Community News Sites and Engaged Community

MalaysiaKini is currently working on a community news site, KomunitiKini, to provide news and information on communities across Malaysia.  The local news situation in Malaysia is a microcosm of the national news situation, but only with fewer dedicated traditional news outlets.  All of the local mainstream media is associated with a constituent party of the ruling coalition.  Local or regional newspapers are relatively limited and coverage tends to focus on crime with limited reporting on community issues. Independent voices or community activism is restricted to online. Continue reading

Journalist as Entrepreneur

Recently, the MalaysiaKini citizen journalist program kicked into expansion mode with a three-day “train the trainers” workshop in Kuala Lumpur.  As part of the workshop, we held a two-hour introduction to “The Journalist as Entrepreneur”, a primer for building a personal revenue stream from the output of the citizen journalist.

Several examples of successful citizen journalist bloggers exist.  Focused commentators on some topic that have grown their blogs into complete media operations.  Talking Points Memo, Paid ContentTechCrunch all grew from the focus of their founders and a little blogging software.  If you want a reminder for where these sites started spend a little time on the WayBack Machine.

[More on my Knight Fellow Blog at knight.icfj.org]

Overview of the Marketing and Product Development Process

This morning I conducted my first training with 11 members of the business team here.  We spent three hours discussing the general outlines of marketing and product development.  There was genuine interest and some very helpful comments.  Especially around expanding the presentation to be closer to 4 hours on the details and then to break the training with more team exercises on both marketing and product development.  So,
moving on to develop some team exercises for the presentation.  Any ideas?

There was also need for more on product management and the pipeline management process, as well as the need for something on strategy and technology management.  So, in addition to marketing and the product development overview, we may also add training on these aspects of marketing, product development and product management.

We will building this training out into more modules with more exercises in the next few months as well as applying the process to specific case studies of products in development here in KL.

Feedback and comments are welcome and encouraged.

Comments can be found at the Knight Fellow Blog or on Slideshare.net

Presentation on Slideshare

Southeast Asian Media Legal Defense Network Launches in Kuala Lumpur

Media controls are a complicated business.  We are all aware of the overt control exerted over the media in markets where the media is owned or “affiliated” with the government or where access to the Internet is filtered through a firewall.  But, in markets across Asia less overt but equally effective techniques are used to keep the media under control or out of the picture. These techniques often take the form of legal or administrative barriers to operations.

Just in the last month, one book has been banned from publication, a book of editorial cartoons, and several print publications have had their publishing license challenged. In a media environment where media business models are already fragile, independent media operators can be crushed by the high costs of defending themselves against these media challenges.

[more] redirect to Knight Fellow Blog

Bon Voyage – Selamat Jalan – 一路顺风

Six media professionals – three print, two video, one business – have tried to absorb over a week’s worth of training, counsel and advice before embarking for five very different efforts to expand the quality and the sustainability of journalism.  We are each Knight International Journalism Fellows, a program developed and managed by the International Committee for Journalists, through grants from Knight Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

Now we are each off to our respective destinations – Peru, Haiti, Egypt/Jordan/Palestine, Sierra Leone, Malawi.  As for me, I am off to Malaysia where I will work with the team at Malaysiakini.com, the largest online news source in Malaysia and one of the largest online content providers in Southeast Asia.  [More]