Friday, 18 September 2015

Some more pictures from the class

Lilian Nyingisye teaches news writing at Dar es Salaam School of Journalism.

George Baltazary teaches online journalism at Time School of Journalism.

Bertilda Rwegasira teaches photojournalism at Time School of Journalism.

Selemani Shekonga is head of journalism department at Royal College of Tanzania.

Deusdedith Manyama teaches languages at Dar es Salaam School of Journalism.

Deus Malongo teaches computer skills at Dar es Salaam School of Journalism.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Search assignments and final feedbacks

The training ended well yesterday with group photos and final feedbacks. There were no technical problems during the whole day, so we were able to cover the planned programme with quite fast speed and without disturbances.

What we did throughout the day was to search for information from the web and practise the search tips I showed to the class earlier in the week. Starting from simple facts, such as population figures, contact information and names of Kenyan gold medal winners in the athletics world championships few weeks ago, we then moved on to more complicated search assignments, which needed some narrowing of the search by dates or language and by choosing the most appropriate search words.

Finding out the height of the fourth highest mountain in Tanzania was already a difficult task (Luhombero, Iringa, 2,576 metres), but later-on with some assistance most participants even managed to find an exact quotation on what presidential candidate Edward Lowassa said about water at Mbezi grounds in Dar es Salaam last week's Tuesday, in Swahili of course.

At the end of the day, we also had a session on plagiarism and copyrights issues before the participants wrote a short story about one of the given topics based on information found by searching from the web.

I will provide links soon to some of the stories. Meanwhile, you can visit the blog links on the right.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

How to avoid plagiarism

Plagiarism and the need for ethical reporting and true professionalism has been one of the topics that several of the journalism lectures wanted to know more about.

The website lists the following examples as plagiarism:
Turning in someone else’s work as your own

Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit

Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks

Changing words but copying the sentence structure without giving credit

Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not
For most journalists, editors and lecturers in class, the previous examples sound too familiar.

Then how can you avoid plagiarizing? In most cases by citing sources. By simply explaining that a part of the material has been borrowed, and providing your audience the information necessary to find the original source. That’s usually enough to prevent plagiarism.

Plagiarism has never been as easy as it is today. Before the internet, potential plagiarists would have had to go to the library and copy texts from books by hand. But the internet now makes it easy to find thousands of relevant sources in seconds, and in a few minutes one could find, copy and paste together an entire seminar paper, or a feature story.

But there’s no point in copy-pasting. You just make a much better story by writing in your own style and words. An editor or a teacher should also easily recognize passages that are directly copied, from the vocabulary used.

Journalists in any country caught plagiarizing can get sacked. If you are copying someone else’s story for an article published in your own name, you might also get sued for copyright infringement and be forced to pay heavy compensation. The same goes for publishing a photo without the permission of the copyright owner. In most of the world, the length of the copyright is usually 50 or 70 years after the death of the author. In Tanzania, 50 years.

The recommendation was that all participants would take their time and read the Tanzanian Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act from 1999, found here as a PDF file on a UNESCO web portal where they have collected the copyright laws from most countries.

Here’s another link to a good BBC story about plagiarism, how easy it is, and how easily it can be detected.

Some photos from today's class

Abdallah Mambea teaches radio and TV production at Raida School of Journalism.

Stella Msaliboko teaches news writing and PR at Dar es Salaam School of Journalism.

Carolyne Setumbi is deputy principal at Raida School of Journalism.

Jackson Joseph teaches social studies and media law at Time School of Journalism.

Kelvin Michael is ICT tutor at Raida School of Journalism.
Ally Suleiman teaches editing and feature writing at Royal College of Tanzania.

Felix Maganga teaches broadcasting at Royal College of Tanzania.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Think first, and other tips for fact-finding

Here’s some useful tips when searching for information from the web.
Think first, before going to the web.

What do you search for and where might you find it? Are you searching for simple facts, backgrounds or any other information that can develop your story? Should you google, or can you find the information on a specific website you already know? Do you find it from the internet, or better somewhere else?

Always monitor other news sites, both local and international, and also other web resources.

Choose right search words.

Try different Google search options – sometimes web, sometimes news, sometimes “all web”, sometimes only Tanzanian pages, or only Swahili language pages. You can also narrow your search by date, for last year, last month, last week or the last 24 hours only.

Open pages in a new tab. While the new pages are opening, you can continue reading the original page.

Add to favourites, or bookmarks. Also open new files for your favourites, or bookmarks. Then you will easier find the stories when you want to come back to them.

Follow the links in the stories you read.

Go to original sources.

Don’t always read everything, but scan for what is of your interest.

Don’t ever copy-paste! That’s

Print if necessary. Read as homework, underline.

Also make notes to your notebook and save drafts to a USB flash.
Here’s some more tips before you start writing the story.
Structure your story in your mind and on paper.

Decide what is relevant for your narrative.

Write simple with own words.

