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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

Jun 04, 2001

The Communication Initiative:Global 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.


COMMUNICATION NEWS in Tempo Archived and searchable

1. Ecuadorian Communications Specialists Unite to Give Civil Society 
a National Voice (Apr 16 2001)
b06145d91465887ec. April 2001 APCNews reports that several alterna-
tive multimedia organizations with strong professional capacities 
have joined together to create Altermedios, an association they hope will 
build and support democratization of communications nationally. By 
providing such an opening for groups traditionally absent from public 
media coverage, the association hopes to impact on public opinion in 
Ecuador's pluralist society, the development 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 encouragement 
to all who fight Big Tobacco, especially in developing countries', 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 
2001) 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 show-
casing 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 
act58a.html 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 contact


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 
Stillwaggon looks at these questions in Drum Role.


DEVELOPMENT NEWS in About Time Archived and searchable

6. Singapore Government to Pass Bill Curbing Foreign Media (Apr 19 
2001) 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 report-
ing.  Singapore Cable Vision, the country's only cable operator has 
told foreign broadcasters such as CNN, BBC, and Bloomberg that 'they 
will have to be very circumspect where reporting is concerned.'

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 report that the 
forthcoming battle with Brazil over generic drugs will raise uncom-
fortable questions about cost recovery arguments for worldwide patent 
protection.  Attention is beginning to focus on the lack of transpar-
ency about research spending, high profit levels, dependency on pub-
licly funded breakthroughs, and high spending on marketing 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 or-
ganizations have announced a public-awareness campaign to combat traf
ficking 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 Soviet 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 mil-
lion 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 situa
tion this year is worse than last year with a high mortality rate es-
pecially 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 infor-
mation. Biggest attraction is its 24-hour accessibility and interna-
tional coverage. Biggest drawback is finding quality information and 
the ephemeral nature 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 
indigenous women - are illiterate, compared to a national average of 
10%. 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 sewerage services and 76.4% have 
dirt floors, compared to national averages of 20.9%, 21.4% and 20.9%, 


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 

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