UNESCO to help community media with mobile content production
UNESCO is analysing the potential for mobile-friendly content to be generated by community media in the context of developing countries. As the use of mobile media steadily grows, the Organization is conducting a study on the possibility to shape alternative audio and video productions by community media into mobile content.
In January 2009 UNESCO launched a project aiming at empowering community media for mobile broadcasts of local content and news in order to better reach populations.
The first phase of the project consists in collecting lessons learned from existing successful and unsuccessful experiences in the production of mobile audiovisual content by community media. The project will then design a pilot initiative based on UNESCO's own experience in community media, including CMCs (Community Multimedia Centres), identify sites and prepare the basis for operationalising an action on the use of mobile technologies by community media groups.
The pilot initiative will also assess the current skills of community media and CMC staff for mobile content production and diffusion, and identify the training needs. It will then prepare draft model curricula for a training programme that will include a gender equality strategy, workshop outlines, learning objectives, case studies, exercises, etc. These materials will be shared as open educational resources.
The second phase of the project is expected to start in 2010 and will build the capacities of community media and CMC to:
- best exploit the opportunities offered by mobile radio and TV as demonstrated in good practices from other initiatives;
- produce mobile-adapted content, e.g. educational games, breaking news and development videos;
- produce voice-based wikis or repositories for the use of spoken content on mobiles (instead of video- or text-based content);
- develop systems to diffuse content on mobile devices, for example by means of: directs downloads, streaming, RSS, video-on-demand, and live radio and video mobile broadcast.
UNESCO also intends to help community media to partner with telecommunication operators, telephone manufacturers and major broadcasters to diffuse the mobile content from developing countries.
The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), in the framework of UNESCO's action on 'Promoting the development of free, independent and pluralistic media and community participation in sustainable development through community media'. It will end next year with recommendations to make the Member States of UNESCO and COL aware of the importance of embracing mobile media.
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