Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit (and survive) Dakar, Senegal, one of the most amazing cities in the world. I was there for this reason:

West Africa Democracy Radio is a Dakar-based network of radio stations serving 13 countries in West Africa who designed a publishing system that works for those without resources. Partnering with the Czech journalism nonprofit Sourcefabric, WADR integrated several open-source tools, including the Newscoop CMS, Airtime radio software and the SoundCloud audio-distribution platform to publish reports in French and English online, on air and on social media sites.
It was one of my first forays into technical software specification and newsroom architecture. Trying to splice working news practices, open source platforms and social media networks, we jerryrigged, and then refined, a set of SoundCloud plugins that would connect stories to journalists to sounds to radio to websites to the social web and back again. The resultant platform just won a Special Distinction Award in the prestigious Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. Huge congratulations to everyone involved.

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