Archive for the 'toolkit' Category

Style guide for Púlsar news agency

Founded in 1995, the Agencia Informativa Púlsar was the world’s first internet-based radio news agency. Now run by AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters), the agency provides text and audio news to hundreds of radio stations in Spanish and Portuguese. Púlsar has just published a style guide “El Continente es el Contenido: Manual de estilo de la Agencia Informativa Púlsar” (The Continent is the Content: Agencia Informativa Púlsar style guide”.  The guide is available in PDF from Púlsar’s website.

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Radio and Mobiles in-a-box

mobiles in-a-boxTactical Tech is a group of people working to help NGOs and human rights advocates to make better use of technology in their work. One of the ways they do this is with their excellent NGO in-a-box project, a series of toolkits complete with software, information about on-line tools, tutorials, case studies and lots of ideas for how to make innovative use of practical technology within the technical and financial grasp of NGOs. The latest addition to the series, Mobiles in-a-box, is a candidate for inclusion in our ICT / local and community radio essential toolkit.
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Community media and SMS text messages

SMSAt first glance SMS text messages would seem like a natural for inclusion in a community radio station’s essential toolkit. SMS messages are inexpensive and easy-to-use and in recent years the mobile phones that are needed for sending and receiving them have become ubiquitous. However, a survey of recent projects indicates that use of SMS messages among community media in the developing world is still at an early stage. In most stations SMS use is informal. The few cases identified of community stations making more complex use of SMS messages have accompanied political crises or natural disasters and have inevitably been donor financed. There are few, if any, experiences of complex uses of SMS by community media without external funding and technical support, even though the financial and technical resources required are minimal.

Download a Spanish-language version of this article

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Frontline SMS

I wrote about about FrontlineSMS a few months ago. It’s a piece of software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone into a powerful system for sending and receiving SMS messages and that I think should be part of the essential digital toolkit for local and community radio. FrontlineSMS creator has just come out with a new version of the program, as well as a new website.

I haven’t tried the software (although I have requested it and we want to test it at a community radio station somewhere in Latin America) but Sanjana Hattotuwa gave it a pretty good grade in a blog post on mobileactive.org, although she questions whether it might be too complicated for some grassroots organisations and complained about compatibility problems with her Nokia 3110 (one that FrontlineSMS does NOT claim to support fully).

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News Factory – Fabrika Novostei

“News Factory” software was first developed by Internews Russia in 1999 to help radio and TV stations manage many aspects of their operations, including programme production and advertising schedules. It has evolved since then and Internews estimates that it is in use by some 350 stations around Russia. Another software package, News Exchange, facilitates the online exchange of news and information among stations.

The two packages have apparently been used together to establish low-cost virtual news agencies in Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

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