Monday, December 31, 2007

Dakar Conference Unfurls New Teck at Journalism

ICT Dakar Confab Unfurls
Professional Order and Its New Dimension
… Peeping The Inside the New Age of Journalism

By Bill K. Jarkloh
Having flown from Monrovia to attend the 3rd Regional Workshop Media & ICT Issues http://blogs.haayo.org/dakar2007 in Dakar, Senegal on December 12, 2007, I finally discovered that my participation in the seminar on media and ICT issues in West Africa was not only an opener for the new trend of internet journalism that has emerged. The scope of the workshop provides insights into the usefulness of the emerging information communication technology that narrowed the gab of communication globally amongst peoples of the world in governance issues.
Indeed, I was overwhelmed when I saw myself in the Senegalese capital city, Dakar as a participant of this workshop hosted by the Panos Institute of West Africa (PIWA), which introduced to me a new technology and another method of putting my articles across to readers without censorship of editors. It is also fascinating about this new technology is the avenue provided for peoples of interest to comment on the pieces that are placed in weblogs of journalist.
The workshop, in its guide paper circulated amongst participants, considered the expansion of interaction amongst audience, readers, and internet surfers in general with option for any individual to send on line comments, moderate or not, from any region of the world. This of course means a change in mainstream journalism which is of course deriving strength from these options, thereby removing barriers between different media with what is now otherwise tagged as the “fifth estate” or citizen journalism competing with professional journalism.
According to the introductory overview of the workshop, another side of this development of the information communication technologies or ICTs is the awareness about the potential they cover for economic and social development representing the coexistence instrument and issues at stake as evidence by the ICT policies in different countries and the organization of various phases of the UN’s World Summit on Information Society from 2002 to 2005.
The mobile telephones and the internet, including fixed line phones are information technologies that not only encouraging democratization of the public communication space, they are also catering g for public governance of various sectors such as health, economy, education thereby making the relevance of policies implemented and the regulatory systems proposed becoming matter of interest for the media as the fourth estate and more basically for citizens that are co-responsible for national and regional public interest.
Consequently, the PIWA squarely put the objectives of the seminar at the promotion of blogging and the new interactive communication tools for improved governance in West Africa; the strengthening production of ICTs by journalists in West Africa; and debating the emergence of citizen journalism and its impact on [ethical] journalism. The workshop was indeed rewarding, and indicative of the metamorphosis that the journalism profession since the universal communication age.
The Breakaway from Primitive Journalism
With the theme “New Technologies, New Journalism, Improved Governance,” the workshop provided me with the new technological advancement in my journalism career, whereby even if I wasn’t an editor, no newsroom would stop my ideas, my arguments and my inputs into national, regional or global debates from reaching the consuming publics. Journalism is getting advanced. It started historically with the drums and town criers, and then the placard of public information at public places came.
The profession developed to the primitive journals that were controlled by systems of governments. Thus the professional metamorphosis of journalism theorized to authoritarianism, libertarianism, and the social responsibility theories amongst others, which introduced debated, that resulted to the crafting of ethical standards that conform with the rule of laws. But all these theories, it is important to note, were to determined control over information by bureaucrats on one hand, and to impose responsibilities upon journalists that will not cater for the free and fair flow of information from the governors to their subjects, but control that was intended to shoulder upon practitioners the protection of rulers of their days.
At the age of the social responsibility practice, however, arbitrary control of state over the media has relaxed and determined through the instrument of law and ethics, and professional standards and practices are being more advanced. For instance, the notepad journalism has reached an electronic age. Testimonies are the use of radio waves and light beams on the television and movies industries, the internets has emerged lately with complex media content production like in the case of WebEditor, GoLive or Dreamweaver. Today a new type of communication or journalism with the potential to enhance governance in a most democratic fashion has emerged, that is the possibility of individuals knowledgeable of the use of computer to create a good personal website and multimedia blogs accessible to the entire internet world.
But what is this Weblog?
