This is one of the highlight from the event “Africa Utopia” at Southbank centre.
It is directed by Teddy Goitom, who has both European an African origin (So called Euro-frican) and two others. (Sorry I only heard about him in the discussion)
The film represents the ongoing sub-cultural revolution and development in Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Angola. The overall impression was very powerful and positive. All the artists introduced in the film have their own story, their motivation, their obstacles, and their hopes and desires. Scenes of slum were not taken with the excessive manner or the exaggeration of poverty, but like something usual for them. The documentary is created in the way the participants (artists in there) want it to be. There was no crying over poverty or inequality between men and women, or lack of resources to realize ones dream, or any kinds of negative exaggeration which Western (and Japanese too) tend to put in the documentary about Africa. Yes they do mention their obstacles but still show their strength to move forward. Of course this does not necessarily represent the Africa, where the continent is massive and things are more complex and complicated than the outsider like me would think. However, I liked it and recommend you to have a look at their webpage.



Live Tweet-pros and cons-

ライブツイート(Live Tweet)――。講演会などのイベントが開催されている時に起きた出来事や発言を、そのイベントに関連したハッシュタグをつけて中継のように配信する行為だ。日本では論者の発言中に携帯電話を操作すると失礼に見られることもあり、あまり普及していないようだが、欧米ではイベントを盛り上げる手法の一環として広く取り入れられている。Wi-Fiのパスワードを教えたりツイート内容をスクリーンに表示したりといった、促進策を行う主催者もいる。イベントのハッシュタグが付いたツイートが多いと、その地域のトレンドとしてランクインするため、主催者としては成功度合いを図る1つの指標にもなっている。




News Impact Summit London 2016 ニュース・インパクト・サミット・ロンドン2016

Trolls, Corruption, Falsehood: Reporting ‘Truth’ in the Digital Age

荒らし、不正、虚偽がはびこるデジタル時代に「真実」を報道する意義2016-05-12 16.37.02

The News Impact Summit is held in London for the second time on May 12th, 2016. This is a one day event organized by European Journalism Centre. This year, they mainly focused on reporting on/in digital age, about the biggest financial leak done and revealed with digital development, and the robust increase of online-bullying toward people such as political leaders and journalists. I would like to list the summary of points and comments made during the sessions.



◆Panama Papers, Data and Investigation 


Panama Paper consisted of 3 million documents which 370 journalists in the world collaborated on investigating for years. It still has not ended, and ICIJ says that “there are still a lot of stories to be told.” By working on Panama Paper, they “created big international news room (Mar Cabra, ICIJ).” This could be done by the development of online cloud and platforms, to share and work together simultaneously in different parts of the world. The data itself was leaked because it was data, not the actual paper.

パナマ文書は約300万枚の書類から成り、世界中にあるICIJ(国際調査報道ジャーナリスト連合)加盟組織から選ばれたジャーナリスト370人が協力して数年にわたり調査を行ってきた。現在も分析は続いており、ICIJは「まだまだ語られるべきストーリーがある」と強調する。パナマ文書の調査を通じ、ICIJ のCabra職員が「国際的かつ巨大なニュースルームを築いた」と自負する裏側には、オンラインクラウドやプラットフォームの発展によってデータ共有や協業が世界各国で行えるようになったことがあるだろう。まず、リークされたのも文書が実際の紙ではなく電子データだったからである。

One of the platforms they used is Oxwall



There was conflict over time. When Süddeutsche Zeitung, the newspaper which gained the data, wanted to reveal the story ASAP, ICIJ realized they need more time on investigation. Offshore company itself is not illegal, but having it means there is some reason behind or something to hide.

“Data source is like person, it can lie to you” (Helena Bengtsson, The Guardian).

