Mediafabric 2011 saw over 250 guests arrive from five continents this weekend in Prague to explore new ideas at the intersection of journalism and open technology. The one day conference and two day hackathon was organised by Sourcefabric, a Czech not-for-profit promoting open source tools for journalists.
Former MI5-agent Annie Machon told journalists to consider the safety of their sources with multiple phones and a use of OpenPGP and stated that whistleblowers also need open source tools. Peter Kahler, station director at Knight-Batten Award winners West Africa Democracy Radio, told of the 500% increase in site visits since they switched to open source newsroom tools like Newscoop and Airtime.
Sarah Hartley of the Guardian, Mariano Blejman of Página/12 , Luis Manuel Botello of ICFJ, James Breiner of Tsinghua University and David Brewer of Media Helping Media also all called upon media to continue technological development whilst maintaining core values.
"Online media and citizen journalism are wake-up calls for the traditional press to re-invent itself, for journalists to relearn what their profession is all about," said conference speaker and editor of the Nepali Times Kunda Dixit. "We need a paradigm shift in the way we do journalism."
In the following two days, developers, software engineers and journalists met to improve existing platforms for news delivery, including RadioDNS, a system for hybrid radio broadcast, and SoundCloud, an audio-sharing platform with over 7 million users.
The event was covered internationally, broadcast on the homepage of livestream.com and partnered by ReadWriteWeb, European Youth Press, Leaders Vision, Transitions Online, expats.cz, Hackerspace Prague, Mediafun and SoundCloud.
For full speaker biographies and project links please visit conference.sourcefabric.org.
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