Silicon Valley’s latest digital darling is tapping into the creativity, intimacy, and authenticity that audio can deliver

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Google “What is Clubhouse?” and you’ll find a flurry of articles written in the past few weeks about this fast-growing social network. It’s not yet a year old, and much of the buzz stems from the fact that Clubhouse is invite-only, bringing with it an element of exclusivity.

Clubhouse’s key attribute is its medium: audio, which sets it apart from established social media and messaging services like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp and YouTube that use text, photos, video or a mix. Clubhouse combines the structure of old-school text chatrooms with the immediacy and emotion of the human voice.

The social…


Insights from Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Alum in emerging economies and the Global South

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A journalist talks to the camera on Paseo de la Reforma avenue amid the lockdown in Mexico City on April 6, 2020 [Reuters/Carlos Jasso]

“Newsgathering has been hit by unprecedented challenges at a time when the whole news media info system was already under significant pressure,” says Antonio Zappulla, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF). “Quite simply we are living in a different world than we were exactly 12 months ago.”

Zappulla’s remarks were made at an event to launch TRF’s new report on The Impact of COVID-19 on Journalism in Emerging Economies and the Global South, a study which explores the challenges faced by journalists around the world and how they’re navigating the difficulties of reporting in the COVID-era.

At the heart…


In 2018, 395 million people watched eSports. By 2023, viewership is anticipated to have grown to 646 million viewers around the world, with MENA a key market for this potential growth.

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Promotional image for Zain esports, via Facebook.

eSports is one of the world’s fastest growing tech and entertainment industries, with audiences and revenues alike on the rise. Although COVID-19 has inevitably had an impact, the global eSports market is expected to be worth nearly $1.6 billion in 2023 up from $776 million in 2018, according to researchers.

And although much of the growth is driven by major markets like North America and China, the Middle East is also playing a role in the eSports boom.

“The Middle East is a fast-growing gaming market, evolving from casual gaming to virtual reality games and competitive sports. With a growing…


Webinar with the Foreign Press Association

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Will Church, Head of Journalism and Media Programmes at the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), and I, joined Ian Williams of the Foreign Press Association USA to discuss the new TRF report on The impact of COVID-19 on Journalism in Emerging Economies and the Global South.

Across the world, the virus has affected media as well as the health of journalists. The pandemic has driven fake news and evoked a surge of threats against the media in emerging economies.

Sent out to cover the epidemic, hundreds of our colleagues have died, others have been threatened by governments and proprietors for reporting…


The MENA region is in the middle of a digital transformation, which 2020 and COVID-19 has only accelerated

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Image of The Line, a 170-kilometre urban development in Saudi Arabia that will be entirely powered by renewable energy via Twitter

The MENA region is in the middle of a digital transformation, which 2020 and COVID-19 has only accelerated. I asked five experts to share the tech trends they see influencing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) this year, with digital payments, greater investment in AI and mobile, coupled with the need for greater focus on cybersecurity, all getting a mention.

A look into big projects ahead

Among the things to look out for on the Middle East tech scene in 2021 is the Expo 2020 event, which is due to take place in Dubai in the UAE for six months starting from October says Matthew…


How is #COVID19 affecting those on whom we depend for critical, balanced and accurate information?

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A new report containing the voices of journalists working across the Global South and Emerging Economies, highlighting the challenges faced by the profession during the pandemic, is released today by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

It is the first such study combining in-depth research into the insights of industry leaders, advocates and media experts with the first-hand experiences of reporters on-the-ground in these regions, to explore the major issues impacting the profession.

The 55 contributing journalists, who are alumni of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s training programmes, are from 26 countries including Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Romania and the Philippines. Their insights…


My working year: in numbers

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2020. What a year!

Despite all the challenges and new ways of doing things, it was still possible to get lots of interesting things done. Here is a quick summary:

Public Engagement

  • 145 Media Mentions and Interviews
  • 13 Conference Panels and Workshops

Creative Work

  • 86 articles
  • 8 podcasts

Research

  • 3 new research reports published
  • 136 citations
  • 1 Faculty Innovation Research Award

Teaching and Service

  • 6 classes taught
  • 4 campus visits co-ordinated — including 4 public talks (all recorded), 12 class visits, 806 students and members of the public engaged face-to-face, 4 TV studio interviews and 4 podcasts.
  • 1 board joined: KLCC Public Radio Foundation
  • 1 Fellowship: Fellow, Career Readiness CAIT (Communities…

Demystifying online misinformation, constructive journalism,. the rise of eSports, documentary filmmaking and conversations with recent alumni

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In conversation with OPB’s Samantha Matsumoto (top) and Meerah Powell (below) for the Next Generation Leaders podcast. Image via Twitter

This post follows on from several earlier round-ups, bringing together my work from the past year in terms of, pubic scholarship and engagement, applied research, media business and revenue models, changing journalistic practice and social media and tech in the Middle East,

Demystifying Media Series


Local news, online misinformation, revenue opportunities, and the impact of COVID on journalism and journalism education… just some of the topics I touched on in the past 12 months

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This post follows on from several earlier round-ups, bringing together my work from the past year in terms of applied research, media business and revenue models, changing journalistic practice and social media and tech in the Middle East,

COVID-19 meant all my travel this year was virtual. But Zoom made it possible to engage in events hosted by the United Nations, Facebook, WAN-IFRA and others, enabling me to speak at sessions originating in Brussels, Cardiff, India, Oxford (UK), Singapore and elsewhere.

I contributed to a wide range of discussions, covering everything from distributed newsrooms, through to the rise of content-led…

Damian Radcliffe

Chambers Professor in Journalism @uoregon | Fellow @TowCenter @CardiffJomec @theRSAorg | Write @wnip @ZDNet | Host Demystifying Media podcast https://itunes.app

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