West Africa Democracy Radio reaches global audience with Soundcloud and open source software Newscoop and Airtime.
On 1st April, West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) launched a news platform that integrates open source software Newscoop and Airtime with social and cloud networks such as Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.
The station's online coverage of the Côte d'Ivoire conflict and the Nigerian elections reached over 100 countries, with interviews with people such as Ahoua Don Melo, spokesman of Laurent Gbagbo, getting worldwide exposure.
West Africa Democracy Radio launched in 2005 with a mission to promote and defend the ideals of democratic and open societies amongst the peoples of the region. It broadcasts 24 hours a day on FM in Dakar, Senegal and via satellite to the rest of the West Africa subregion, including to over 30 partner stations.
The station's partnership with Sourcefabric, a Czech non-profit organization dedicated to supporting quality journalism through open source software and tools, led to the adoption of Newscoop, an open source CMS for journalists and Airtime, an open source radio software for radio stations.
"Newscoop, the new website and working with Sourcefabric on these open source technologies has provided us now an opportunity," said WADR Station Manager Peter Kahler. "We're glad to know we're pioneering something that will become widespread. The media in West Africa has now evolved to the level where it is being seen as a true partner in changes that will bring about open and democratic societies."
Key to the platform's operation is a unique integration with Soundcloud, an online audio distribution platform which reached over 3 million users in February 2011. WADR's radio programmes are recorded by Airtime and then automatically uploaded to Soundcloud. WADR journalists can then attach these sounds to an article and publish on the site through Newscoop, immediately sharing to Facebook.
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