Category Archives: media

French Feminist Poster Paris v. Domestic Abuse

By Constant Méheut

Feminists Paper Paris With Stark Posters Decrying Domestic Abuse

A widespread but illegal campaign by a group calling itself “the Gluers” uses posters to denounce violence against women. It has become an effective — and ubiquitous — tool to raise awareness.

PARIS — On a recent mild night, a squad of four young women wandered through a peaceful neighborhood in eastern Paris, armed with a bucket of glue, a paintbrush and backpacks loaded with posters.

Remote learning difficulties in low-income countries like Indonesia

When Learning Is Really Remote: Students Climb Trees and Travel Miles for a Cell Signal

By Richard C. Paddock and Dera Menra Sijabat

Across the Indonesian archipelago officials have shuttered schools and implemented remote learning, but internet and cellphone service is limited and many students lack smartphones and computers.

In North Sumatra, students climb to the tops of tall trees a mile from their mountain village. Perched on branches high above the ground, they hope for a cell signal strong enough to complete their assignments.

Around the globe, including in some of the world’s wealthiest countries, educators are struggling with how to best make distance learning viable during the pandemic. But in poorer countries like Indonesia, the challenge is particularly difficult.

More than a third of Indonesian students have limited or no internet access, according to the Education Ministry, and experts fear many students will fall far behind, especially in remote areas where online study remains a novelty.

22 year old leads Balarus democracy uprising

  • 4, 2020

WARSAW — Stepan Svetlov’s computer sits on a desk in Warsaw, nearly 300 miles from Minsk, the capital of Belarus. But when Belarusians poured into the streets in the hours and days after President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko fraudulently claimed a re-election victory on Aug. 9, it was thanks in no small part to Mr. Svetlov, 22, and his computer.

Internet access was often blocked that week, leading opposition activists were in custody or in hiding, and independent media has long been heavily restricted in Belarus. But Belarusians were kept informed and even directed by an account run by Mr. Svetlov on one of the few social media platforms — Telegram — that had managed to maintain sporadic service during the internet outage.

From across the border, Mr. Svetlov and his team of five pumped out information about voter fraud and police violence — as well as tips about where, when and how to protest, evade the police, defend against police beatings, treat exposure to tear gas and locate medicine and safe houses.

“Take to the streets,” Mr. Svetlov and his team wrote after preliminary results were announced on Aug. 9, “and defend your votes!”

11 year old Palestinian rapper gets in political trouble Aug. 23, 2020,

— When the 11-year-old schoolboy from Gaza posted a video of himself rapping the lyrics of one of his favorite artists, he never expected it would make him famous or get him in trouble. It did both.

The video of Abdel Rahman al-Shantti rapping in front of his Gaza City school in confident English and flawless hip-hop attitude won him more than a million views and praise from famous rappers around the world. “I would like to spread love between us and Israel,” he told an interviewer from a Russian news outlet. “There’s no reason for fighting and wars. We need to let this relationship become better and better.”

No internet for distance learning? Use TV

In wealthy countries, the debates over how to deliver education remotely have focused on how to make online classes engaging and interactive. But such talk is sheer fantasy for many of the world’s students, including millions in affluent nations, who do not have broadband connections or computers.

After decades of declining relevance in the face of heavy investment in internet learning, educational television is again having its moment. Educators and governments scattered around the world, desperate to avoid a long-term setback for an entire generation of children, are turning to the older technology.

And they are calling on the charm and glamour of locally known actors and news hosts, as well as teachers, to try to hold the attention of students from preschool to high school. They say they are heeding the cardinal lesson of the YouTube era — the shorter and snazzier, the better.

“Ideally, one would have, like, laptops and all these super fancy things at home,” said Raissa Fabregas, a professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, who has studied educational television in Mexico. “But if you don’t have them, this is better than nothing.”

Credit…Marco Garro for The New York Times

While television lessons are not as valuable as online interactions with teachers and other students, experts say, educational broadcasts do pay dividends for children’s academic progress, their success in the job market and even their social development.

To make lessons less passive and more effective, many of the lessons being broadcast now use all the tools of professional studios, like eye-pleasing sets, script writers, 3-D animation, multicamera shoots, graphics and even related smartphone apps.

