Kenya shuts down media – Mobile offers a viable solution
A number of reports have outlined efforts to shut down various media in Kenya.
This ‘black out’ of sorts has played a role in limiting the collection and spread of information. People on the ground are working to try and change the situation. As AfricaNews.com we see a viable solution in mobile technology.
We have given a number of our journalists internet enabled phones. In the past few months with ALIN and Media Focus on Africa we were able to organize a number of workshops and trainings. This was in lead to the elections without knowing they would take such a turn.
Mobile has been given extensive attention in 2007 but nowhere have we seen it play such a simple, yet important, role. Moving forward, we are convinced that in this type of situation new technology offers viable solutions.
What is interesting with mobile is that we can collect information otherwise missed by the larger media i.e. interviews with shop keepers and short videos of the situation in rural areas. This brings a new context to the situation and helps improve people’s understanding of events. What would be ideal is to see how mobile can play an increased role in helping people to communicate on a local level as well.
And we know there are more initiatives out there. We ask everyone to post anything they have about similar projects and invite people and organizations to open a brainstorm on the subject. Combining expertise and knowledge we hope to make even more progress in 2008.
See an overview of mobile reports: Kenya Elections
p.s. a photo sent by our friend Dipesh