SMS beats the censors – Mobile phones support media freedom in Zimbabwe

From Media Helping Media comes the story of how mobile phones are, in a small but powerful way, subverting the media censorship in Zimbabwe. I found the following particularly resonant for what Jasmine Newswires is attempting to achieve in Sri Lanka.

As we depend on donor funding we have limited resources. Will we soon get to the stage where we’ll have to say no to requests to receive the news? The other challenge is to précis the complexity of Zimbabwe’s news stories into 160 characters, including spaces. As the economy goes into meltdown and in-fighting escalates in the ruling party, no simple news comes out of the country. We’ve also just started podcasting, with the help of a colleague who’s putting our programming into an MP3 format for free. It’s proved surprisingly popular. What we now know is that you can have the ideas to make your business more effective and improve information delivery, but without the hard cash it’s not going to be easy.

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