なお、リークから発表までには、最初にデータを得た南ドイツ新聞とICIJの間で葛藤もあったようだ。早く特ダネとして発信したい南ドイツ新聞と、調査に多くの時間を割きたい ICIJ。オフショア企業やペーパーカンパニー創設自体は違法ではないが、所持するにはそれなりの理由があり、資金洗浄や租税回避の可能性もゼロではない。ただ、慎重さは必須だ。



◆Internet Bots and Trolls


Some social bots create political discourse and could influence society, create public opinion, create “morale panic”. These are programmed and automated attacks, while there is also so called “Troll’s Factory” which a group of people get organized and manually attack particular personal and its social media. Bots and Trolls can be used as part of propaganda as it spreads positive comment of them/negative comment of opponents.


It is “information chess game with strategy” (Peter Pomerantsev, Legatum Institute in London). “There is media doing journalism while there is media doing only propaganda” (Jessikka Aro, YLE Kioski).

シンクタンクLegatum InstituteのPomerantsev氏は「戦略に裏打ちされた情報のチェスゲームだ」と語り、トロルについて取材・調査を進める上で被害にも遭ったYLE Kioskiの記者Aro氏は「ジャーナリズムを追求するメディアがある一方で、プロパガンダしか行わないメディアがいる」と憤慨する。


Political Bots are “the latest and pervasive innovation in computational propaganda” (Samuel Woolley, Oxford Internet Institute & University of Washington).

ボットを研究対象とするSamuel Woolley氏は「政治的ボットは、コンピューターを駆使するプロパガンダにおける最新かつ普及性を持つイノベーションだ」と話す。

2016-05-12 13.41.26

While Facebook is accused of manipulating the flow of information to give advantage on conservative view, Twitter wants to stay away from political involvement. When it comes to the freedom of speech, everyone shuts action like a sensitive issue.


Responding strategies he provided seemed simple and nothing different from what people do in actual life, such as 1) Don’t overreact, 2) Work to identify origin of attack, 3) Identify attack objective/ target audience 4) Use alternative communication channels.


There are cases that the misinformation Bots created got reported by actual news media, because it did not do the fact check. On the other hand, if Bots are used in good way, it could be the “information radiator” with endless opportunity for journalists to use it too.



◆Trolls, online harassment and women in media


2016-05-12 16.18.32

There is an organization called “Trolls busters” which female journalists can report on the online abuses or cyber-attacks happened to them. The organization finds targets of cyber-attacks and support victims through legal entity.


There is a tendency that “sensitive subjects written by female more likely to get blocked comments than men” and “Top 10 regular commentators in The Gardian who are mostly abused are 8 women (of 4 coloured) and 2 men (both Black)” (Becky Gardiner, Goldsmiths University of London).






“Migrants, Terror and the media: reporting and responsibilities on the front line” –難民問題とメディア報道の責務-

2016-02-11 19.03.12The panel discussion organized by the London Press Club and the POLIS (Media Think tank of London School of Economics) revealed the audience what and how the journalists covering the story of mass migration of people (refugees) toward European countries are actually thinking and feeling.  They all shared interests and passion, motivation in telling the story. This is obvious as journalists. But at the same time, they seemed like trying to keep the balance of their inner conflicts; the mind of a journalist and a human, distinguishing good/bad migrants or not, listening or not listening to the negative comments, fight or cope with the far-right.

ロンドン・プレス・クラブとLSEのシンクタンクPOLISが2月11日に合同開催したパネルディスカッション「Migrants, Terror and the media: reporting and responsibilities on the front line」は、難民・移民の欧州大量流入を報道するジャーナリストが実際にどんなことを考え、感じているかを知る機会となった。パネリストは全員、当然のことながら、伝えることへの情熱や意欲、興味関心を共有していた。と同時に、ジャーナリストとしての自分と1人の人間としての自分、難民の善し悪しを決めつけるかどうか、ネガティブな意見に耳を貸すか貸さないか、極右的な流れと戦うか向き合うか、といった葛藤の中でバランスを取ろうとしているようにも見えた。

Panels say when reporting the humanitarian crisis story, it is essential to “Humanize” it. Instead of just listing the number of people involved or summarizing the broad idea of what is going on, it should also have personal stories to bring sympathy, make audience feel that the issue relates to all human. The current migrants/refugees issue also needs to be treated as the story of human race, part of THE HISTORY.