Strange to me, though, the discussion about weblogging was introduced at the workshop with colleagues from Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Ghana amongst others leading the session. I was amazed and overwhelmed at the same time. Why? Because a new knowledge was born unto me. But for sure, I was convinced that every opportunity available for learning was enriching. And so I immediately launched a search about weblog at the Faidherbe Hotel. I and my colleague Larmii Kpargoi from Liberia were lodged on the 5th and 4th Floors of Hotel Faidherbe respectively. From every indication, I discovered that the nomenclature is a combination of web and log, both of which words every internet user is familiar with. As I started to navigate in search of the historicity of weblog, I found that the exploration of this new concept, blogging on the web, started since 1998. In her article, "Weblogs: A History and Perspective,” Rebecca Blood wrote that there were just a handful of sites of the type that were identified as weblogs in 1998, and from her exposé, weblog was so named by Jorn Barger in December 1997.
Accordingly, Jesse James Garrett, editor of Infosift, began compiling a list of "other sites like his" as he found them in his travels around the web. In November of that year, he sent that list to Cameron Barrett. Cameron published the list on Camworld, and others maintaining similar sites began sending their URLs to him for inclusion on the list. Jesse's 'page of only weblogs' lists the 23 known to be in existence at the beginning of 1999.
Suddenly a community sprang up. It was easy to read all of the weblogs on Cameron's list, and most interested people did. Peter Merholz announced in early 1999 that he was going to pronounce it 'wee-blog' and inevitably this was shortened to 'blog' with the weblog editor referred to as a 'blogger.' At this point, the bandwagon jumping began. More and more people began publishing their own weblogs, including me who had just established the www.panwhanpen.com on the Google website’s URL and another blog on the www.wordpress.com web’s URL named billkjarkloh.com.
In early 1999 Brigitte Eaton compiled a list of every weblog she knew about and created the Eatonweb Portal. Brig evaluated all submissions by a simple criterion: that the site consists of dated entries. Webloggers (bloggers they call us) debated what was and what was not a weblog, but since the Eatonweb Portal was the most complete listing of weblogs available, Brig's inclusive definition prevailed.
This rapid growth continued steadily until July 1999 when Pitas, the first free build-your-own-weblog tool launched, and suddenly there were hundreds. Today, the build-your-own weblog opportunity is available to those who want to be webloggers or bloggers. In August, Pyra released Blogger, and Groksoup launched, and with the ease that these web-based tools provided, the bandwagon-jumping turned into an explosion. Late in 1999 software developer Dave Winer introduced Edit This Page, and Jeff A. Campbell launched Velocinews. All of these services are free, and all of them are designed to enable individuals to publish their own weblogs quickly and easily.
The original weblogs were link-driven sites. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentary, and personal thoughts and essays. Weblogs could only be created by people who already knew how to make a website. A weblog editor had either taught herself to code HTML for fun, or, after working all day creating commercial websites, spent several off-work hours every day surfing the web and posting to her site. These were web enthusiasts.
As my research shows, many current weblogs follow this original style. Their editors present links both to little-known corners of the web and to current news articles they feel are worthy of note. Such links are nearly always accompanied by the editor's commentary. An editor with some expertise in a field might demonstrate the accuracy or inaccuracy of a highlighted article or certain facts therein; provide additional facts he feels are pertinent to the issue at hand; or simply add an opinion or differing viewpoint from the one in the piece he has linked. Typically this commentary is characterized by an irreverent, sometimes sarcastic tone. More skillful editors manage to convey all of these things in the sentence or two with which they introduce the link (making them, as Halcyon pointed out to me, pioneers in the art and craft of microcontent).
Indeed, the format of the typical weblog, providing only a very short space in which to write an entry, encourages pithiness on the part of the writer; longer commentary is often given its own space as a separate essay. In any case, I must congratulate the Panos Institute of West Africa (PIWA) for this opportunity of introducing to me a modernize practice of information dissemination. This why I was curious to know how it works, and with Mr. Dumpierre of Senelogic (sorry if I miss the name) helping me to set up my billkjarkloh.com on the Wordpress website, I tried by my self upon returning home and successful setup a second weblog, www.panwhanpen.com on the Google Website. That is, having conceived what a weblog is, I then joined to be a blogger too.
