Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 2nd 2014 Contents From Page 20
This requires willingness and commitment on the part of
the countries to co-ordinate marketing, product development
and investment strategies as "one" greater caribbean destination,
even while continuing to develop their unique attractions.
From a regional perspective, MDT offers the opportunity
for each country to ensure maximum output from its tourism
investments and related activities. This is important in view
of the current threats and uncertainties facing the tourism
sector. These include the reduction in flights to and from the
region s premier hubs, as well as new travel policies and levies
being implemented in some of the main source markets, which
have diminished travel to the Region.
Recognising that development and marketing of regional
multi-destination packages can boost travel intra-regionally,
and increase the region s market share from the existing North
American and European markets as well as the emerging BRICS
countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and
Latin America; the countries of the Greater Caribbean can
exploit the potential for profitable diversification and re-
branding of the regional tourism industry in the international
The fact that multi-destination tourism is a novel and
growing trend makes it ideal as a development strategy and
therefore policymakers and stakeholders, including airlines
and other transport sectors servicing the region, should be
poised to benefit from its capacity.
Travel facilitation key to MDT
Currently, little multi-destination tourism activity exists in
the region. There have been attempts by diverse sub-regional
groupings particularly in relation to marketing, which have
met with varying degrees of success.
Notably, what is consistently lacking is the necessary pack-
aging and establishment of support mechanisms to facilitate
travel between countries.
In this regard, there is need for policymakers to aggressively
review existing immigration and border control mechanisms.
For the Greater Caribbean, for example, the possibility of
adopting measures that would enable tourists to travel more
conveniently to and among the countries of the region, such
as visa waivers for select countries or a multiple entry visa,
such as the one instated when the Caribbean hosted the Cricket
World Cup Tournament in 2007, needs to be explored.
It is worth noting that there are some initiatives on the
sub-regional level that seek to facilitate intra-regional travel
and connectivity, such as the Caribbean Community (Caricom)
Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the Central American
Integration System (SICA).
The countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
States (OECS) have also signed an Economic Union Treaty,
which allows for the free movement of persons. It should be
noted, however, that these initiatives focus primarily on trade
issues and the movement of nationals between countries.
On the wider regional level, very little progress has been
made, and this is further compounded by the lack of efficient
air and maritime connectivity within the region. These factors,
as well as antiquated policies and procedures, act as barriers
to travel for business travellers and tourists alike.
For the ACS, the development of multi-destination tourism
and the institutionalisation of support mechanisms to facilitate
intra-regional travel are not incompatible with countries con-
tinuing to promote their destinations.
It is also not intended to supersede a country s sovereign
right to control immigration and limit the entry, duration of
stay, or activities of travellers which it deems are in the best
interest of ensuring the safety of its citizens and security of
Alternately, MDT has the potential to complement and
enhance country s efforts, both in terms of destination pro-
motion and border control, through standardising policies and
procedures and the sharing of information and resources.
The ACS recognises that most of the factors that will enhance
multi-destination tourism will also positively impact on the
overall tourism industry in the region, thus facilitating its
The success of any multi-destination regional strategy in
the Greater Caribbean, however, is directly related to the will-
ingness and commitment to create an enabling environment
for its development, from both a private and public sector
Julio Orozco, director of sustainable tourism and Amanda
Charles, sustainable tourism adviser of the Association of
Digital media has revolu-
tionised the ways journal-
ists capture, cover and
publish stories. As news
from paper to pixels, jour-
nalists must learn completely new skills to
stay on top of their craft.
Digital technology presents a sometimes
bewildering array of choices for journalists
-- from blogging and using social networks
to using multimedia and mobile devices.
For journalists and their news organisations,
survival in the new, digital, media world
requires understanding why, how and when
which technology can best be used to extract
stories out of data stored in vast digital
Rise of the data journalist
Data journalism is the term increasingly
being used to describe the journalistic prac-
tice of using numerical data in the produc-
tion and distribution of information. The
concept reflects the increased intersection
between the journalist as a content producer
and digital data repositories, such as open
datasets, as the content source.