One of the panel described how the reaction of his twitter account audience changed since early September to post-Paris terrorist attack. He found 80% of comments were positive when migrants who were stuck at Hungarian border kept their way to Austrian border. Then, as the migrants reach closer to UK, 80% became negative. Then after the Paris attack, though it was done by ISIS, extreme terrorist rather than migrants/refugees fled to Europe, some people started attacking journalist with their “Fear toward THE OTHER.”


What these journalists are afraid is the rise of fear among European people toward the migrants/refugees coming as a mass, and fear-mongering social media contents shaping people’s mindset in negative way and toward far-right. Social media is quite influential as it can be shared very quickly and can reach mass audiences who have similar thoughts, even though it is not taken as the mainstream media. The social media contents can be false and lie but no one really does the fact check,



Then, what is the role of media?



The journalists say they will not and cannot draw lines of what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, no one knows whose policy is right and which measure should be done.  Migrants/refugees have millions of different reasons and motivations to walk toward their “Promised land.” One can be innocent and the other can be nasty. But one panel’s comment hit the point: “These people are not all heavenly creatures, but they have right to live.” It is nearly impossible to distinguish who is so called economic migrants and who is qualified for refugees when there are millions of them; many are in gray zone.


The people with fear may attack migrants/refugees, volunteers, and even journalists covering the story. However, journalists should face with these negative sentiments, ask why, dig into the reasons behind and let the people aware of it. Also, by following and telling all the facts and stories, journalists will let people be aware of the situation and lead to possible answers and solutions.



The podcast for the panel discussion is here. (講演のポッドキャスト)

The page of London Press Club is here.(ロンドン・プレス・クラブのページ)




Stories in Dataデータが語るストーリー


Some stories are hidden in the data, statistics, and surveys.
GfK institute’s consumer sentiment survey proved generosity in German people toward refugees/migrants, while we cannot simply conclude that things are going well there. Data shows certain results but cannot fully reflect the situation. The other survey shows that more people are against Angela Merkel’s Open-door refugee policy. Also, GfK survey was done by 13th of November, the day Paris Attack occurred, the event which hijacked some people’s mind toward Anti-Islamic sentiment…


retrieved link from The Reuters

Paris Attack in the media パリ同時多発テロとメディア論争

Since The Paris Attack occurred on 13th November,2015, I have seen a lot of discussion going on within the social network site, which I call parallel world, and most of them were something new, something quite different from what I have seen.
Some criticized against people who seems like only showing condolences to Paris, people who changed Facebook profile photo with its new option, and “mainstream media” only covering tragedy occurred in developed countries.

Here is my opinion:
I used FB’s option because it was there, and using it would cheer someone who felt upset about the incident. Quite simple. This is a platform made by Americans so it reflects their value more. It will take a while before they think “oh, let’s make this option available to any kinds of incidents with all kinds of flags in all over the world”. When they made rainbow flag option, it went kind of universal but didn’t really hit audiences in my country where the issue is still not widely talked about. It is just one way to reflect your thoughts, and one way for FB to collect data. Such a consumer survey.
The Paris Attack can be the first incident which SNS users showed their sentiment massively and in such explicit way. When protests occurred in Taiwan and Hong Kong, some SNS users changed their profile pictures into black to show their support toward democracy, but that did not gain worldwide recognition. Therefore, that flag option ironically contributed to a greater debate. It made people aware, gave chance and base to talk about.



The international or mainstream media haven’t covered the bombing in Baghdad and Lebanon and other countries much? Then, how do you define mainstream media? If you are watching news given by domestic media, it will be domestic and if that’s western media, it will be western oriented because that’s what media think customer wants. For example, Aljazeera must have done a lot of coverage compared to BBC when it comes to incidents in Middle East. Then why you are upset that it wasn’t on other media which have different kind of audiences? For example, will people in Middle East be mad at Japanese mainstream media not covering the tragedy there? Do they see the importance of letting Japanese know about their situation? I guess not. That kind of madness, in other words, asking Western/ English-speaking/ so called mainstream media, represents how the speaker values each media/country.


Though Russia and Turkey are having trouble now, it seems like the world is getting united against the new enemy. But wait! It shouldn’t mean that things which the allies have done before will be written off.
Hero and villain are like the sides of a coin. Regardless which side we/they are, everyone is responsible for the bloodshed we/they caused.

I pray for the world and peace with little sacrifices.



『デジタル社会起業家の可能性―Digital Social Innovation and Civic Tech―』

I wrote a reporting article about digital social entrepreneurs which the lecture was given by Tuukka Toivonen, assistant professor of SOAS at Japan Europe Entrepreneur Forum. (It is only available in Japanese).

2015年5月に開かれた日欧起業家フォーラム(JEEF)の定例会で、ロンドン大学東洋アフリカ研究学院(SOAS)のトゥーッカ・トイボネン経営学准教授が 『デジタル社会起業家の可能性―Digital Social Innovation and Civic Tech―』と題し、現在進行形で拡大する“デジタル起業”の分野とその可能性を紹介しました。 以下にリポート記事を掲載します。




そう言って新たな見方を提示するのは、ロンドン大学東洋アフリカ研究学院(SOAS)のトゥーッカ・トイボネン経営学准教授。先に開かれた日欧起業家フォーラム(JEEF)の定例会では『デジタル社会起業家の可能性―Digital Social Innovation and Civic Tech―』と題し、現在進行形で拡大する“デジタル起業”の分野とその可能性を紹介した。

米ソーシャルメディアのフェイスブックやオンライン販売サイトのアマゾン、検索エンジンのグーグル、iPhoneの生みの親アップルなど、世界的大企業に成長したこれらのデジタル4社は通称“GAFA”と呼ばれている。新たな波として、運転手付きの車を配車する「Uber」、手伝いを必要としている人と時間的余裕のある人をつなぐ「Task Rabbit」など、これまで事業を起こす上で不可欠だった資本を持たない新しい形の会社が登場し始めた。社会に既に存在する資源を有効利用するSharing Economyの一環で、既存企業に挑戦、もしくは対抗している点が特徴という。




・market orientation(市場の利用、ビジネス性)

革新的なアイデアの実現を支援する英国の団体Nestaによると、欧州には現在1,000件ほどのスタートアップが存在し、特にロンドンでの起業が盛んという。特筆すべき事例に、1)TheGoodData 2)Escape The City 3)FixMyStreet 4)Netivist 5)GovFaces の5つがある。





2)Escape The City

ロンドンの金融街シティで働く銀行マンなどをターゲット層にした、働き詰めの暮らしから逃れたい人のための転職サービスサイトが、このEscape The City。これまでとは全く異なる仕事がしたい人と、ボランティアや社会変革を目的に活動する企業や団体を結び付けるほか、起業を目指す人向けのレクチャーイベントを企画・開催している。











トイボネン氏は「デジタル起業家の特長は、現在進行形で事業を柔軟に変化させられるところにある」と話す。一方で、信頼性や個人情報保護、資金源などの課題に加え、新たな事業が社会に与える効果や影響を考慮しなければならないと指摘する。「Digital Disruption」という言葉が示すように、既存のシステムを壊してしまう可能性があるからだ。ただ定例会参加者からは、ツールとしてのデジタルの存在が大きくなっただけで、起業の本質は昔から変わっていないとの指摘も出た。どんな起業も社会のニーズに沿えば拡大し、各地の規制やルールにそぐわなければ変更や撤退を強いられるのだろう。