News Calling – voice based mobile phone news

Fascinating developments in news and mobile phones. In India two projects are delivering news through voice based messages.

In the South, Shubhranshu Choudhary of the International Center for Journalists, leads a project that focuses on citizen reports with dozens of citizen journalists reporting throughout the region. Video here:

In Uttar Pradesh, Gaon ki Awaz (‘Village Voice’) delivers news updates twice a day through voice calls to over 250 subscribers, in their native language. MobileActive has a great case study of Gaon ki Awaz here.

I like the fact that:

  • Its voice of the people – citizen journalism and direct to audience
  • both ideas deliver local news – so important to build a community, and so often missing –
  • Its direct – overcoming SMS literacy barriers

For places where radios are attacked or journalists threatened and killed (Afghanistan, Somalia to name but two), tools like these can deliver information people need, in ways they can use.

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