Join Us for a Discussion on Mobile Phones for Citizen Media

Rising Voices is pleased to be participating in an online dialogue hosted by the organization New Tactics in Human Rights and co-facilitated by Mobile Active. The week-long forum “Using Mobile Phones for Citizen Media” beginning on July 27 to August 2, 2011 will bring together experienced resource practitioners from around the world to share their experiences, tactics, and ideas for using these tools for a variety of purposes related to citizen media. We'll be focusing our participation on the ongoing experiences of the new Rising Voices grantee project Ségou Villages Connection, which has been teaching residents in the rural Ségou region of Mali how to use mobile phones to send news updates via SMS to project coordinator Boukary Konaté in the capital city Bamako.

From the dialogue description on the New Tactics website:

Information is a powerful commodity for human rights defenders. Receiving and sharing information is at the heart of human rights work. Modern technology, such as the mobile phone, and the global distribution of the internet, provides new opportunities for citizens to actively participate in journalism. The mobile phone is arguably the most accessible form of information communication technology and a popular tool for receiving and sharing information.

Human rights practitioners are finding innovative ways to utilize mobile phones to amplify the voices of communities around the world in order to collect and disseminate news and information. In Namibia, readers are able to text in editorial comments that are then published in the Namibia print paper. In Guatemala, radio listeners text in their comments that are then read on-air. In India, mobile phones circumvent a radio news ban and allow people to both access news and record information. These are just a few examples of how practitioners are using mobile phones to get and provide information and news from and to citizens.

Others participating as resource practitioners:

  • Melissa Ulbricht (co-facilitator) – MobileActive's staff writer, United States
  • Becky Hurwitz – Project Manager at MobileActive and currently working on the SaferMobile project, United States
  • Rich Jones of the Open Watch Project
  • Mong Palatino – one of the founding conveners of TXTpower, Philippines
  • Brian Conley and others of Small World News
  • Sean McDonald and Amy O'Donnell of Frontline SMS, United States
  • Alix Dunn – applied researcher and consultant in the role of digital tools in activism, Egypt
  • John (Kipp) Kipchumbah of InfoNet, Kenya
  • Sam duPont – Field Fellow for Dimagi, author of Global Mobile blog at at DC think tank NDN, currently based in Thailand and Philippines
  • Patita Tingoi and others from Fahamu, Kenya
  • Boukary Konaté and Eddie Avila from Rising Voices, Mali and Bolivia
Check back here beginning on July 27 for the launch of the discussion.

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