Category Archives: Edutainment

Media, culture and Azerbaijan

This afternoon I attended a brown bag lunch lecture at the World Bank on mobile technology and access to information. It was put on by Intermedia, an organization here in Washington DC that does amazing work on media research. (If you haven’t yet, you have to check out Audiencescapes).

There were at least half a million things I want to blog about in this presentation, so I’m sure you’ll see this referenced quite a bit in the coming days/weeks.

Although the presentation was about the increase of mobile technology and how it might be more integrated into various projects, the speaker, Dr. Gerry Power cautioned us not to forget about radio. In Africa, in particular, radio is still a major source of information, and to ignore it would be foolish. Mobile may be the fun thing to talk about now, but convergence is a more realistic solution.

But when I think of convergence, I think of old stodgey journalists finally learning how to blog. I guess I’ve been seeing it from the print/broadcast practitioner side of things. As opposed to the mobile producer side of things. But convergence, as Dr. Power’s hinted at, is more than that – its the sharing of content. Not only for the broadcaster’s sake, but for the mobile practioner’s sake, too.

A good example of this can be found in Azerbaijan and Armenia. State-owned media in both countries make it pretty hard to get any peace/reconciliation programming broadcast. So pieces that are originally created for television are instead getting audiences online.

Onni Krikorian, blogger for Global Voices, has been writing a lot lately about various media projects aimed at improving relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. He does an excellent job describing the projects and the media pieces themselves, so I’ll just post his links here. These are highly produced pieces that aren’t being broadcast via television, as intended, but instead are making it into homes via the internet and mobile.

Armenia-Azerbaijan: Dialogue through Film

More Dialogue through Film (one of my favorites is on this one- check out the film called Download)

and Backseat musical musings….and ethnic conflict

And of course, because its on Global Voices, the conversation going on after these posts are equally interesting.

There seems to be a lot of activity in media for change in the region. The very reason I became interested in Azerbaijan was because of a job posting for a media and social change project in Baku. (It made me realize how much I don’t know about the region!)

Its definitely a region I’ll keep watching…

What Law and Order taught me about fake purses

Was it just another dead end lead, or a teaching moment?

Law and Order must be longest running TV series on the planet. And it always finds obscure, or not-so-obscure, cases in real life in which to base its plots. Last night, I’m sure was no exception.

But what struck me about last night’s episode, was one of the dead end leads that the detectives followed, briefly, in the hunt for the elusive murderer

The victim had come to New York on a bus tour, from upstate. Most of the people on the tour bus went shopping in Chinatown, to purchase fake goods- purses, bags, watches, etc. And the tour bus operator had recommended a certain shop ( a different one than he usually recommends). And for a brief moment the detectives thought the murder was in retaliation for the switch.

It turns out it had nothing to do with shopping in Chinatown.

But in the course of the investigation, the writers took the opportunity to slip in a little fact about these counterfeit goods.

Sweatshops.

When I think of the fake stuff, I think of Intellectual Property Rights issues, not really child labor. When I think of sweatshops (whether children or adult laborers), I think of Wal-Mart, Kathy Lee Gifford, chocolate, or Persian rugs. For some reason, I don’t associate the counterfeit goods with sweatshops.

Maybe I haven’t been paying attention. Maybe its an aspect of the illegal trade that hasn’t been promoted enough.

Either way, there are 2 good reasons NOT to buy fake.

So to the “two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders,” thank you for the info!