[Air-l] Making Issues into Rights? Amsterdam workshop CFP

Richard Rogers rogers at hum.uva.nl
Wed Apr 7 13:45:08 PDT 2004

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION - Please Circulate where appropriate

Making Issues into Rights?
Exploring the depth of "Rights" and "Justice" networks.

The News about Networks workshop by the Govcom.org Foundation, Amsterdam.

21-24 June 2004
de Balie Center for Culture and Politics
Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10 (Leidseplein)

Workshop site: http://www.issuenetwork.org

All queries: Catherine Somzé, govcom.org workshop producer, 
catherine at issuenetwork.org

A Govcom.org co-production with de Balie, with support from the Media, Arts 
& Culture Unit within the Ford Foundation's Knowledge, Creativity & Freedom 

A limited number of Ford Fellowships available (see below).

Workshop Introduction

The Govcom.org Foundation, Amsterdam is organising a workshop for public 
interest groups, advocates, activists as well as academics researching 
media justice as well as communications and information rights. The 
workshop is dedicated to exploratory analysis into the depth of the 
communication between and among these networks.

The Govcom.org Foundation creates and hosts political tools for the Web.

Over a four-day period, the workshop will provide an immersion experience 
in Govcom.org's work in the specially constructed media laboratory at de 
Balie Center for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam. All participants will be 
invited to use state of the art information tools created by govcom.org and 
its collaborators. The participants also are invited to present and share 
their own tools and information.

Much of the workshop will revolve around using the Issue Crawler, 
server-side software, developed with OneWorld International (London), 
Aguidel (Paris) and Recognos (Cluj-Napoca) that locates, analyses and 
visualises networks on the Web. We also will make use of novel techniques 
to monitor and analyse the news through Google News and RSS readers. 
Textual, semantic and other data analyses may be undertaken.

Some of the questions one may ask are:

- What are my networks? What is my relative standing within these networks?
- Which types of organisations, agendas and terms dominate these networks?
- Do the organisations in these networks recognise each other's work and 
- Which parts of the networks hold together if one takes out funders? Do 
they hold together if one takes out other agenda-setters, be it (big) media 
or intergovernmental organisations?

Workshop Substance

The migration of 'rights' into more and more issue spaces may be attributed 
to the roominess of the Universal Declaration, the successes of the human 
rights field as well as the urgent issue re-formatting work occurring 
regularly in NGO networks. NGOs, instead of getting their issues from the 
news, are continually migrating across issue networks, forming partnerships 
with other actors and terms. "Justice" and "rights" are two of the more 
recent issue reformulations, with the coinage of such notions as 
communication rights, information rights, Internet rights, media justice 
and information justice.

The health of an issue, and the network forming around it, could well be 
gauged by an issue's migratory patterns. When and why do NGOs reformulate 
and attach themselves to issues?

In particular, we are interested in the implications of making issues into 
rights issues. What are the consequences for NGOs and their issues by 
choosing the rights frame? Is such issue work temporary, context-specific, 
or opportunistic? Are 'rights' organising new networks or destabilising 
current networks?

Movements of issues across networks may have further consequences. Do 
issues decline without specific terminological innovation? Does the 
movement towards 'rights', in particular, prompt human rights to defend its 
issue space against intruders? When is an organisation taken seriously by 
the issue space it wishes to join? Can new rights and justice networks 
prosper without the human rights network?

News about Networks Workshop series

The Communication Rights and Media Justice workshop is the second in 
series. The first News about Networks workshop has been dedicated to 
understanding whether NGOs may operate effectively without a commercial 
press strategy. Does the rise of NGO Internet-based networks, in 
particular, imply an end to the reliance on the press to resonate the 
message? Can networks alone mobilise other organisations and key players to 
act on important social issues of the day? In short, can NGOs do without news?

The workshop proceedings, entitled "All-American Issues: Seven Stories from 
the Homeland," are available at http://www.issuenetwork.org/node.php?id=46.

De Balie's workshop URL: 

The News about Networks is part of a larger workshop program, "The Life of 
Issues," at http://www.govcom.org/workshops.html.

Workshop Format

The format of the workshop intersperses the following:

1) Introduction and Software Training
2) Talks and Demonstrations by the Participants and Analysts
3) Software Use and Feedback on Findings
4) Designer Map-making
5) Individual Analysis and Presentations of Results
6) Discussions of texts from the Reader

The media laboratory has facility for laptops with wireless and cabled 
Internet connectivity. Bring your computer.

