The awards cover Austria and Switzerland as well as Germany, and are organised by the European Web Video Academy, a group of German journalists and web enthusiasts based in Düsseldorf, directed by Markus Hündgen and Dimitrios Argirakos and supported by Julius Endert and Daniel Pahl (disclaimer: I’m working there at the moment).
Their aim: help web video grow stronger, consult (media) companies and promote a new generation of young, talented web video producers. Continue reading →
In a guest post for OJB, cross-posted from her blog, Franzi Baehrle reviews a new German TV show which operates across broadcast, web and mobile.
There’s a big experiment going on in German television. And I have to admit that I was slightly surprised that the rather conservative “Bayerischer Rundfunk” (BR, a public service broadcaster in Bavaria), would be the one to start it.
Blogger and journalist Richard Gutjahr was approached by BR to develop a format merging internet and TV. On Monday night the “Rundshow” was aired for the first time at 11pm German time, and will be running Mondays-Thursdays for the next four weeks. Continue reading →
How does the foreign aid of Germany support other countries? The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) releases no details, although about 6 billion euros is made available for aid every year. Now the Open Knowledge Foundation in Germany has broken down the data – with the unintended help of the OECD.
For two days Christian Kreutz wrangled with the data sets, then he presented his first results on a new open-data map. More than half the ODA payments come from the BMZ, the rest come from other ministries. Kreutz concludes: “Hardly any country receives nothing.”
Interestingly, not only classic developing countries are supported. The lion’s share goes to BRIC countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China which have profited from high economic growth for years.
Russia received around 12 billion euros in the years 1995 to 2009, China and India around 6 and 4 billion euros respectively.
Current sites of conflict receive quite a lot of money: Iraq received 7 billion euros, with the majority coming from debt cancellation. A similar situation is found in Nigeria and Cameroon.
In comparison Afghanistan and Pakistan receive only about 1.2 billion euros.
Even authoritarian regimes benefit from German development aid: Syria received around 1 billion euros. A large proportion of the money is spent on debt relief as well as water and education projects.
Interestingly, however, some European states received more money: Poland got 2.8 billion, mainly going into the education sector.
EU aspirants Serbia and Turkey received 2 billion euros each.
Payment information was also combined with data from the Economist on democratic development. Here a kind of rule of thumb can be recognised: countries which are less democratic are encouraged.
Egypt, for example, not only received support for water projects and its textile industry, but also for its border police – by an unspecified federal ministry.
BMZ is opening up
The new aid data map does not break down numbers by donors yet. But it could do so, as the detailed OECD data supports it.
Christian Kreutz has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the BMZ to get further data. But the ministry is already showing signs of movement: a spokesperson said that project funding data will be published soon on the ministry’s website.
The interesting question is how open and accessible the BMZ data will be. Recipients of ODA funds can not be inferred directly from the OECD database. Open data activists hope that the BMZ will not hide the data behind a restrictive search interface to prevent further analysis, à la Farmsubsidy.
After publishing the app in German one month ago (and 20 days later the English version), the feedback was overhelming. We didn’t think that so many people would be so interested in it. But Twitter and Facebook in Germany went wild with it for some days – along with coverage in many major tech websites.
Probably this is why data journalism works: Making an abstract notion everybody knows about visible: that every position of you, and every connection of your mobile phone does is – or could be – logged. Every call, text message and data connection.
Germany’s online journalism had a pretty good start in the mid-90s. News magazine DER SPIEGEL was among the first to use the proprietary online service Compuserve for pre-publishing its weekly title story and some extracts, as well as providing discussion space for their readers’ feedback. On Compuserve they hosted the first public chat with a politician, the then prime minister of the eastern German state of Saxonia, Kurt Biedenkopf (an event that made it to the front page of Wall Street Journal). Continue reading →
German regional publisher WAZ just launched its new flagship website, Der Westen. New features include geotagging, blogs and keyword filtering, monitored from a futuristic-looking newsroom. Martin Stabe has the details.
The concept, writes Der Spiegel, is to let users choose the centre of their world, their perspective on news. Der Westen then provides content around it.
The FAZ today has an interview of blogger-turned-editor-in-chief Katharina Borchert. Numerous online ventures have been playing on regional papers’ turf, from local advertisers flocking to AdSense to local radios breaking news more rapidly, she says. To compete, paper brands must regain their offline roles as community leaders by enhancing the news hole with social features, Facebook-style. Continue reading →