formalising suggestions for PINA 2009 Port Vila

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Avaiki Nius Agency has set up Google Moderator for Pacific Islands Journalism Online ahead of this year's "crucial" biennual convention of the Pacific Islands News Association in Port Vila, July 2009.
Google Moderator allows members of the online forum to suggest issues they'd like to see discussed at PINA 2009, just four months away," says agency editor Jason Brown.
"As with PIJO and the Pacific Freedom Forum, the PINA moderator forum is a way of bringing democracy to media processes within the region, adding a layer of formality to policy discussion around media accountability systems.
"PIJO members are free to ignore the forum, as is PINA, but adoption of Google Moderator in the US signals that this approach carries serious weight in how the future of the planet is decided over the next four years."
Google Moderator has been approved by the Obama administration as a step towards formalising citizen participation in US democratic processes.
Issues being discussed informally across the region include:
  • The future of the PINA Secretariat - is it time to get out of Fiji
  • Public Broadcasting - was privatisation a strategic mistake for island states
  • Journalism in crisis - new models for old media
  • Climate change - media engagement responding to threats of sovereign extinction
  • The basics - how many journalists ignore codes of ethics
  • Violence against women - rethinking the role of media
  • Institutional memory - what happened to all the old PINA resolutions
  • Trade - digging into doubts over being "bullied" into globalisation
  • Corruption - extending the fight to web2 gov2
Brown says that there has been a pattern of the "real" issues being ignored at PINA or shunted aside to last minute debates that go nowhere.
He suspects a problem in the past has been from the chilling effects of aid, in a reluctance to offend sponsors including leading donors like NZAID and AusAID.
"Playing it safe is no longer an option for PINA or any organisation representing the media industry across the world's biggest feature. Journalism is in crisis not just in the islands but worldwide, including New Zealand and our neighbour Australia. Timelines around climate changes have imploded over the last 12 months. Global capitalism has collapsed under its own greed at the same time. Newspapers are disappearing by the day, thousands of journalism and media jobs with them," he says.
Journalists, especially, need to build on passive observance and reporting by contributing to regional debate, building networks of support and voting on suggestions, even if anonymously, he says.
"PIJO and PFF are examples of web2 enabled information leadership by the region, encouraging transparency, and accountability by allowing peer review commentary.
"Both bodies thus find themselves in the curious position of regional leadership, there being no similar vote enabled forums in Australia or New Zealand, or indeed anywhere else to my knowledge," he says. By comparison, for example, "New Zealand journalists have met once in the last 20 years."
"Simply by participating, island journalists and their supporters can inspire and influence meaningful change globally."
As follows, details for the PIJO moderator forum. Members should feel free to invite others.
Informal discussions concerning the future of PINA are ongoing across the world's largest feature.
As a support group, PIJO members have an opportunity here to semi-formalise their views by participating in this forum, including anonymously if they chose, with their ideas, questions and suggestions. Members can then vote on which they like best.
This is non-binding on PINA but may be used as a measure of how accurately the association reflects input from the industry. Below is background to the moderator forum, from Google:
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Citizen participation that scales: a call to action

3/24/2009 07:44:00 PM
At Google we hold weekly town hall-style meetings with our founders, CEO, and guest speakers, which always feature a Q&A session. Managing Q&A is a unique challenge with an audience of thousands, in offices around the world, who inevitably want to ask more questions than we have time to answer. To help address this challenge, we developed Google Moderator, built on App Engine.
Moderator gives participants a way to submit questions and vote for the ones they want answered. And thanks to the scale that App Engine provides, this application can now support tens of thousands of people at once. This gives everyone the chance to be heard in a way that gives priority to the issues that matter most to the broader group.
As you may have heard, the White House is hosting an online town hall meeting on Thursday and has asked people to submit questions for the president and vote on which ones they think he should answer.
We think technology can be a force for greater accountability and access between citizens and their elected officials. We're excited that the White House has chosen to use the power of cloud-based applications like Google Moderator and App Engine to scale the president's direct dialogue with the American people.
To take part in this experiment in citizen participation, please visit:
Posted by Vic Gundotra, Vice President, Engineering

Links to this post

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Experimentando con la participación ciudadana » El Blog de Enrique ... 
Google Moderator Gets White House Endorsement |  
SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 25, 2009
Google Student Blog: Tell Obama what's on your mind
White House to Use Google Products for Online Town Hall Meeting
Googland: [G] Citizen participation that scales: a call to action
White House Using Google Moderator For Town Hall Meeting. And ...
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jason brown


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