In the United States, where education varies widely because it is handled at the local level, some places have paid little attention to developing remote learning, focused instead on an ill-fated effort to reopen schools. Others have worked hard to develop robust online programs. But that is of no use to the four million schoolchildren who do not have internet access at home, a difficulty especially prevalent among Black, Latino and Indigenous students.

Television holds promise as a low-cost complement to online schooling and a lifeline for students with few other resources. A vast catalog of educational programming exists, but analysts say policymakers have mostly missed an opportunity to make use of it.

“How many parents right now are just trying to figure out how to get through the day while their kids are just watching TV or on the iPad?” said Melissa S. Kearney, a professor of economics at the University of Maryland, who has published research about “Sesame Street.” “We could do a lot of good if people who are in a position of trust with those families could point them to some of that positive content.”

Since March, many parts of the world have resorted to televised schooling, with an array of strategies. The programs range from recordings of classroom lessons to educational cartoons, and from local efforts to national ones. Some focus on one age group, while others, like Peru, have adapted the national curriculum for all grades.

Many parts of China offered a blend of online and televised classes, but Sichuan Province chose to broadcast all of its lessons on television because the government said it worried about students spending too long on their computers

In Tanzania, Ubongo, an organization that makes popular educational cartoons aimed at younger children as well as parents, decided to offer its programs for free to television stations across Africa.



Credit…Marco Garro for The New York Times

“Outside of Africa, there’s been a push for internet-based learning,” said Cliodhna Ryan, the head of education at Ubongo. “But in most African countries, the majority of children just do not have that access. At the end of the day, the best educational tool someone has is the one they already have in their possession.”

New Jersey’s public television station, NJTV, began working with the state’s teachers’ union to produce school programs after learning that 300,000 of the state’s children had no internet access, said John Servidio, the station’s general manager.

In the end, more than 200 teachers recorded lessons out of their own homes. Some were decidedly low-tech, but one teacher used his cat’s blanket to build a green-screen studio. From April until the school year ended, grades three through six each had an hour of programming on the station every morning.

“A commercial station would never be able to support this,” Mr. Servidio said.

In Indonesia, too, the pandemic has helped revive a state-owned television network that had been hemorrhaging viewers to private stations and Netflix. In a country where nearly a third of people are not connected to the internet, the state-owned network, TVRI, began broadcasting ‘Belajar Dari Rumah’ — Studying from Home — in April to children of all ages.

Parents have not been entirely receptive. Many Indonesians, for example, say they do not have enough education themselves — or enough time — to take on teaching responsibilities at home. Many are demanding that more schools reopen, despite only a portion of the country having been deemed safe for in-person classes.


Credit…Marco Garro for The New York Times

In Brazil, officials capitalized on the work of the Amazonas Media Center, which was founded in 2007 to provide televised lessons to 300,000 students in remote areas. Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the programs have expanded to several Brazilian states, with educators adapting them to different cultures and teaching styles. More than 4.5 million children have watched, according to the center.

“This tool became stronger out of a necessity to reach a greater number of people and have a bigger outreach, but it’s not going to stop there,” said Wilmara Messa, the director of the Amazonas Media Center, which has a 60-person production team.

Analysts say it is too early to know how effective televised schooling has been during lockdown, but there is scattered evidence that past efforts have been effective.

In Mexico, a long-running program of broadcasting lessons to students in rural areas led children to stay in school for longer and earn more as adults. Professor Kearney and a colleague found that children in the United States with access to “Sesame Street” programming were more likely to be at an age-appropriate grade level.

To solve the biggest drawback of televised learning — the lack of interaction and feedback from teachers — some places have designed ways for teachers to monitor students’ progress. Many of them rely on cellphones, which are far more common in poor regions of the world than broadband hookups, though even access to a phone can be a barrier.


role of TikTok in protests and media

“TikTok is to Black Lives Matter what Twitter was to the Arab Spring,” said Kareem Rahma, 34, a TikTok creator with nearly 400,000 followers on the app. Mr. Rahma’s TikToks from the Black Lives Matter protests in Minneapolis garnered tens of millions of views. “I saw a lot of youth on the ground TikToking the protests as opposed to livestreaming, tweeting or Instagramming,” he said. “The conversations these kids are having with each other are essential.”