The workshop begins promptly on Monday, 21 June at 10am.
The workshop concludes with a public presentation on Thursday, 24 June at 8pm.

The workshop organiser is Richard Rogers.

Workshop Key words

Alternative media
Communications rights
Community media
Democratic media
Freedom of expression
Freedom of information
Independent media
Information commons
Information justice
Information rights
Media and democracy
Media and globalization
Media justice
Media regulation
Mission-driven media
Radical media
Software patents
Technology standards

Workshop Applications

To apply, please send a biographical sketch, a one-page description of the 
questions and themes you would like to see addressed at the workshop as 
well as the answers to the questionnaire below. Please send all three items 
to participant at issuenetwork.org by 10 May 2004.

The answers to the questionnaire allow for the advance mapping of the issue 
areas. The criteria of acceptance to the workshop are the mutual fit 
between the applicant's analytical desires and expectations, and the 
capacities of the analysts on hand.

Workshop Fee

The workshop fee is eur 275.

Ford Fellowships available

The Ford Foundation has made five fellowships available for the workshop. 
The fellowship is available only for U.S.-based advocates, activists and 
academics and covers travel, accommodation and workshop fee. Applicants 
should work in one or more of the following areas:

Communications rights
Community media
Freedom of expression
Information justice
Information rights
Media and democracy
Media justice
Press freedom
Software patents
Technology standards

To apply for a Ford Fellowship, please send a biographical sketch, a 
one-page description of the questions and themes you would like to see 
addressed at the workshop as well as the answers to the questionnaire 
below. Please send all three items to fellowship at issuenetwork.org by 1 May 

Questionnaire (in English, en Français, en Español, auf Deutsch)

All workshop participants are asked to submit answers to the following 

1. Name your issue/research area(s), e.g., Climate Change, Media Justice, 
Indigenous Rights, Ancient Forests, Spectrum Policy, low-power FM.

2. Name the most significant organisations per issue area(s), along with 
their Web addresses (URLs). Please separate URLs with a comma, and use 
'deep pages' wherever possible, i.e., 
(the Greenpeace Ancient Forests page), instead of www.greenpeace.org

3. List the most significant sub-issues, terms, slogans, individual names 
per issue.

4. List the 3-5 most important conferences in each issue area, for the past 
year, the current year and next year, along with the web addresses (URLs).

5. List the 3-5 most significant web-accessible documents in the issue 
area(s). Provide the exact web addresses for each document.

6. List (no more than 10) the organisations in that issue area(s) that you 
have had the most direct email contact with in the past 6-12 months.

7. List the most significant news sources for your work and the web 
locations for these sources.

*We kindly request that you return the answers in English as well as your 
own language.

Questionnaire en Français

Tous les participants à l'atelier sont priés de répondre aux questions 

1. Désignez votre(vos) question(s)/domaine(s) de recherche, par exemple, 
Changement Climatique, Justice Médiatique, Droits Indigènes, Forêts 
Primaires, Politique du Spectrum, radio FM de basse fréquence.

2. Désignez les principaux acteurs/organisations dans le cadre de (chacun 
de) votre(vos) domaine(s) de recherche, plus leur page Web (URLs). S.V.P. 
séparez chacune des URLs par une virgule et faites usage de 'deep pages' à 
chaque fois que cela est possible, par exemple,
(la page de Greenpeace Ancient Forests), au lieu de www.greenpeace.org

3. Établissez pour chaque question(s) une liste des questions subsidiaires 
les plus importantes, ainsi que des termes, slogans et personnes.

4. Établissez pour chaque domaine recherché une liste des 3 à 5 conférences 
les plus importantes de l'année en cours, l'année précédente et l'année à 
venir, plus leur adresse électronique (URLs).

5. Établissez une liste des 3 à 5 documents les plus importants dans 
votre(vos) domaine(s) de recherche, accessibles sur Internet. Ayez 
l'obligeance de fournir une adresse électronique exacte pour chacun des 

6. Établissez une liste d'au plus 10 organisations dans le(s) domaine(s) 
recherché(s) avec lesquelles vous avez eu les contacts e-mail les plus 
directs durant les 6 à 12 mois passés.

7. Établissez une liste des sources d'informations les plus importantes 
dans le cadre de votre travail et de la localisation Web de ces sources.

