Communication for development Knowledge

Electronic forum:
The appropriation of traditional and new media for development - whose reality counts?

How to participate

Welcome to MediaReality an e-discussion "The appropriation of traditional and new media for development - whose reality counts?" hosted by the FAO Communication for Development Group Extension, Education and Communication Service (SDRE).

Structure of the e-forum

The e-Forum is structured as follows:
There is the main e-Forum called MediaReality-L which allows for the exchange of day-to-day information. This space is mainly used by the Moderator to facilitate communication amongst the participants. It is a hallway participants go through to then be able to go to their individual meeting rooms, called Comchat1 and Comchat2. These two discussions should be considered inter-related and they will run parallel to each other.

The intention is that at some stage in the discussion, all forum participants get together (perhaps in another conference room) to discuss overlapping issues and begin to explore ways in which the two themes can merge and find common ground.

In order to get into the separate Comchats you must first ensure that you are subscribed to MediaReality-L and then decide which Comchat you want to participate in and consequently subscribe to it.

Joining the discussion

  1. How to join the main e-Forum MediaReality-L

    To join, send an e-mail to with the subject blank, and the following one-line text in the body:
    subscribe MediaReality-L

    or simply send an e-mail to indicating:

    Please note that no other text should be added to the message (such as mail signature), otherwise FAO's mailserv facility will reject the subscription request.

  2. How to join a subsidiary conference

    To facilitate the discussion of the different themes, and to allow the participants to zoom in on their specific interests, as they are outlined in the Issues Paper, we have divided MediaReality into subsidiary "rooms". These are called Comchat1 and Comchat2.

    To join Comchat1, simply send an e-mail to with the subject blank, and the following one-line text in the body
    subscribe Comchat1 (or subscribe Comchat2)

    The same procedure applies to subscribing to Comchat2. Should you have any difficulties subscribing, you can send an email to

  3. How to unsubscribe from a "Comchat"

    To unsubscribe from a Comchat, simply send an e-mail to with the subject blank, and the following one-line text in the body
    unsubscribe Comchat1 (or unsubscribe Comchat2)

  4. How to leave the main e-Forum MediaReality-L

    To unsubscribe, simply send an e-mail to with the subject blank, and the following one-line text in the body
    unsubscribe MediaReality-L
    For further information on the e-Forum, contact


    In order to make a contribution to the main e-Forum, send an e-mail to

    If you want to send an email to one of the Comchats, send an email to either or

    Guidelines for participation

    1. Introduce yourself briefly in your first posting to the e-forum
    2. Please do not keep the body of the original text in your replies, except if absolutely necessary. For participants in developing countries, access and downloading are expensive and time-consuming. The moderators thus reserve the right to edit long messages.
    3. Make the subject header as descriptive as possible about the message content. In that way, it will be easier for people to choose the messages they want to read or reply to. When you respond to a message, keep the original subject heading intact unless it is no longer relevant to the message content.
    4. When citing materials, articles, books make sure to refer to the publication and give deserved credit to the authors. This will also make it easier for other participants to locate the documents referred to as well as facilitate the flow of information.
    5. The e-Forum will bring together people from all over the world, of different nationalities, religion, culture, ethic origin, age and gender. Please bear this in mind and exercise tolerance and respect toward other participants whose views may sometimes differ from your own.
    6. When you want to have a personal discussion, or feel offended by a particular message, please send a message to the individual involved only.
    7. Messages should be no longer than 600 words.


    In order to base the discussion on experience and findings from the field, participants are encouraged to discuss and share information from case studies. The case studies should document practical experiences and findings on:


    The e-forum will be held mainly in English however submissions in Spanish and French will be accepted and posted along with a short summary in English.


    The e-forum will be moderated by the Communication for Development Group (SDRE) based at FAO Rome, Italy. The Group will ensure that the discussion remains focused and that messages are not repeated. It will also deal with any technical difficulty that might arise during the e-forum.

    The Moderators are the to maximise the effectiveness and ensure the smooth running of the e-forum. They reserve the right to screen messages before they are posted to make sure they adhere to the basic rules and regulations of the e-forum and to carry out a relevance check. This is in no way to limit the views expressed by the participants. In the end, we encourage and welcome a diversity of views and want you to speak your mind.

    The Communication for Development Group would like to thank you for your interest in the e-forum!