BBC News has a great article – Giving a voice to India’s villagers – about an experiment in rural India, using mobile phones to bring people news made by local villagers. People call a number to ‘upload’ a news item which is then sent out as a text message to all subscribers.
“No-one has given any information about the Mongra dam and the displacement it has caused in 14 villages. I want the voice of the poor to reach the people through my report.” – Bhan Sahu, Citizen Journalist for CGNet Swara
Mobile phones are pivotal to the service and, in the remotest parts of India, are more accessible than the TV or newspapers. They make it easy to capture conversations and also spark new debates as people gather round to receive the latest news. Mainstream media dedicates just 2% of space to rural villages. Social media can do better.