mobile community reporting

Mobile Reporting as a Child Abuse Detection Tool

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Mar 07, 2011
Mobile Reporting as a Child Abuse Detection Tool data sheet 1223 Views
Nyirubugar, Olivier
Publication Date: 
Apr 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The concept of mobile reporting, combined with community reporting is changing the way we perceive previously ignored local issues. While they hardly make it into mainstream media, they are now flooding into the cyberspace and the blogosphere thanks to the Web and the mobile phone technologies. The power of the mobile phone in the context of community reporting approach resides in its simplicity, both through the ordinary tools used by reporters – the phones which almost everyone knows or owns by now – and through the reporters themselves, who are members of the community being reported about.

In this presentation, I want to highlight how one issue – childabuse – is being ‘naturally’ captured and documented by mobile reporters following a training offered by Voices of Africa Media Foundation in various African countries. The capturing is ‘natural’ in the sense that, viewed locally, the abuse is tolerated, justified, or even approved by communities, who do not perceive them as abuse. The idea is to draw the attention of political leaders and decision makers, who mostly rely on mainstream media, the ones known for neglecting non-profit generating local issues.

In this paper, I want to deal with three main points. In the first place, I will conceptualise mobile reporting combined with community reporting in the light of existing theories on culture convergence and participatory media. Secondly, I will focus on one case, child abuse, which our reporters have covered spontaneously. In the end, I will discuss the potential impact of this way of approaching local news on local leadership and politics.