Archive for the ‘Citizen journalism’ Category

Election ‘07: pictures of peace at the polls

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Amid fears of a violent election, an abiding memory of this election is how easily ‘rival’ supporters mixed. Yes, there were several murders, and while one murder will always remain one too many, there wasn’t anything of the level to feed the headlines of the international media who came to Jamaica for Election Day - possibly in the expectation of such an occurrence.

RJR Reporter/Producer Rohan Powell managed to grab several photographs of this People’s National Party (PNP) supporter (below) at Clan Carthy High School polling station in the South East St. Andrew constituency, who went out of his way to greet his opposites in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).


Meanwhile (below) at Kingston High School polling station in the Central Kingston constituency, the ‘dogs of war’ never bared their teeth; this JLP mutt was quite happy and kept on a leash.


Perhaps you have your own photos, videos or stories from Election Day and the campaign? Email:

Braving hurricanes and election violence

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

With inner city communities inside the South East St. Andrew constituency suffering from an upsurge in murders during the election, some outsiders might be wondering how it is that people there summon the will to venture outside their homes on a daily basis.

But as this video, shot during Hurricane Dean demonstrates, residents from the constituency’s Vineyard Town community are made of stern stuff. Men - not forgetting the person filming - are shown walking in off the street, despite the storm blowing hard.

Artists voicing views on the politicians

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

When artists aren’t having their music co-opted by candidates to promote their election campaigning, they are often keen to voice their musical opposition to the political process.

The video above, features two artists doing the latter. It’s filmed by David Chen, a Jamaican living in London, who devotes his energies to producing and broadcasting Caribbean content online.

Regularly updated, his YouTube channel not only features footage filmed on his visits to Jamaica, but also keeps in touch with issues affecting London’s Caribbean.

One of the most prolific Caribbean persons online, David’s efforts are appreciated by us here at

First YouTube question for JA candidates

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Some readers may remember the recent CNN-hosted debate between Democratic Presidential hopefuls in the United States, where all questions were provided by members of the public - they were invited to contribute via the video-sharing website

Recently someone, already known to YouTube users for posting under his moniker ‘Mad White Jamaican’, posted a question for candidates in the current general election campaign:

“What are the benefits you believe that you’re opponent can bring to the table to help move our beautiful island forward?” also forwarded the question to the leadership of both main parties - the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) - and is awaiting their response.

Perhaps you have or would like to similarly post a question to YouTube? Let us know and we will assist in getting a response from the politicians concerned.

Are you ready? Send us your footage!

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

YouTube clip of People’s National Party (PNP) rally in Half-Way Tree, St. Andrew on July 8, filmed using a cellular phone.

What happened next?

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced August 27 as Election Day.

Worldwide people are submitting their own material for publication to news organisations, highlighting issues and event. With greater public input journalists are able to provide more diverse, detailed and accurate coverage.

Perhaps you have taken photographs and video footage from the July 8 event and elsewhere on the campaign trail, which you would like to share with the world via The Gleaner and

You will be given full credit for your material. Submissions can be published online and in the Daily Gleaner.


‘New’ election debate on CNN tonight

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

With Jamaica’s election debates two weeks away viewers of CNN tonight will tune in to a debate among Democratic Presidential hopefuls with questioning provided not by a select panel but members of the public, via video-sharing website YouTube.

“They’re a little bit out of their comfort zone,” says CNN Senior Vice President David Bohrman on “It’s going to be very different than how (candidates) react to panelists and journalists at a traditional debate.”

YouTube, along with other Web 2.0 sites which rely on user-generated content, has been credited with democratising media access.

While politicians in Jamaica talk up their e-readiness to a public not yet fully exposed to the technology, their colleagues in the United States are faced by bloggers who have gained large audiences by scrutinising both elected representatives and mainstream media.

It is probably no coincidence that upon visiting the Daily Kos blog – which averages more than half a million visits per day – today’s banner advertisement is promoting the CNN/YouTube debate.

Could Jamaica try the same approach?

“Not yet,” says Gary Allen, Deputy Chairman of the National Debates Commission. A select panel of journalists will instead question senior politicians from the People’s National Party (PNP) and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

Mr. Allen worries that not enough questions would be submitted given the relatively lower level of Internet access in Jamaica compared to the U.S.

Aware of the CNN/YouTube debate, and with Internet access rising in Jamaica, he says the YouTube approach could be tried next election: “I believe that a kind of people’s debate that could drive the questioning is where we could be heading.”

Watch the debate live from 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on CNN TV or


Report on the politicians

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Many readers will be aware of Wikipedia, the online open source dictionary - which allows anyone with access to the Internet to post, edit and even debate entries on any given subject.

However there is relatively little information for the Caribbean and Jamaica on the site. For example: the entries for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Bruce Golding are languishing at ‘stub’ level.


Photos by Ross Sheil: Wikipedia entries for People’s National Party President (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Bruce Golding.

Stubs, explain Wikipedia, are “… either a very short article or a rough collection of information that will need much work to bring it to A-Class level”.

So, if you do not want the nation’s leaders to remain at stub stature on the international stage; then improve the information, by making your own additions to the site or joining its communities, such as WikiProject Caribbean.

You can enter all kinds of factual information such as politicians’ positions on various issues, controversies or political achievements.

You do not need to sign up with the site to get involved in Wikipedia, however it is advised, since otherwise your IP address will be recorded publicly, which will enable others to identify you – creating a free Wikipedia account will maintain your privacy.

With Wikipedia being open source it is possible - and it does happen - for persons to post incorrect or malicious information. Therefore for Wikipedia to remain a reliable resource you must post responsibly and correct information posted by others where necessary.

As of today Wikipedia claims approximately 7.8 million articles in 253 languages making it the world’s largest and fastest growing encyclopedia.