Amy Saunderson-Meyer

Contemplating new media and alternative politics – take two

Firstly what is “new media”? What is new today is old by tomorrow and as Firoze Manji, founder of Pambuzuka News, questioned at the New Media: Alternative Politics conference held at Cambridge University during October – is it even new or is it just old wine repackaged in new bottles?


Contemplating new media and alternative politics

With the dramatic uptake of new media tools – such as mobile applications, digital media, blogging, social networking and video activism – do citizens, citizen groups and service organisations, have the power to challenge the state and mobilize political change?  

Global examples


Vigilant civil society, vibrant media and new media tools in Kenya's constitution-making process

Kenya is now walking the route to greater democracy and more transparent governance – after the recent referendum on the constitution held in the first week of August – when the yes vote received almost 70% of the votes.


Digital activism - to inform and inspire

In a recent interview by the Guardian UK, CEO of 2020 Social, Gaurav Mishra argues that there are two main paradigms of digital activism: empowering people with information and engaging with inspiration.

Mishra lists Freedom Fone as a good example of a simple-to-use technology which empowers disadvantaged communities mainly in Africa and Asia, with access to basic information and with a voice to tell their stories firsthand.


Freedom Fone’s 3Ds – development, deployments and downloads

Freedom Fone version 1.6 is now available. This version builds on existing core features and adds some useful new functionality.


Inappropriate interference with MDC audio service

The Econet lines of the MDC audio news and information service were recently suspended a few days after its launch.


Spreading the word

Fred’s diary is rather full these days. We have been testing and debugging a pre-release copy of version 1.6 and eagerly anticipate its imminent launch at the end of June.


Bulawayo’s pioneering voices

I had visions of Bulawayo being a sleepy little hollow and perhaps in some ways it is.  But last week, after arriving at Radio Dialogue nestled in Pioneer House in Bulawayo’s central business district, I was very pleasantly surprised.  We were in the City of Skies to run a practical two-day workshop with six local organisations on using Freedom Fone and Pioneer House seemed to me, to be pioneering the way!


Fred unleashed

Two weeks ago Freedom Fone, affectionately known to his handlers as Fred, was set loose… 

Inspired by the cockney rhyming slang “dog and bone” (meaning phone), the Freedom Fone dog logo and quirky character of Fred, was born a few years ago. Today Fred is still young, but after a few years of software development (and dog training!) he’s now ready to go out into the world on his own. 

We wanted to report back on his recent adventures, since the launch of Freedom Fone version 1.5.


ICT liberalisation lies at the heart of development

ICT Development and Initiative Dossier from June 2002, states that "since the beginning of the 1980s almost all national telecom and information technology markets worldwide have been transformed by technological innovation, product diversification (especially the introduction of mobile/cellular telephony and internet) and market restructuring (particularly privatisation, liberalisation and the introduction of independent regulators)."  This holds true in some countries, more