*À votre convenance et/ou en accord avec le contenu de certaines réponses, 
celles-ci peuvent être adressées soit en Anglais, soit dans votre propre 

Cuestionario en Castellano

A todos los participantes del taller se les pedirá que contesten a las 
preguntas siguientes:

1. Nombre o defina su(s) pregunta(s) o campo(s) de investigación, por 
ejemplo, Cambios Climáticos, Justicia en los Medios de Comunicación, 
Derechos Indígenas, Bosques Primarios, Política Espectral, radio FM de baja 

2. Nombre las organizaciones más significantes en (cada uno de) su(s) 
campo(s) de investigación, junto con su dirección Web (URLs.). Por favor, 
separe las URLs con coma y use, cada vez que le sea posible enlaces 
directos, como por ejemplo:
(the Greenpeace Ancient Forests page), en lugar de www.greenpeace.org

3. Componga una lista de las preguntas subsiguientes mas significantes, así 
como de términos, lemas y nombres de personas relacionados con su(s) 
pregunta(s) inicial(es).

4. Liste de 3 a 5 conferencias más importantes (en cada uno) de su(s) 
campo(s) de investigación para este año, el precedente y el próximo, junto 
con, para cada una de ellas, su dirección Web (URLs).

5. Liste de 3 a 5 documentos más significantes en (cada uno de) su(s) 
campo(s) de investigación y accesibles a través de la Web. Provea una 
dirección Web exacta para cada uno de estos documentos.

6. Componga una lista de no más de 10 organizaciones en el campo de 
investigación con las cuales haya tenido los contactos electrónicos, via 
email, más directos en los últimos 6 a 12 meses.

7. Liste las fuentes de información más significantes para su trabajo y la 
locación electrónica de cada una de ellas.

*Le pedimos que mande las respuestas en Inglés o, si es preciso, en su 
propio idioma.

Fragebogen auf Deutsch

Alle TeilnehmerInnen des Workshops werden gebeten folgende Fragen zu 

1. Nennen Sie ihr(e) Themen- und Forschungsgebiete(e), wie zum Beispiel, 
Klimawandel, Pressefreiheit, Regenwald, Spektrumpolitik.

2. Nennen Sie die bedeutensten Organisationen für jeden Themenbereich 
gemeinsam mit deren Internet Adressen (URLs). Bitte trennen sie die URLs 
mit Strichpunkt, und geben Sie wenn möglich Unterseiten (deep pages) an, 
wie zum Beispiel, 
(die Greenpeace Urwald Seite), anstelle von www.greenpeace.org

3. Listen Sie die bedeutensten Unterkategorien, Begriffe, Slogans, Personen 
pro Themenbereich auf.

4. Listen Sie die bedeutensten Konferenzen in jedem Themenfeld des letzten 
Jahres, des laufenden Jahres, sowie des kommenden Jahres mit Web Adressen 
(URLs) auf.

5. Listen Sie die bedeutensten im Internet abrufbaren Dokumente pro 
Themenbereich auf. Geben Sie bitte die exakte Web Adresse für jedes 
Dokument an.

6. Listen Sie Organisationen in diesen Themenfeldern auf, mit denen Sie den 
häufigsten E-mail Kontakt in den letzten 6-12 Monaten hatten.

7. Listen Sie die bedeutensten Medienquellen für Ihre Arbeit und deren Web 
Adressen auf.

About Govcom.org

The Govcom.org Foundation hosts the Issue Crawler, the Web Issue Index of 
Civil Society as well as the Election Issue Tracker.

Issue Crawler: http://issuecrawler.net (ask for a password)
Issue Crawler scenarios of use: http://www.govcom.org/scenarios_use.htm

Web Issue Index of Civil Society: http://www.infoid.org

Election Issue Tracker (Dutch): http://eig.politiekdigitaal.nl/

Principal Govcom.org URLs

http://www.govcom.org (projects and papers)
http://www.issuenetwork.org (workshops and reports)

The well-tempered crawler

[Respectful crawlers] have multiple threads running in parallel, each 
requesting a page from a different host (to guarantee equitable 
distribution of requests across hosts, whilst maximizing through-put and 
avoiding the overloading any single server), and wait >= 10 seconds between 
downloads from the same server.

Web sites and pages can specify that robots should not crawl or index 
certain areas. There are two components. The robots exclusion protocol is a 
site-wide specification of excluded directories, and the robots META tag is 
an individual document tag to exclude indexing or following links. The META 
tag is newer and less well-adopted than robots.txt but these standards are 
conventions to be followed by well-behaved robots.

- Erik Borra / Koen Martens, Issue Crawler sysadmins.

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