I'm in a very different head space at the moment and I've got close friends at Kubatana– Bev & Amanda– to thank. This past month has been an amazing collaboration with them to try and get Freedom Fone onto the Unreasonable at Sea voyage next year. They have made a remarkable effort, and in response to their challenge I feel like parts of me have come alive again. It's been part business boot camp, part market research and a large chunk of personal reflection.
Freedom Fone trainers have been in Nairobi this month to assist with the first deployment of the platform for a reproductive health hotline.
As part of the Quality Assurance testing of Freedom Fone's new Dialer version, Kubatana engaged citizens in Zimbabwe around the thorny issue of billing by the country's sole energy supplier - the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).
Bart Sullivan is affectionately known as 'Captain' by the team of ICT officers who work at Farm Radio International's regional offices in Ghana, Malawi, Ethiopia and Tanzania. In my eyes, Bart earned his stripes today when he pulled off an audacious first for Freedom Fone and Farm Radio at Radio 5, a busy commercial radio station in Arusha's Njiro suburb. All round nice guy, Bart is also sharp and innovative... and as this story shows, very persuasive too.
Arusha Tech Training - Lots to talk about later!
Tich Siguake and I arrived in Arusha on the weekend to prepare for the start of our training workshop for ICT officers at Farm Radio International's HQ in Tanzania. We flew in to the exotic sounding Kilimanjaro airport at about 7pm where we were met by FRI's ICT and Radio Specialist, Bart Sullivan.
Last week the Freedom Fone team completed a training hosted by the DW Akademie. The training focused on how to script, record and edit good quality audio for a variety of appropriate formats including: Vox Pops, news stories and explanation pieces. All files need to be audible and clear to callers using mobile phones.
Having lived through the hyperinflation years in Zimbabwe, you would be forgiven for assuming that I'd be inured to biggish numbers. Not so. Tunisians have the unusual practice of adding an extra zero to the decimals following their numbers. So 127.000 Dinar is actually 127.00 Dinar in the Zimbabwean numbering system - not 1,270.
The award ceremony for the 2012 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was held at the Presidential Palace in Tunis on May 3.
Media practitioners and activists gathered in Tunis for World Press Freedom Day were shocked to hear that Nabil Karoui, head of Nessma television station, has been fined for broadcasting 'Persepolis' the award-winning Franco-Iranian film about a child's account of the Iranian revolution.
Karoui was prosecuted for broadcasting the film on TV even though it had previously been approved for distribution in cinemas.