I blogged about Tad Hirsch‘s TXTmob project back in April and spoke to him this week about his Dialup Radio project. The intuitive web-based interface allows anyone to upload brief radio-style audio files to make them available via phone along with the option of using different menu options. For example, one could broadcast news about electoral-related violence in difference cities and towns across Zimbabwe: “For today’s news on Bulawayo, press 1, for news on Gweru, press 2,” etc.
Dialup Radio has been designed specifically to meet the needs of human rights activists in the developing world. The system can be installed locally or may be operated across national borders. Particular attention has been paid to system security and to minimizing costs of operation
The Dialup Radio project is currently being used in Zimbabwe where independent radio stations have been outlawed. Other tactics include copying broadcasts on cassette tapes and disseminating the tapes widely among taxi and long-distance bus drivers across the country. Indeed, the best place to get accurate reporting in Zimbabwe may very well be from a taxi driver. I certainly found this to be the case while in Nairobi following the December 2007 presidential elections and the ensuing violence.