However, establishing a weblog goes with responsibility that shoulders upon the blogger to finding contents if the blog should continue to exist. The blogger’s contents will have to be appraised – criticized or praised by readers by comments added below them, by readers, who are not necessarily professional journalists, but are citizens.
Citizen Journalism versus Profession Journalism
Now that I have become a blogger, another interesting debate that come to the limelight of the seminar’s discussion is “Citizen Journalism”. As was said earlier, the change in mainstream journalism has derived strength from the expansion of interaction amongst audience, readers, and internet surfers in general. It embraces the option for any individual to send on line comments, moderate or not, from any region of the world. This change has removed barriers between different media with the people journalists competing with professional journalism. The debate now is in the advent of the new phenomenon of Citizen Journalism competing in information dissemination; will professional journalist stand the chance of survival in the profession? If yes, then what is Citizen Journalism and what peculiar role has it to play in the information society? These stimulating debate then become overwhelming at the seminar in Dakar.
Citizen Journalism, as described by a fellow participant Dr. Abiodun Salawu, lecturer of Mass Communication at a Nigerian University, is journalism of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is the kind of journalism that demystifies the practice of journalism, and makes it an all-comers affair. It is that kind of journalism that tends to make everybody the Source and the Receiver; the Encoder and the Decoder at the same time. It is that kind of journalism practice that purports to include everybody. No wonder Bowman and Willis (2003) call it We Media.
Citizen Journalism is We Media because according to Bowman and Willis (2003: 10), it is “the act of a citizen or group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information”. It is journalism that makes fluid the transformation between being the creator and the consumer of messages. The new communication technologies make this possible. The new technologies facilitate the process of creating, disseminating and receiving messages. The new technologies empower the people to have expression and information. The people are definitely involved in creating and disseminating messages about their own realities. The question comes:
What is citizen journalism?
There is no easy answer to this question and depending on whom you ask you are likely to get very different answers. Some have called it networked journalism, open source journalism, and citizen media. Communication has changed greatly with the advent of the Internet. The Internet has enabled citizens to contribute to journalism, without professional training. Mark Glasser, a longtime freelance journalist who frequently writes on new media issues, gets to the heart of it. For him, the idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others. For example, you might write about a city council meeting on your blog or in an online forum. Or you could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on your blog. Or you might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening in your town and post it online.
From his lecture, the communication model is interactional and at the same time transactional. The model of Citizen Journalism is interactional because it emphases the two-way communication process between communicators. In other words, communication goes in two directions: from sender to receiver and from receiver to sender. This circular process suggests that communication is ongoing (West and Turner, 2004: 11). The model is equally transactional because the process is cooperative; the sender and the receiver are mutually responsible for the effect and the effectiveness of communication. In the transactional model, people build shared meaning.
What is essential in all this is that Citizen Journalism is participatory. The audience is no longer passive. Bowman and Willis (2003) note that the intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that democracy requires. Really, for democracy to flourish, people must be empowered. And to be empowered, people must be informed and must have expression. In this paper, we shall be looking at the principles and mechanism of Citizen Journalism, its theoretical framework, The Punch (Nigeria) newspaper model of it, and the implications of it.
Principles and Mechanism of Citizen Journalism Citizen Journalism has been tagged variously. It has been labeled Participatory Journalism, Public Journalism, Open Source Journalism, Networked Journalism, and Citizen Media. Citizen Journalism has been greatly facilitated with the advent of the Internet.
The Internet has enabled citizens to contribute to journalism, without professional training. Specifically, this kind of journalism has been enabled by networking technologies, such as weblogs, chat rooms, message boards, wikis and mobile computing. Lasica (2003) classifies media for citizen journalism into the following types: 1) Audience participation (such as user comments attached to news stories, personal blogs, photos or video footage captured from personal mobile cameras, or local news written by residents of a community), 2) Independent news and information Websites (Consumer Reports, the Drudge Report), 3) Full-fledged participatory news sites (OhmyNews), 4) Collaborative and contributory media sites (Slashdot, Kuro5hin), 5) Other kinds of "thin media."