In June, teenage TikTok users claimed responsibility for inflating attendance expectations, leading to rows upon rows of empty seats, for Mr. Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla., after thousands of them registered for tickets to the event that they had no plans to redeem.

TikTok users have also waged coordinated campaigns to rate Mr. Trump’s businesses poorly on Google, to spam online surveys aimed at Trump supporters with useless information and to damage the Trump campaign’s e-commerce store by collecting in their shopping baskets items they never intend to buy.

Ellie Zeiler, 16, who has 6.3 million followers on TikTok, said that Mr. Trump’s threat to ban the app may even sway more young people to vote against him. “I think that a lot of people didn’t like Trump before, and this has driven people to not like him even more,” she said.

“For many kids, politics feel very distant,” said Eitan Bernath, 18, who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok. “This might be the first time it hits home for a lot of kids.”

On Sunday, nine TikTok creators with a collective 54 million followers, including Brittany Broski, Hope Schwing and Mitchell Crawford, published an open letter addressed to Mr. Trump on Medium.

“TikTok has enabled the kinds of interactions that could never take place on the likes of Facebook and Instagram,” they wrote. “Our generation has grown up on the internet, but our vision of the internet is going to require more than two gatekeepers. Why not use this as an opportunity to level the playing field?” they urged.

Vanessa Pappas, the general manager of TikTok North America, attempted to quell concerns on Saturday. “We’re not planning on going anywhere,” she said in a statement released on the app.


If the app’s potential shutdown or instability around a sudden sale has any silver lining, it’s a flood of new users to smaller platforms. Clash, a new short-form video app founded by Brendon McNerney, a former Vine star, became available on Friday night after the news and shot up the app store rankings on Saturday. Byte and Dubsmash, two other short form video apps, have also begun actively recruiting TikTok stars.

Last Wednesday, Triller, an app that functions similarly to TikTok, announced it had hired the 18-year-old TikTok star Josh Richards as the platform’s chief strategy officer, and successfully wooed Mr. Richards along with two other large TikTok stars, Griffin Johnson, 21, and Noah Beck, 19, to join the platform as investors.

Instagram is also offering TikTok creators deals of hundreds of thousands of dollars to create content on Reels, its new product with similarities, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Perez Hilton, a longtime celebrity news chronicler who has amassed 850,000 followers on TikTok, said he hoped that just the threat of a ban would serve as a note of caution for the young talent on the app. “These influencers on TikTok can’t have all their eggs in one basket,” he said. “You have to be everywhere,” he said, if you want to stay famous.

“You need to hustle,” he said. “A lot of the TikTokers that are just pretty, those are the ones that are really going to struggle. Pretty doesn’t age well and it doesn’t translate. The ones that are willing to work on and off TikTok and other platforms, they’re the ones that will be able to continue to thrive.”


Instagram is also offering TikTok creators deals of hundreds of thousands of dollars to create content on Reels, its new product with similarities, according to The Wall Street Journal.



protest tactics like umbrellas and leaf blowers spread like memes

Why Protest Tactics Spread Like Memes

When items like umbrellas and leaf blowers are subverted into objects of resistance, they become very shareable.



The New York Times, Sergio Olmos for The New York TimesCredit

July 31, 2020

By Tracy Ma

With Natalie Shutler

Written by Jonah Engel Bromwich

A video frame captured in Hong Kong in August 2019 shows a group of pro-democracy protesters, smoke pluming toward them, racing to place an orange traffic cone over a tear-gas canister. A video taken nine months later and 7,000 miles away, at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis, shows another small group using the same maneuver. Two moments, two continents, two cone placers, their postures nearly identical.

Images of protest spread on social media reveal many other matching moments from opposite sides of the world, and they often feature everyday objects wielded ingeniously.

Leaf blowers are used to diffuse clouds of tear gas; hockey sticks and tennis rackets are brandished to bat canisters back toward authorities; high-power laser pointers are used to thwart surveillance cameras; and plywood, boogie boards, umbrellas and more have served as shields to protect protesters from projectiles and create barricades.