ICONECS Session on
‘E-Content in News and M Content’
October 17, 2008

By Gaurang Sharma

“By reasoning retail is being connected to e-tail. There is very beautiful concept named web 2 store.  Reasoning aims to bridge the gap between the consumers and retailers by redefining the channels of their business, thus enabling them to take informed buying and selling decisions powered by Internet & mobile technology.” The presentation by Ms. Bindu Rathod from reasoning web based mobile services, was an example of how digital content has changed the face of business.

Efforts by organizations like hers, that have the core vision of providing real time information to customers & build a strong communication network between customers & sellers through the use of internet and mobile, explain the relevance of such innovative technologies.

In the realm of news, Voice of the Youth, a viewspaper, a web based portal left a deep impression on peoples mind. Those representing them said that content on blogs must be relevant and must be capable of being understood by the layman in his language.

Bringing news to the people is not an easy task. This fact came into prominence during the ICONECS session on news and m content when groundviews.com from Sri Lanka made its presentation. Sri Lanka is the third most dangerous country for journalists. A journalist was charged under prevention of terrorism act by attorney general. Groundviews is Sri Lanka’s first and only award winning citizens journalism website and features an unparalleled range of ideas, opinions and analyses on humanitarian issues, media freedom, human rights, peace, democratic governance and constitutional reform.
Groundviews was set up under the voices of the reconciliation project conducted in Sri Lanka through the leadership of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) from 2005 – 2006 and funded by CIDA and AusAID. The VOR Project was also instrumental in setting up VOR radio- which complements the content on this site through podcasts on peace, democracy and reconciliation.
Since February 2007 Groundviews has not received any funding from any national or international sources. Therefore there are various stumbling blocks in the path of making information reach the masses and bridge the digital divide.

An eye opening ICT practice was seen in the form of spoken web. This is an initiative to use the World Wide Web in the telecom sector. Service delivery is done to the rural population through a phone. The initiative voice website has been started because audio does not suffer from the bias of literacy.

Efforts by companies like Mobis, a company that tries to break communication barriers between the government and citizens explained how important communication between the two in a democracy is.

Technology, if used in the right way, will not just provide news and information to large populations, but create a situation where people will have unlimited scope for being informed anywhere, anytime. We just need to make use of the high level of mobile penetration and make content through computers more accessible.

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