Still speaking on the principle of Citizen Journalism, Mark Glasser, a longtime freelance journalist who frequently writes on new media issues, notes:
The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others. For example, you might write about a city council meeting on your blog or in an online forum. Or you could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on your blog. Or you might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening in your town and post it online. Or you might videotape a similar event and post it on a site … (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_journalism).
Williams, Gillmor, and Mackay (http://citmedia.org/frontiers) identified four basic features of the online community sites development by news organizations:
User Generated Content (UGC): This is the most common approach where the news organization’s website is open to allow participants post stories, photos, and event listings. Individual users don’t have their own unique presence on the site but are contributing content to the site bearing the news organization’s brand.
Blog hub: Like the UGC strategy, participants are able to submit stories, photos, and event listings, but they get their own weblog with a unique URL on the site that displays all the materials posted by the participant.
Community hub: These sites emphasize social networking. Generally, they allow many of the same things that the UGC and the blog hub sites do, but the sharing of content is treated as a means to an end, namely connecting participants to one another.
Newsroom Transparency: While UGC, blog hub, and community hubs can be seen as part of a continuum, the newspaper transparency strategy is actually quite different. Here, the news organization opens up its editorial meetings and procedure to the public and webcast over the interest so the public can be part of the editorial decision-making process.
Regarding the theoretical framework, the emphasis of Democratic-Participant Media Theory is on the ‘basis’ of society and on the value of horizontal rather than vertical (top-down) communication . The main thrust of the theory lies in its insistence that the existing bureaucracy as well as commercial and professional hegemony in media systems be broken down, so as to guarantee easier media access for all potential users and consumers. McQuail, in 1983, proposed this theory to take account of many ideas expressed and looked after the needs of citizens. The theory found expression in the 1960s and 1970s in pressure for local and community radio and television. It challenged the dominance of centralized, commercialized, state-controlled and even professionalized media (McQuail 2000: 160). Making a reference to Ezensberger (1970), McQuail notes that the key to applying this theory was seen to lie in the new technology of the times. It favored media that would be small in scale, non-commercial and often committed to a cause. Participation and interaction were key concepts.
The theory has been against the system of parliamentary democracy which has seemed to become detached from its grassroots origins, to impede rather than facilitate movement in political and social life. It also takes exception to a ‘mass society’ which is over-organized, over-centralized and fails to offer realistic opportunities for individual and minority expression. McQuail (1987: 122) says “the central point of a democratic-participant theory lies with the needs, interests and aspirations of the active ‘receiver’ in a political society. It has to do with the right to relevant information, the right to answer back, the right to use the means of communication for interaction in small-scale settings of community, interest group, sub-culture”.
Essentially, the theory cautions that communication should not be left in the hands of professionals alone.
Professional Journalism - Vs- Citizen Journalism
But there is certainly concern raised regarding the fact that everyone can be made to be a ‘journalist’ - searching for information, writing and posting stories and photographs. If that is the case, it makes little or no sense being tagged a professional journalist, and it may have some adverse effect on the means of livelihood of the ‘professional journalist’. The phenomenon also makes little or no sense of formal journalism education. McQuail, in the 2000, notes that there has been a continued uncertainty about what is actually the central professional skill of the journalist.
There really have been questions about the professionalism of journalism. The question of whether journalism should be considered as a profession remains in dispute, both within and without the media world (McQuail, 2000: 257). Max Weber (1948) referred to the journalist as belonging to ‘a sort of pariah caste’ and, like the artist, lacking a fixed social classification. Schudson (1978) characterized journalism as an ‘uninsulated profession’ because of lack of clear boundaries. Windhal (1992) et al. contend that the knowledge base of journalists does not command the same respect as that of occupational groups that are acknowledged to be professions. An opinion expressed that drew strength from Olen (1988) is that journalism should not become a profession, since it involves the exercise of a right to freedom of expression that cannot be monopolized by an institution (that of journalism).
But for me this doesn’t hold water, considering the fact that journalism is guided by ethical standards and practices, even though citizen Journalism has profound implications for the flowering of democracy. But the considered question of ethics in this open source journalism is: how can we regulate activities of the huge participation, just to ensure the health of the society?
But Who Does Citizen Journalism?
