Welcome to Globala Tider
In his paper for the 9th United Nations Roundtable on Communication for Development, organized by FAO and held in Rome, Italy, in September 2004, James Deane referred to the context in which the Roundtable was to take place as a critical one. In particular, Deane stressed one issue which is closely connected to the rationale at the basis of the Globala Tider project. According to him, “The rapidly changing communication environments in some of the poorest countries and the growing importance of communication for alleviating poverty suggest that new ways of discussing these issues, with the central inclusion of mainstream media and affiliated organizations, is becoming increasingly urgent”. But even if such urgency is clear, according to Deane, and we agree, “Currently... credible fora which can bring together mainstream, alternative and social advocacy organizations, as well as government and development decision-makers on these issues are in short supply” (James Deane, “The Context of Communication for Development”, FAO, 2004).
Globala Tider –a Communication for Development webmagazine and an archive of Master thesis in Communication for Development developed by graduates from Malmö University in Sweden (ComDev)- will attempt to become a steady forum in which academics, practitioners and students can come together to share and discuss relevant issues for the advancement of the field.
In the first issue of the webmagazine, which I am proud to introduce here, Karin Wilkins, Associate Professor with the Department of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses the politics of gender in development and the ways in which“empowerment” has been used in relation to gender issues. Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and Special Chair at the Vrije Universiteit (Free University), in Amsterdam, discusses trust and reciprocity –as well as humiliation and marginalization- as central aspects of transnational networks. Oscar Hemer, Senior Lecturer and Program Director of ComDev at Malmö University, and Thomas Tufte, Professor in Communication at Roskilde University, introduce us to the challenge of the glocal as related to media and communication in development cooperation.
Gordon Adams, Managing Director of Media Support, brings in experiences and reflections on the humanitarian role of mass media in conflict. Warren Feek, Executive Director of The Communication Initiative, joins us with his discussion of what the core elements of a development communication strategy should be in the case of the long term response to the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Kerstin Gossé, a member of the ComDev staff, introduces us to the current discussion in Sweden regarding free education for all at all levels of the educational system. Linda Karlsson, a librarian at Malmö University, invites us to explore open access alternatives when searching for academic literature.
Finally, Kristina Rorstrom (a journalist based in Malmö), Sanjay Gupta (an IT consultant based in India), Rasna Warah (a writer and journalistic editor based in Nairobi, Kenya) and Lena Millinger (an expert on museum communications also based in Malmö), all of them graduates from the ComDev 2002 edition of the ComDev Master course, present the details of their fieldwork professional experiences in Argentina, India, Kenya and West Africa, encompassing art and social work, the role of IT in tackling poverty both in rural and in suburban areas, and culture and memory, as different approaches to communication for development.
Please read on, and do not hesitate to join us with your comments, questions and suggestions while we start working on the second issue of the webmagazine, which will be on-line in October 2005. Globala Tider is open to interaction, and communication among contributors and readers will allow it to become what it is meant to be.