“Africa’s quiet digital revolution” FrontlineSMS:Radio featured on BBC

FrontlineSMS:Radio was recently featured in an article written by Jane Wakefield for the BBC’s technology page. Below is an extract and you can find the full article here. “For many in Africa, getting information still comes from a very low-tech device – the radio.

Ken Banks hopes to unite the power of radio with his already well-known FrontLineSMS, a text service that has provided key information to people caught up in emergencies such as the earthquake in Haiti.

Now he wants to see the project more embedded into daily lives, offering listeners to radio stations in Kenya and Zambia the chance to really engage with the topics discussed on their favourite radio stations.

'Clearly rural radio and mobile technology are a potent mix. Independently, both are making significant contributions – both directly and indirectly – to the communities they seek to serve. Together there is every chance they could achieve yet more,' he said.

Listeners will be able to text in to radio shows, allowing stations to aggregate content, identify the trends that are concerning people and build shows around specific topics.

Ida Jooste, who works for Internews, a non-governmental organisation that trains many of the DJs who run such radio stations, thinks it will be an invaluable tool.

'When texts are read on air they may not be representative. SMS Radio will aggregate material around themes such as poverty or cholera and allow the DJ to know what the concern of the day is,' she said.”

To read the full article on the BBC News website please click here.