it also hints at overseas Chinese people (华人 or 华侨) and, as Fallows put it, the “borderless” greater Chinese culture/civilization.
While Trinidad and Tobago is in the midst of political woes and police try to determine the identity of the country's latest murder victim, at least one blogger thinks that mainstream media is doing its level best to ignore these pressing issues and capitalise on the pre-Carnival frenzy. (Trinidad and Tobago Carnival takes place on February 16 and 17).
aka_lol accused the leading national daily of “us[ing] its precious mind-swaying front-page to highlight a suspected personality flaw in the country’s top, home-grown, international Soca superstar, Machel Montano”:
Maybe it was because his alleged bad attitude took place at a town school fete is the reason it was given grossly exaggerated importance or some other ulterior or political motive – I don’t know. I doubt the newspaper is being paid off by some Big Men with shares and money to distract the public from the real issues that are, have always been plaguing the nation for some time [...]
That Mr. Montano might be throwing temper tantrums all over the place for some very good reasons and a couple bad ones is not new, news or close to headline news. However, the discovery of a decomposing body which might be that of the missing Caribbean Airlines director is depressing and frightful thus should be fitting as a the main headline and a lifesaver given the need to alert unsuspecting visitors merrily flocking our shores for Carnival.
Oilnews Kenya has been ranked as top blog in Africa on matters oil and gas, Kachwanya reports:
The website recently launched as first of its kind in Kenya aiming to give Kenyans insight in the oil and gas industry opening up information platform for explorers, investors and stakeholders in the sector.
Following increased interest from investors in the oil and gas sectors with a number of discoveries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique that has seen the East African region now named the new oil frontier, Kamau Mbote founder of Oilnewskenya saw it fit to give exposure to the latter as well as provide Kenyans more information on the sector.
The website has been ranked 22 globally and 1st in Africa with a Visibility of 58%, Engagement of 41% and relevance rating at 100% according to a research by Inkybee a renown research company.
Clashes broke out between police and the opposition in Gabon on December 20 stemming from questions about the legitimacy of President Ali Bongo.
A recent book called “New African Affairs” by French reporter Pierre Péan alleged that President Ali Bongo has Nigerian origins. The book was slammed by the authorities, accusing the reporter of inciting racial hatred in Gabon. The clashes led to the death of one student and several arrests. Photos on social network of the protests and its impact on civilians were widely circulating on the Gabonese blogosphere, such as the following:
— Alexandre Capron (@alexcapron) December 23, 2014
After talking with a colleague, Cintia Oliva reflects on a reality known by many communicators:
[Mi colega] me decía que con esto de las tecnologías, el periodismo como carrera estaba en decadencia. Ella, una excelente reportera y entrevistadora, contaba que cada vez le costaba más meter su pauta o que sus publicaciones sean tenidas en cuenta por los medios, o por el público, debido a la gran cantidad de información y contenidos que a diario se comparten por todos los medios.
[My colleague] told me that with technologies, journalism as a career was in decline. She, an excellent reporter and interviewer, told me she find harder to get her guideline done or her publications to be considered by tue media or the audience, due to the huge amount of information and content that are shared on a daily basis by all the media.
On the contrary, Cintia remarks the good time this is for journalism, precisely thanks to the opportunities new technologies offer, and sugggest five guidleiines for a renovation as communicators:
Si hay un tema que te apasiona y quieres posicionarte como una experta en un tema, por ejemplo comunicación ambiental, entonces lee, investiga y escribe sobre ello.
Aprende a contar historias. Una tendencia que vino para quedarse es el marketing de contenidos y con él, la técnica de contar buenas historias, el storytelling.
Los medios 2.0
Sí, está bien, todos tenemos Facebook, Twitter, algunos hasta un blog de Blogger, pero cuánto sabemos de herramientas de gestión de contenidos?
Medir, corregir, medir, evaluar: Medir, ¿para qué medir? Eso es lo que me decían algunos colegas en el pasado.
