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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.


Freedom Fone meets the World Cup in SA

I'm on the road in South Africa for the next 8 days to spread the gospel according to Freedom Fone v 1.6.

I have enough equipment with me to start a computer booth at any of the 3 airports I'll be passing through this week. All I need is a World Cup pennant, a few flags, a big smile and I'll fit right in.


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.


Workshop challenges in Bulawayo

In late May, Amy & I went down to Bulawayo to run a hands-on Freedom Fone training workshop for 11 participants based in Zimbabwe's City of Skies. The workshop was hosted there by a vibrant community radio station called Radio Dialogue. That will sound like a contradiction in terms as Zimbabwe has yet to award a broadcast licence to any community radio station in the country.


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.

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