According to Jay Rosen, citizen journalists "the people formerly known as the audience," who "were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way, in a broadcasting pattern, with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another— and who today are not in a situation like that at all. ... The people formerly known as the audience are simply the public made realer, less fictional, more able, and less predictable."
"Doing citizen journalism right means crafting a crew of correspondents who are typically excluded from or misrepresented by local television news: low-income women, minorities and youth -- the very demographic and lifestyle groups who have little access to the media and that advertisers don't want," says Robert Huesca, an associate professor of communication at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Public Journalism is now being explored via new media such as the use of mobile phones. Mobile phones have the potential to transform reporting and place the power of reporting in the hands of the public. Mobile telephony provides low-cost options for people to set up news operations.
Birth of Blogs and the Indymedia Movement
In 1999, activists in Seattle created the first Independent Media Center (IMC) in response to the WTO meeting being held there. These activists understood the only way they could get into the corporate media is by blocking the streets. And then, the scant 60 seconds of coverage would show them being carted off by the police, but without any context to explain why they were protesting. They knew they had to create an alternative media model. Since then, the Indymedia movement has experienced exponential growth, and IMCs have been created in over 200 cities all over the world.
Simultaneously, journalism that was "by the people" began to flourish, enabled in part by emerging internet and networking technologies, such as weblogs, chat rooms, message boards, wikis and mobile computing. A relatively new development is the use of convergent polls, allowing editorials and opinions to be submitted and voted on.
Overtime, the poll converges on the most broadly accepted editorials and opinions. In South Korea, OhmyNews became popular and commercially successful with the motto, "Every Citizen is a Reporter." Founded by Oh Yeon-ho on February 22, 2000, it has a staff of some 40-plus traditional reporters and editors who write about 20% of its content, with the rest coming from other freelance contributors who are mostly ordinary citizens. OhmyNews has been credited with transforming South Korea's conservative political environment.
In 2001, ThemeParkInsider.com became the first online publication to win a major journalism award for a feature that was reported and written entirely by readers, earning an Online Journalism Award from the Online News Association and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism for its "Accident Watch" section, where readers tracked injury accidents at theme parks and shared accident prevention tips.
In 2004, a citizen journalism website called AssociatedContent.com was launched. The "People's Media Company", as they claim to be, was the first company to offer monetary compensation for their users that publish quality content in the form of articles, videos and audio clips. A few years later, WorldVoiceNews.com was launched, claiming the tagline “Honest and Unfiltered,” and paying editors and reporters a per-story fee based on the number of stories they submit and the revenue for the company each month.
During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, both the Democratic and Republican parties issued press credentials to citizen bloggers covering the convention, marking a new level of influence and credibility for nontraditional journalists. Some bloggers also began watchdogging the work of conventional journalists, monitoring their work for biases and inaccuracy.
A recent trend in citizen journalism has been the emergence of what blogger Jeff Jarvis terms hyperlocal journalism, as online news sites invite contributions from local residents of their subscription areas, who often report on topics that conventional newspapers tend to, ignore. "We are the traditional journalism model turned upside down," explains Mary Lou Fulton, the publisher of the Northwest Voice in Bakersfield, California. "Instead of being the gatekeeper, telling people that what's important to them 'isn't news,' we're just opening up the gates and letting people come on in. We are a better community newspaper for having thousands of readers who serve as the eyes and ears for the Voice, rather than having everything filtered through the views of a small group of reporters and editors."
Legal implications in the United States of America
The growth of online participatory journalism gives rise to the legal question of whether bloggers who gather and disseminate “news” should be classified as journalists. In light of the proposed federal reporter-shield law, the resolution of this issue will have far reaching implications for the millions of people in this country who disseminate information via blogs.
In other words, are bloggers the modern day equivalent of the revolutionary pamphleteer who passed out leaflets on the street corner? Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia have enacted shield laws that allow journalists the privilege to shield their confidential sources from disclosure. These states are Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee. (The First Amendment and The Fourth Estate, Ninth Edition, Foundation Press, p. 542.)
