The dos and don’ts of video campaigning
April / May 2012
At this stage nearly everyone will have heard of the video produced by an organisation called Invisible Children which aimed to raised awareness of the atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, especially in relation to the use of child soldiers. Reactions have been mixed, to say the least, with a number of organisations putting together very good link pages covering both supporting stories and detracting stories (see Dóchas, some African responses collated at Rosebell’s blog, and Building a Better World).

So I thought it might be worth looking at the use of social media especially in relation to development education. Is it a useful tool? Can we really adhere to the Code of Conduct on Images and Messages in a tweet of 140 characters? Should we censor information put up on our blogs / facebooks etc if we feel it contravenes the Code and or our own ethics? And maybe more importantly – do we have the resources and know-how to make social media work for us? Or will it just become expected that people tweet, facebook and blog about issues irrespective of what should be achieved – and irrespective of work hours?

I don’t have any answers of course – just a few links that look at video activism and clicktivism (or whatever you want to call it).

A general response to some of the issues raised in the video at Aidspeak

Where is the line between journalism and activism? Ethan Zuckerman blogs about all things media and had this to say …

There’re a few people worth following on Twitter in relation to social media – Ethan Zuckerman ‏(@EthanZ), TMS Ruge (@tmsruge), and Beth Kanter (@kanter) to mention but a few …

Fair Trade Flowers
February 2012

February – usually the month to catch up on everything as January has traditionally been the month to write funding applications. This year, of course, all of this has gone haywire as the funding guidelines / deadlines has changed and so it’s supposed to be all happening in February … Therefore, little time (apologies!) to update website as planned but finally getting around to it 🙂

February  – first month of Spring in Ireland! We seem to be spared this year’s cold snap happing all over the rest of Europe, the Daffodils are already in bloom in some areas – what better month to look at the global flower industry? So if you intend to buy your loved ones flowers for Valentines, you might like to check out these links first …

To save Colombia from cocaine, buy its roses? As Linda Farthing writes for UpsideDown World, there are a number of problems with this approach … She has a number of interesting links at the bottom of the page too, worth looking at.

How fair are your flowers?  Gabriela Perdomo investigates for the Tyee Newsletter where certified fair-trade flowers come from – and do the really make a difference? A total of five articles.

Why I won’t be giving my mother fairtrade flowers – Felicity Lawrence explains why she thinks fair trade flowers are a problem (slightly older article – 2005!)

An overview of criticism of Fair Trade from Wikipedia –

What about the environmental impact of (Fair Trade) Flowers? They still need to be flown over here, are often grown in areas that may need a lot of water input or that could be used for growing food. A couple of articles from the Guardian last year looking at the environmental impact of buying flowers from Kenya –

So …  should we buy flowers at all?

Previous Years

Articles 2011

Articles 2010

Articles 2009

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