Quote when necessary.

Understand what you write (you are there to make things understandable for your audience).

Add details for human interest.
When you’re about to publish:
Provide links to original sources (if you publish online).

Always also think about headline, visual outlook, quotes, images, graphics etc.
Some general good advice for producing good investigative stories:
Spend much more time on the investigation than on the actual writing.

Plan your story into narrative chunks.

Also plan how you use your time
  • for research
  • for writing
  • for editing your text
  • for checking facts
  • and for delivering the final story.

Resolving the power supply challenge

In the afternoon, we got a generator to the venue, and by improvising a plug
and connecting several extension cords, a group of training participants finally
managed to resolve the power supply challenge. Thanks to Deus, George and
Felix especially. Photo from Felix Maganga's blog posting, where you can read
more about the exercise.

Bookmarking, blogging and searching for facts

Here’s a short summary of some of the postings that participants have made about what we have managed to do yesterday and today.

Lilian Nyingisye and Stella Msaliboko from Dar es Salaam School of Journalism both write about bookmarking, blogging and also about some of the search tips we went through today. “The bookmarking process is very good, because it saves time. You only bookmark for further reading,” says Stella Msaliboko. Lilian Nyingisye also makes a point of the joy of networking with colleagues from other colleges nearby.

Bertilda Rwegasira of Time School of Journalism writes about the experience of opening a blog, something she previously thought would require more advanced computer skills.

Jackson Joseph, also from TSJ, has made an even more narrative summary of the first day and how the problems with power and the network affected the good mood of all of us. Here’s another posting from Day 1 by Selemani Shekonga.

Introductions and expectations from the first day

On the first day of the training, the participants posted short introductions about themselves and their expectations from the training. They are all journalism tutors from four local colleges providing journalism courses for several hundreds of certificate, advanced certificate and diploma level students.

Abdallah Mambea from Raida School of Journalism has made a long, good list of his expectations from learning how to use the internet as a source of news to the positive and negative effects of the internet.

Bertilda Rwegasira from Time School of Journalism says she expects to find learning materials for her students and also to open a blog for education, information and entertainment.

Selemani Shekonga from Royal College of Tanzania especially wants to become sensitive as media practitioner in plagiarism and copyrights issues.

Stella Msaliboko of Dar es Salaam School of Journalism expects to find facts for news writing and also to communicate with different people around the world concerning the challenges that are facing the journalism industry.

For all other introductions and expectations, see the blog links on the right.

New morning at the classroom on the fifth floor

It is the morning of the second day of the training, when all participants were in the classroom by five minutes past nine. The networks seems to be working well and power is also up and going.

This morning, the stubborn cock is still shouting outside, while we have been doing some small adjustments to the participants’ new blogs. Everyone successfully created a blog yesterday and most of the participants also published an introductory posting. Here is a link to a short Swahili-language story by Felix Maganga from Royal College of Tanzania about yesterday’s challenges on how to proceed with an internet training with no power.

Now all participants are making new postings on what we managed to do yesterday. Later today, you will find a list of all the blogs in the column on the right. But now it is time for the tea break.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Internet training with no power and network

This is my first posting from an internet training for journalism lecturers organized for the coming three days at Dar es Salaam School Journalism along Uhuru Street in Ilala, Dar es Salaam. We have started the training this morning with some challenges, such as no power, no generator, no internet connection, and in some cases not functioning computers. This is sometimes still a common situation in Tanzania, but usually things get solved later-on. Even in our case, we got the power back already in the morning, and at the time of writing, IT experts Deus and George are working to connect a faster wireless connection to all computers.

This intensive training is part of a wider internet training programme for Tanzanian journalists and journalism lecturers co-arranged by MISA Tanzania and Vikes – The Finnish Foundation for Media and Development, a solidarity organization of the Union of Journalists in Finland, with support from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The training is the second internet training arranged specifically for journalism tutors in Tanzania and already the 40th internet training course arranged within the training programme which has been running since 2008.

Other previous internet courses have focused on editors from national mainstream media as well as radio producers, local reporters and also journalism lecturers in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya, Mwanza and Zanzibar.

During the last five years, separate Swahili-language training courses have also been arranged for local reporters and regional correspondents in fifteen locations around the country, namely Dodoma, Geita, Iringa, Kigoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, Moshi, Mtwara, Musoma, Mwanza, Njombe, Pemba, Shinyanga, Songea and Sumbawanga. These trainings have been conducted by a group of dedicated Tanzanian trainers who have been trained especially for that purpose as part of this same programme.

Now, at this internet journalism training at Dar es Salaam School of Journalism, there are 13 lecturers and tutors from four journalism colleges located in Dar es Salaam.

We are all packed into an ICT student lab on fifth floor with natural ventilation through the windows, allowing us to also hear the traffic noise from downstairs and a stubborn cock crowing even though it is already afternoon and lunch time.

More about the proceedings of the first training day later.