In its landmark decision in Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), the United States Supreme Court recognized that “the administration of a constitutional newsman’s privilege would present practical and conceptual difficulties of high order … Sooner or later it would be necessary to define those categories of newsmen who qualify for the privilege, a questionable procedure in light of the traditional doctrine that liberty of the press is the right of the lonely pamphleteer who uses carbon paper or a mimeograph just as much as the larger metropolitan publisher who utilizes the latest photocomposition methods.”
The time is fast approaching when these legal lines will have to be drawn. In recent times, bloggers have broken too many stories of national interest that mainstream media either overlooked, or decided against reporting, not to be considered legitimate news gatherers and reporters. Moreover, the fact that many bloggers are anonymous is of marginal importance to the question of whether they qualify as journalists. The Supreme Court has long recognized that anonymous speech is entitled to First Amendment protection. In Talley v. California, 362 U.S. 60 (1960), The Supreme Court exclaimed that “anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind.”
Indeed the Federalist Papers were published under the pseudonym “Publius.” Accordingly, there are times and circumstances when the authorities may not compel those engaged in the dissemination of ideas to be publicly identified for the fear of identification and reprisal might deter perfectly lawful discussions of matters of public importance. See Bates v. Little Rock, 361 U.S. 516. The way the courts deal with the myriad issues that will arise from the use of this cyber-soapbox will determine the extent to which First Amendment freedoms will flourish in the age of Internet.
Conclusion
Meanwhile, other issues of telecommunication, policies and laws were discussed recommendations were made. For although the recommendation were written in French, what is important to share here is that citizen journalists are compliments to there work of professional journalists. For fact, journalists do not manufacture new, their work is to follow the daily events that result from the interactions of the citizens themselves. And for most part, it is not possible for professional journalists to be everywhere at all times. This is to say the involvement of the citizens themselves in divulging the events and situations the find themselves in, reporting them to the public will feed mainstream journalism with information that they can follow up to professionalize – I mean to investigate and balance. In this case, the follow of information will be democratized, and I believe that governance by so doing will be enhanced.
But since the citizen journalism has the potential to feed the public with one-sided or bias information regarding events, the practice of such journalism will not put out of business the ethical practice of trained and career journalists whose business is to professional information. On the question of blogging, it is in deed a fact that the bloggers are not subject to the newsroom formality. This is to say that even the citizen journalists as bloggers, will not be sending out professional, balanced and/or authentic information out.
Besides, the importance of the emergence of the new technology and new journalism is immeasurable. For instance, produces effective family ties. The wife and the husband can communicate so easily to decide on family welfare and wellbeing away from each other. This is possible through the use of mobile phones, the media of communication that could also be used by citizen journalists to drive in information into the mainstream media. The use of mobile phones, understandably just as the use of weblogs, is a way the participatory communication of information or events is possible between the citizen journalists and professional media practitioners on hand, and has engendered the free flow of information amongst the public, the media and the government. Isn’t it a fact that the journalists use mobile phones to either file stories on the airwaves through radio and television channels? Isn’t it true that journalists use the mobile phones to contact bureaucrats for information? Or isn’t it obvious that the mobile phones are used between professional media personnel and members of the public to call for coverage? Well this is a function of the new information communication technology. In other advance settings, one does not have to stand in line at the bank to access is account. It takes either the computer of the mobile phone to transact with the bank.
In conclusion, the information society is more and more relying on the new technological development to democratize the society, enhance governance and to build concrete platform for the integration of people, especially in a postwar society like Liberia. In the Liberian context where the government is engaged to social and economic development, while at the same time reconciling and reintegrating the people, there is no doubt that building blocks on the prudent application of the information and communication technology will enhance reintegration of repatriated Liberians and their IDP compatriots; it will also be a source of inviting investors to the country to ensure the building of the economic capacity of the residents and it will also ensure systematic conduct of the check and balance system of governance provided for by the Liberian Constitution. In total, the use of blogs on the internet and mobile phones will ensure participation of the people in freely expressing themselves, it will put the government in the position to know what the people think and will be instrumental in selling the vast resources of Liberia to international investors while promoting collaboration between the branches of government through the free flow of information. We must remember that communication of information is strength and the propelling factor to success in every endeavor, and taking advantage of the new instruments provided for in this new technological age would concretized every efforts to societal and regional advancement.

1 comment:

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