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AFRO-NETS> The Drum Beat - 96 - Review of The C.I. Home Page

The Drum Beat - 96 - Review of The C.I. Home Page

from The Communication forces...local 
choices...critical voices...telling stories... 


This Drum Beat pulls together compelling stories from The C.I. Home 
Page - Apr 16 2001 - May 28 2001.

The Home Page contains regularly updated briefing notes on important 
stories, trends, and events that affect the context in which we all 
work. We try to find relevant information, usually from sources that 
you won't see in the mainstream media, and we provide links you can 
use to follow-up for more information in the areas that interest and 
affect you most. If you haven't done so please check it out and let 
us know what you think or send us stories and information from your 
own work and experience.


Archived and searchable

1. Ecuadorian Communications Specialists Unite to Give Civil Society
   a National Voice (Apr 16 2001)

April 2001 - APCNews reports that several alternative multimedia or-
ganizations with strong professional capacities have joined together 
to create Altermedios, an associa-
tion they hope will build and support democratization of communica-
tions nationally. By providing such an opening for groups tradition-
ally absent from public media coverage, the association hopes to im-
pact on public opinion in Ecuador's pluralist society, the develop-
ment community and social movements nationally and internationally.

2. How Thailand Took on the Transnational Tobacco Titans (Apr 23 

April 20 2001 - IDRC Reports profiles a book by Hatai Chitanondh 
called 'Defeat in Trade, Victory in Health', on Thailand's experience 
with tobacco controls. Called 'a source of information and encourage-
ment to all who fight Big Tobacco, especially in developing coun-
tries', it details the 20-month battle that led to the re-energizing 
of anti-tobacco forces and gave Thailand the right to impose some of 
the strictest tobacco controls in the world. 
For more info contact IDRC

3. Transforming the Digital Divide into Online Opportunities (May 7 

May 3 2001 - Joanna Schouten writes in iConnect about PEOPLink a non-profit organisation that trains and 
equips grassroots artisans to use digital cameras and the Internet to 
market their crafts while showcasing their cultural richness. 
PEOPLink has a network of 55 Trading Partners in 21 countries. They 
have recently developed a tool called CatGen (Catalog Generator), a 
digital platform designed for use by SMEs, which can be downloaded 
free at

4. A Tower of Babel on the Internet? The World Bank's Development

April 2001 - The Bretton Woods Project has prepared a briefing on the 
World Bank's Development Gateway Internet portal to be launched July 
1. It argues that the Gateway will appear neutral and comprehensive 
but will privilege powerful, not marginalized voices and will prevent 
proper coverage of important crosscutting topics such as gender and 
climate change. People wishing to offer comments and ideas can do so:

5. Zimbabwe Web Site to Help Restore Democracy/Rule of Law (May 17

May 2 2001 - Balancing Act Issue 58 reports that Zimbabwe Democracy 
Trust has launched a new website. Called it is an amalgamation of websites that have 
come together to assist the Trust's efforts to restore democracy and 
rule of law to Zimbabwe. It will provide news coverage on major is-
sues, regular exclusives by Zimbabwean journalists and a daily free 
e-mail newsletter. For further information:


New COMMENTARY in Drum Role

AIDS & Poverty in Africa

Was AIDS in Africa hijacked by an extreme behavioralist explanation? 
Were ideas of racial difference used to ask questions about Africans 
instead of AIDS? How would the fight against AIDS look different if 
we asked 'How is AIDS different in Africa' instead? Have we ignored 
the impacts of poverty & malnutrition on the spread of the disease? 
How can we do better in the next 10 years than we have in the past? 
What will happen in Latin America and Asia if we don't? Eileen Still-
waggon looks at these questions in Drum Role.


Archived and searchable

6. Singapore Government to Pass Bill Curbing Foreign Media (Apr 19 

Apr 19 2001 - The Times of India reports that Singapore is expected 
to pass a bill in parliament that will punish foreign broadcasters if 
the government deems they are 'engaging in domestic politics' through 
their reporting. Singapore Cable Vision, the country's only cable op-
erator has told foreign broadcasters such as CNN, BBC, and Bloomberg 
that 'they will have to be very circumspect where reporting is con-

7. Can the Drug Companies Win in Brazil? (Apr 26 2001),7369,474951,00.html

April 19, 2001 - Charlotte Denny and James Meek of The Guardian re-
port that the forthcoming battle with Brazil over generic drugs will 
raise uncomfortable questions about cost recovery arguments for 
worldwide patent protection. Attention is beginning to focus on the 
lack of transparency about research spending, high profit levels, de-
pendency on publicly funded breakthroughs, and high spending on mar-
keting and drugs for lifestyle problems in the developed world.

8. Mexican Indigenous Rights Bill Recognises Women's Rights (May 7 

May 4 2001 - IGC WomensNet News reports that a bill sent to the lower 
house of Congress after Senate approval will bring Mexico's constitu-
tion into line with international conventions on indigenous rights. 
The law, a product of intense congressional debate and lobbying by 
the Zapatista National Liberation Army, pays special attention to the 
double discrimination suffered by indigenous women on both the gender 
and ethnic fronts.

9. Angel Warns Women of Sex Slave Trade (May 17 2001)

May 17 2001 - Valeria Korchagina of the Moscow Times writes that 
women's rights organizations have announced a public-awareness cam-
paign to combat trafficking in women. Angel, a nationwide coalition 
of women's rights groups will use the slogan 'don't get hooked by 
promises, get the facts' to encourage women to be learn more before 
considering work abroad. Each year 50,000 women from the former So-
viet Union are tricked into servitude and prostitution.

10. War in DRC has Killed at Least 2.5 Million (May 24 2001)

May 4 2001 - Radio Netherlands reports that a recent study has found 
that some 2.5 million people have been killed in the eastern part of 
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, since the outbreak of fighting 
in August 1998. The International Rescue Committee says the 
situation this year is worse than last year with a high mortality 
rate especially amongst children. The death-toll would be even higher 
if victims in the country's western parts had been included in the 


Coming Soon - DB CLASSIFIEDS - twice monthly.

Consultants, Books & Training Events on the 1st Wednesday
Vacancies on the 3rd Wednesday



Archived and searchable

11. Use of Internet by Print and Online Journalists (Apr 16 2001)

Source: Media Study 2000

98% use online editorial material.
50% have done so for more than 2 years.
Most spend more than 1 hour per day on the Internet.
The Internet is most often used for background research and checking 
corporate contact information.
Most use search engines to find information.
Biggest attraction is its 24-hour accessibility and international 
Biggest drawback is finding quality information and the ephemeral na-
ture of web content.

12. Mexico's Indigenous People
Source: IGC Women's Net

Around 30% of Mexico's 10 million indigenous people - and 48% of in-
digenous women - are illiterate, compared to a national average of 
51.6% of housing in indigenous communities lacks electricity while 
the national average is 12.9%. 
68.3% of indigenous households have no potable water, 90.4% lack sew-
erage services and 76.4% have dirt floors, compared to national aver-
ages of 20.9%, 21.4% and 20.9%, respectively. 


This issue compiled by Chris Morry <>


The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for de-
velopment activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement 
or support by The Partners. 

Please send material for The Drum Beat to 
The Editor
Deborah Heimann

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