Aprende a gestionar la información en internet y en tu entorno, y a buscar lo que realmente vale la pena.
If you are passionated about a topic and want to be an expert, such as environmental communication, you should read, investigate and write about it.
Learn how to tell stories. A trend that is here to stay is content marketing and with it, the technic of telling good stories, storytelling.
OK, we all have Facebook, Twitter, some of us even a blog on Blogger, but how much do we know about content management tools?
Measure, correct, evaluate. Measure, why measure? This is what some colleagues used to tell me in the past.
Learn how to manage information on Internet and around you, and to look for what's really worth it.
You can follow Cintia on Twitter.
The communication platform, Courage for Tamaulipas, and Ecuadorian sketch artist, Xavier “Bonil” Bonilla, were the only Latin Americans nominated at the Index Freedom of Expression Awards, which recognizes organizations and individuals in the fight against censorship.
The awards were created by Index on Censorship, an international organization dedicated to defending freedom of expression. Awards are given out in four categories: journalism, art, campaigns, and digital activism. Out of a total of 2,000 nominations, only 17 advanced to the final round.
Bonilla, who's nominated in the art category, has been the target of fines and various legal battles in Ecuador. In 2013 President Rafael Correa passed a law allowing the government to control certain content by journalists. Among the first victims were the newspaper El Universo as well as Bonilla himself. Both had to retract a drawing and pay a fine.
Meanwhile, Courage for Tamaulipas is competing in the digital activism category, and here the public can vote by clicking on the following link. The Mexican site was created in one of the most dangerous areas for journalism. Since 2010, six journalists have been killed, and violence by drug cartels in the region has resulted in a media blackout. Now drug-related violence is reported anonymously by the citizens.
Max Chalmers, from Australian independent online media site New Matilda, welcomes the release of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste after 400 days in Egyptian prison. He also calls for “the speedy release of Greste’s colleagues who remain behind Egyptian bars”. However, he questions Prime Minister Tony Abbott's support for media freedom in a speech following the news.
[Abbott's] own government has been responsible for a crackdown on press freedoms more generally, and as he moved on to warnings about a new age of terror he laid the groundwork for yet more intrusive and draconian legislation.
Kenya Monitor app is a m-Media & News app. It is the to-go citizen journalism app for all local content. It brings together all favorite news in one place from different counties in Kenya. All content is presented in a fun and intuitive manner.
Getting reliable news stories about Kenya or about development issues has become a rarity. Any story that is covered is vague and has no follow-up. The Kenya Monitor app will seek to change this. All stories will focus on what is going on in the different locales. Anyone will get to play a role in telling the story of where they live.
Kenya Monitor will provide Kenyans with a platform to tell their stories in what is known as citizen journalism. Kenyans from all walks of life will get to tell stories about where they live, how they want it to be told and at the time they think it should be told. All content will be gathered from the people themselves. Stories will be submitted through SMS enabling anyone with access to a phone to do so. One does not need a smart phone to send in or receive content.
A beloved Bermudian political cartoonist dies after being struck by a motorist's car while on his way to deliver his latest drawing to the newspaper where he worked. The Beach Lime blog notes that “the Corporation of Hamilton speedily acted to move the pedestrian crossing away from the roundabout, in the efforts of pedestrian safety.” Still, the blogger feels that more can be done, including the installation of proper signage and lighting, and even constructing an elevated crosswalk.
In a follow-up post, he recounts his own traffic experience and predicts that if the right measures are not taken quickly, the next road fatality will be just a matter of time:
Light turns green, car in front gets ready to go, then zoom, grey hatchback runs through [the] red light.
People here just don't care, because they know there's little risk of them getting into trouble. Other motorists and pedestrians have to take evasive action. Might is right. There may be cameras at the junction (who knows?) but there's no policy or presence for these scenarios.
The Public Liberties and Human Rights department at Aljazeera, in co-operation with several international organizations have produced a video about the campaign to end impunity for crimes against journalists:
The video supports the UN resolution on the “Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity”:
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013 which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’. The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.