The Internet has transformed Eric Kombat's reporting; from filing reports to instant feedback on social media. But the costs of staying connected are rising out of control.
Twenty-eight year old journalist Eric Kombat lives in Tamale, the capital of Northern Ghana. He is a correspondent for the country’s most-read independent newspaper, the Daily Guide . For Eric, digital participation has opened doors to meaningful work – but those opportunities come at a cost.
Before the Internet it would have been difficult for me to make a living. Now, I file my reports easily and on time. I can research information online. I can receive fast answers from my contacts, especially when addressing questions to officials. Also, if there is an issue that is bothering me, I can just go onto a social media platform with it and get quick responses. It makes my work so much fun.
My work focuses on politics and anti-poverty initiatives. For me, digital participation means discussing lots of issues on my social media platforms. I am fortunate to have been educated so I can use the Internet, as well as digital tools such as computers, cameras, tablets, and smartphones. The only challenge is the cost of data. Sometimes, if I want to stay connected with all my devices, it can be a lot of money in a month. 1000 MB is between GHS10.00 and GHS12.00 (EURO 2.00), depending on the network. So you can do the calculations yourself.
Maxwell Suuk / Matthew Moore
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer