In Podcasts: a community knowledge sharing tool, an article published on SciDevNet, Lawrence D. Gudza describes a pilot project in Zimbabwe that uses podcasts to get development information to the people of Zimbabwe’s rural district of Mbire, home to small agricultural communities without electricity, land line telephones or mobile phone infrastructure.
Tag Archive for 'Zimbabwe'
At 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.
It’s not exactly a local station, but SW Radio Africa does use technology in the service of a community. Faced with one of the most repressive media environments in the world, Gerry Jackson founded SW Radio Africa located in the UK and broadcasting on shortwave and on the internet. The shortwave signal is jammed in urban areas (thanks to Chinese technology, accrding to Jackson), but gets through to rural zones. The station sends headlines to phones in Zimbabwe using SMS, and also streams it programming on the internet and produces podcasts.