OurMedia Conference: Workshop Brainstorm

On Tuesday July 28th Amanda, Charlotte and I led a Vozmob workshop at the 8th OURMedia conference in Rionegro, Colombia. We had the opportunity to work and share ideas with several practitioners of various projects using communication for social change, including Sebastian Gerlic (from a project using mobile phones with indigenous communities in Brazil: http://www.indiosonline.org.br/), Wilna Quarmyne (Ghana Community Radio Network: see http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ghana_Community_Radio_Network), and Alejandra Castaña, a scholar and media producer trying to find ways to improve the function of community media and public broadcasting in Colombia. After learning how to use the vozmob system, the group brainstormed some possible uses of the tools based on participants’ own work, and some of the questions and potential challenges they envisioned.

We really would have liked to have members of the popular communication team (PCT) here with us representing the project, and look forward to discussing the outcomes of the workshop as a group when we return. Here is a summary of the suggestions, ideas and questions that emerged from the workshop discussion:

Potential uses of the vozmob tools:
– Uses for radio practitioners
– research & documentation
– Portfolios of work (i.e. pictures of completed work, portfolio of stories or other creative work, etc)
– GPS – as a way to place stories in geographic space to document what is going on in the area or to associate stories with particular spaces
– Send out content for community building & access to online information
– Contributing content – increasing participation
– Educational tool
– Sharing ideas
– Storyboarding/pre-production of videos
– Alerts
– Peer-to-peer sharing
– Production & distribution of ongoing story series (‘soapies’)
– Increase discussion around other media programs

Challenges/questions:
– facilitation/training; how much is needed to enable use of the tools?
– some groups are reluctant to adopt or work with new information & communication technologies (ICTs) – e.g. cultural concerns, cultural resistance, conceptions of the internet, phones, etc
– editorial process? i.e. hate messages, or ‘quality control’ for donors
– time & resource limitations
– how to measure change/impact

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