The second half of the 20th century will long be remembered as the beginning of the so-called “information age” – one of the most exciting and revolutionary developments of our times, brought about by the significant advances in digital technologies.
The new technologies have had – and will have – a profound impact on the information industry, virtually dissolving geographical barriers and allowing the production and transmission of news and content in previously unheard of formats. This will all be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional, paper-based information.
IPS has rapidly assimilated the changes in the communication field, transforming itself from a print news agency to a multi-media player, offering services in a variety of languages and formats. Partnering with other communication organisations has been an important tool, enabling IPS to increase its scope and reach.
IPS is profoundly aware of the huge imbalances in access to media and ICTs within and between countries, social classes, generations and genders. In adopting new technologies and allocating our own scarce resources we never forget our mission.
Ever since the Internet has emerged as a new, democratic platform for information sharing, IPS has worked very hard to increase its presence on the Web through a number of news and project-related websites (see column on the left), which generatee some 45 million page views per month. All stories in English and Spanish can be shared by readers over social media pages (digg, del.icio.us, newsvine, reddit, stumbleupon, yahoomyweb), allowing IPS to increase readership and circulation.
The IPS websites generate 34 periodic newsletters in 7 languages (Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish), sent to some 350,000 email subscribers.
In recent years, IPS has strengthened its work on the Internet and worked towards maintaining a dynamic web-site presence incorporating pictures and graphics; interactivity through blogs, comments and exposure through Web 2.0 social networking; plus audio and video content and publications.
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IPS distributed almost 1,000 print quality photos to accompany stories, many of them taken by local IPS journalists. The IPS photo bank is now hosted by Photoshelter online. IPS also added 1,500 pictures to its photostream on the Flickr social networking site.
Narrative slideshows ( http://www.ipsnews.net/slideshows/) were developed to illustrate some news events including protests in Thailand, voting in Sudan (first democratic elections in 24 years) and Rwanda, and the International Day for Biodiversity.
Blogs, Mobile and Social Media
In 2010 the IPS-hosted Gender Masala blog became a team effort. Lobelog, focused on American foreign policy, also benefited from more contributions from interns and associates. Heavy Metal Colombia and the Crossover Dreams blog on The Huffington Post about migration issues continued.
A growing number of IPS journalists maintained or contributed to personal blogs.
More than 14,000 people now follow IPS on Twitter and Facebook.
IPS produced 18 original videos globally and a total of 38 videos were distributed including translations of original versions in 2010. IPS videos are available at IPS-TV.