Data can be used to craft compelling sto-
ries if journalists are equipped to understand
it, and if they have the required skills to
make complicated figures accessible to read-
ers. For example, the Afghanistan war records
leaked via WikiLeaks contained more than
92,000 rows of data on an Excel file. Jour-
nalists had to wade through the numbers,
complementing them with NATO informa-
tion to create the charts and stories.
Beyond technical expertise, journalists
also need to know how to find the right
data sources to shape stories. Traditionally,
journalists had to know how to contact the
right people to get the full story. Today,
having good contacts remains as critical,
but increasingly, they are scouted out from
the digital sources.
New skills, new paradigms
Media houses are already realising that
transitioning staff steeped in traditional
media practices to a more technology-sup-
ported, data-centric approach to the craft
of investigative journalism will not happen
by chance. Data journalism requires that
structured steps be taken to educate jour-
nalists in new approaches, new skills and
It is better to start than to do nothing.
Even short, tailored workshops and seminars
can help. It is standard practice in the cor-
porate world; the media sector should not
be any different.
The key is to remember that data jour-
nalism is just another means to the end of
in the core mission of journalism: to find,
understand, and present important infor-
mation to the public. It s a means that simply
takes advantage of available technology, and
increasingly accessible data.
Progressive news organisations are already
using available public datasets to moving
from a simplistic surface-level reporting to
focus on uncovering patterns, trends and
on what any such insight could mean for
This has profound implications of both
journalism and the business of journalism.
According to Rachel Bartlett, editor at
Journalist.co.uk, "Far from always being a
resource-heavy endeavour, data journalism
can also be the driving force behind frequent,
if not daily news stories and topical features,
required to be turned around at some speed.
This serves to challenge the idea, therefore,
that data journalism always has to place a
significant burden on the time, staff and
financial resources of a newsroom."
The challenge to change
The challenge in most newsrooms steeped
in traditional approaches remains the will-
ingness and capacity of journalists and their
editors to actually pay attention to data as
an essential asset in the digital era. Talking
about the importance of data in a half day
seminar is a start, but rhetoric has to be
followed up with actions.
A growing body of data journalism cours-
es; publicly accessible datasets; a raft of free
tools and freely available online resources
are helping fuel the growing world of digital
data journalism. Google, for example, recent-
ly launched a Google Media Tools resource
site highlighting all of its tools that can be
useful to journalists. The site even includes
a section dedicated to data visualisations
and software programming.
Traditional media may well remain with
us for some time, however, digital news is
without doubt the future of journalism. The
explosion of digital publishing has certainly
created new challenges for traditional jour-
More newsworthy, however, is the exciting
new opportunities digital journalism offers
media houses and properly trained journal-
ists, to cover stories more comprehensively,
more creatively and more intelligently.
JANUARY 2014 • WEEK ONE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG21
A modern trend in tourism
RISE OF DATA JOURNALISM
How access to data is transforming reporting in the digital age
Data journalism: How to
know if you're doing it right
Here are the main questions to ask yourself to en-
sure you publish data responsibly.
1. Why publish this?
You should have a clear idea of what you're trying to
accomplish by publishing the data. What effect do you
intend to have? Does this really create value for a
reader? Does it relate to the other elements of your
reporting? If you can't come up with a better reason
than "because we can" or "because we think it would
look cool," stop here, you're about to data dump.
2. Why not publish this?
Spend some time thinking about likely problems
that could arise from publishing a certain set of data.
3. Who could be harmed?
This questions is especially important if your data
set includes information about specific individuals.
Would publishing it invade their privacy, subject them
to undeserved embarrassment or expose them to bur-
glars, identity thieves or other criminals?
4. Is the data accurate?
Unless you built that data set yourself, you probably
can't be sure. Even if it comes from a government
source, like the gun-owner database did, there's a
chance it contains inaccurate data.
5. Is it relevant to your story?
Have you added enough context about why you're
presenting the data and how the reader should inter-
Source: "Programmers explain how to turn
data into journalism and why that matters -
Jeff Sonderman" (www.poynter.org)
Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge officer
of Congress WBN (www.congresswbn.org), a val-
ues-based, international charity and the executive
director of BrightPath Foundation, a technology
education non-profit organisation. Reach him on
Twitter @bevilwooding or on facebook.com/bevil-
wooding or contact via e-mail at technologymat-
Links Archive January 1st 2014 January 3rd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page