Monday, February 8, 2010

First hot and spicy day at the tovuti training

The Stone Town of Zanzibar is so nice, with narrow alleys, chalked white houses with traditionally carved wooden doors and balconies, small mosques in every second corner, children playing in the street, and vendors trading fruits and spices. The scent of spices is really everywhere.

This is the place where we are conducting a one-week training course for local journalists in the use of internet, tovuti in Kiswahili, for fact-finding, news monitoring, communication and also publication. The training is organized by MISA-Tanzania and VIKES Foundation, a solidarity organization of journalist associations in Finland.

There are altogether 20 participants in the training, 15 from Unguja (the bigger of the Zanzibar islands) and five participants from Pemba. There are TV journalists from the government television, radio journalists from the government radio and also private channels, and print journalists from Zanzibar Leo newspaper and correspondents for newspapers in mainland Tanzania.

Our venue is the computer lab at the State University of Zanzibar, shortly SUZA, at the edge of the Stone Town.

After an introduction of all participants, we have today visited a number of websites that have in one way or another changed the world in the quite recent era of internet. We have seen what Americans buy at eBay, we have visited the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia to edit the actual population of Wete town in Pemba, and we have watched a video on YouTube where people seem to be making popcorn by the use of mobile phones. We also did an exercise on how to book a plane ticket from Zanzibar to Nairobi through the new Kenyan flight company

And at the end of the day, most of the participants opened their own blogs. I will provide links later.

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