Mobile phone based citizen journalism videos on YouTube viewed over 104,000 times

YouTube Video

Inspired by a post on Burning Bridge to do a count of the number of times all the videos on the Vikalpa YouTube channel had been viewed, I was pleased to note that the videos had been collectively viewed over 104,000 times to date. The channel itself has been viewed over 5,000 times. 

Writing in October 2007 I said,

Coupled with VOR Radio, we want to explore ways through which digital media and mobile devices such as the N-series Nokia phones with their built in mobile blogging, multimedia, wireless and video editing features can be used to strengthen the voice of citizens in support of democratic governance, human rights and peace.

We’ve come a long way in the space of a few months. Featuring senior political figures, trade unionists and media rights activists, school and university students, IDPs and refugees, Members of Parliament, award winning human rights defenders and peace activists, rarely heard voices from Jaffna on ground conditions in the embattled region and exclusive footage of significant socio-political events, the channel features nearly 200 short videos in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Currently featured on the channel is a professional English production on the life of Nadarajah Raviraj, a prominent human rights activist and Tamil politician assassinated in Colombo in 2006.

Nearly all videos have been filmed using a Nokia N93i camera phone to raise awareness on the potential of mobiles to strengthen democracy and bear witness to abuses of power, human rights violations and violence. 

We generated interest from / have been featured on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), France24’s Observers initiative, Global Voices Online and Witness, the source of my inspiration for starting this initiative in Sri Lanka (though the videos are shot, edited and produced by a talented and brave colleague).

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